The military buildings on the Capo Enfola peninsula were built in the years between the two World Wars, as part of the "Coastal Defense" programme that concerned all of Italy from 1935 and 1938.
The coastal battilion was built with the aim of keeping a close watch on the stretch of sea that separates Elba from the Tuscan coast of Corsica. The entire area was watched over by approximately 200 soldiers who also had the use of four cannons that could cover a much greater range than that of its twin position to be found on Falcone Point in Piombino.
In order to make full use of the anti-aircraft weapons even in the dark, powerful photoelectric floodlights were used so that the area facing the strait of Piombino could be completely lit up; not only that, an aerophonic system with telemetric watch towers was used so that the heavier and more powerful weapons could be used.
Shortly before the Brassard Operation, when the French troops were given the order to occupy Elba via an amphibious operation, the battalion in Enfola played a strategic role.
The idea was to destroy the four, dreaded cannons that could have got in the way of the soldiers who landed on the beach in Marina di Campo; 12 dinghies with 80 French soldiers who left Procchio and paddled all the way - so as to avoid making any noise - got as far as the cliffs in Capo d'Enfola.
Once there, they started to climb the steep cliffs in complete darkness but after two hours of slow climbing a rock from the top tipped off the German soldiers.
This gave way to a harsh, hand-to-hand battle that ended with the complete destruction of the bunkers with plastic explosive.
Only 14 soldiers survived the mission while the German soldiers, on the other hand, withdrew from the Tuscan coast.
Interesting fact:Few people know that the typical, Hollywood drama film "The Guns of Navarone" made in 1961, directed by J. Lee Thomson, with famous actors like Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, Irene Papas and David Niven, was inspired by that tragic event.
What is left of that military building that sits on the promontory is still clearly seen even today: the bunkers, the rainwater and water tanks, where the cannons sat and the blockhouses.
Although it is well camouflaged and out of sight from any enemies, you can still see the powder magazine, a large, roomy cavecarved out of the rocks, where the charges and ammunition were kept. A small, stone tunnel with a vault-like roof was the exit of the powder room and it lay at the opposite end of the main entrance.
Inside the barracks you can still see the rooms where the soldiers slept and you can still see the large, iron rings on the walls that were used to support the beds.
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