Libya 1911: How an Italian pilot began the air war era
Italy recently said it was ready to join in Nato's air attacks on targets in Libya - and with the announcement came a sense of history repeating itself.
It was in Libya, almost exactly a century ago, that a young Italian pilot carried out the first ever air raid.
During fighting in November 1911 between Italy and forces loyal to the Turkish, Ottoman Empire, Lieutenant Giulio Gavotti wrote in a letter to his father: "Today I have decided to try to throw bombs from the aeroplane.
And soon afterwards Lieutenant Gavotti did indeed hang out of his flimsy aircraft and fling a bomb at troops in a desert oasis below.
In that instant he introduced the world to the idea of war from the air. He had begun the age of the bomber, and opened the door to all the horrors it would bring.
The BBC World Service has obtained copies of the letters that the lieutenant wrote home from Libya. And they reveal his thoughts at the moment he carried out his historic, one-man raid....
comments powered by Disqus
- Revised AP U.S. History Standards Will Emphasize American Exceptionalism
- In a county that tried to amend U.S. history course, a lesson in politics
- Overhauling La Guardia, an Airport With a Historical Name but a Tarnished Image
- Now it can be told: The weakening of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is the crowning achievement of GOP partisans who detested the law
- Japanese textbooks may sanitize history, but comic art books don't
- Historians Against the War gathering signatures for new resolution to AHA on alleged violations of academic freedom in Israel
- Academic Seeks Death Certificate for Outlaw Billy the Kid
- Murderer of historian of Czech Jewry goes on trial
- Election results are in for the American Historical Association
- Nial Ferguson warns Obama’s bet on Iran has low odds of success