On 9 August 1918, Italian writer Gabriele d’Annunzio and pilot Natale Palli flew their aeroplane over Vienna, dropping thousands of leaflets and three large posters. This photograph shows them prior to take-off. The leaflets and posters explained the views of the Entente and its promise of long-lasting peace to its enemies if they surrendered. In 1915, Italy had entered the war on the side of the Entente, which had previously been made up of Britain, France and the Russian Empire.
The leaflet drop made no difference from a conflict point of view, but it created wide ripples in Italy and the rest of the world. It also had a considerable psychological effect, helping to increase the distrust of Italians towards the Austrian people, who many saw as responsible for too long and bloody a conflict.
Fotografia che mostra Gabriele D’annunzio e Natale Palli sull’aereo con il quale il 9 agosto alle 5,30 am. partirono per una spedizione su Vienna dove lanciarono migliaia di volantini e tre grandi manifesti nei quali erano sostenute le ragioni dell'Intesa e le sue vedute per la pace, definitiva e durevole, promessa ai nemici qualora si fossero arresi.
L'impresa fu irrilevante dal punto di vista militare ma produsse una vasta eco in Italia e nel Mondo. Inoltre ebbe una notevole efficacia psicologica, contribuendo ad aumentare la sfiducia del popolo austriaco per le sorti di un conflitto ormai troppo lungo e sanguinoso.
- Article by:
- Bernard Wilkin
- The war machine
From Zeppelin airships to propaganda leaflet drops, Bernard Wilkin explores the significant role of aerial warfare in World War One – where it was used on a large scale for the first time.
- Article by:
- Vanda Wilcox
- Life as a soldier
Assistant Professor Vanda Wilcox examines mountain warfare in World War One, experienced by 80% of the Italian Front, where the harsh weather and uneven terrain made warfare extremely challenging.