Saturday, April 28, 2012
His foresight was first proven in the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-12 when he was given command of the first ever aviation battalion in Italian military history. Under Douhet, Italy broke new ground by becoming the first power to successfully carry off air-to-ground attacks with the bombing of Turkish outposts in Libya. This was all the proof Douhet required and he immediately saw a brilliant future for military aircraft. Drawing on his wartime experiences, after the conflict he wrote and published the first manual on the doctrines of air combat entitled “Rules of the Use of Airplanes in War” in 1913. Thanks to Douhet, the Kingdom of Italy had taken an early lead as the first world power to take aerial warfare seriously. However, being a ground-breaking thinker is rarely easy. When Italy entered World War I, Douhet was first posted as chief of staff of an infantry division but given his talent and experience was soon transferred to command the army aviation division. He called for Italy to devote huge resources to the air arm and to launch a campaign of saturation bombing against Austria. However, very little was done before his criticisms of the supreme command earned him the wrath of General Luigi Cadorna who had him arrested and court-martialed.
Why, at the end of it all, was General Douhet such a visionary who we should still remember today? What were his great ideas and theories? He was the first to call for an independent air force, separate from the army and the navy (eventually realized in the Regia Aeronautica) and the first to call for versatile fighter planes, what he termed a “battle plane”, that would be capable of air-to-air combat and ground attack missions. Douhet believed that massive fleets of bombers could be used as the ultimate strategic military weapon. He envisioned ground forces being used solely in a defensive role, guarding Italian territory, while the air force was the primary offensive arm of the military and would devastate enemy countries and armies, destroying their infrastructure and forcing them to capitulate. This, he argued, he would be more cost effective, save lives that would otherwise be wasted in human-wave attacks and would make warfare more swift and decisive.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
|Field mass for an MVSN unit.|
|Priest blessing troops on the Greco-Albanian front.|
|Field mass in Abyssinia|
|Communion in the field in Abyssinia|
|Chaplain on the Russian front.|
|A priest blessing the guns in Abyssinia|
|Field mass in North Africa.|
|Chaplain Father Ginepro distributing communion in the Balkans.|
|Father Eusebio preaching to the troops.|
|Mass in the Tyrolean Alps (World War I)|
|Mass at sea, in the torpedo room of an Italian submarine.|
Monday, April 16, 2012
|RMS Laconia in 1922|
|U-156 carrying survivors|
|Air attack on U-156|
|Regia Marina submarine Cappellini|
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Sunday, April 8, 2012
"Ecco è arrivato il momento... buonagiornata a tutti, spero potervi dare notizie al più presto... " con questo messaggio di circa un ora fa il pincipe tramite twitter informa i suoi followers dell'operazione al naso in corso in questi istanti in ospedale a Ginevra. "Emanuele è stato operato quattro mesi fa per un tumore al setto nasale ma il male è riapparso in più focolai", spiega all'ANSA il manager del principe, Ricky Palazzolo.
Poi - conclude - aspetteremo fiduciosi la nuova biopsia".
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
However, the Italian sailors resisted fiercely, immediately radioed for assistance and withdrew to the most easily defended areas of the island and kept up their resistance, continuing to hold out against the British commandos throughout the day of February 25, 1941. They had to hold out alone all day before help arrived after nightfall in the form of a few Italian destroyers and torpedo boats carrying 240 infantry from the Italian garrison at Rhodes. The torpedo boats were under the command of Captain Francesco Mimbelli (who would go on to more fame in action in the Black Sea against the Russians). The Regia Aeronautica preceded the landing, bombing the harbor and British positions, inflicting enough damage that one warship was forced to recall her marines and retreat. This deprived the commandos of their radio link with Alexandria, Egypt. It also prevented additional British troops from landing as the air attacks threw the Royal Navy into a panic, being under attack from the air and unable to locate the small flotilla of Italian warships they knew were closing in on them.
Admiral Cunningham was amazed at how the Italians, whom British propaganda always derided, had, “reacted with utmost vigor and enterprise” and had made a “rotten business” of his attempt to takeover the island. Many of the British commanders had foolishly believed their own propaganda, that the Italians were sub-standard fighters and the action at Castelorizzo shocked them to their senses as they witnessed first-hand the skill and tenacity of Italian troops and the Regia Marina. This sharp battle put a permanent end to any hope of the British to seize control of the Dodecanese Islands from Italy and the islands remained in Italian hands until the 1943 armistice after which the Kingdom of Italy joined the Allies in declaring war on Nazi Germany.