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Description

Numerous propaganda leaflets such as this one were dropped out of planes or balloons over enemy lines. On 9 August 1918, the writer Gabriele d’Annunzio (1863-1938) led a spectacular manoeuver.

He led 11 planes out from Padua, flying over Vienna with seven of them, to drop hundreds of thousands of propaganda leaflets in the colours of the Italian flag, which proclaimed the social and political aims of Italy. One of these leaflets was ‘Viennese! Get to know the Italians!’, a ‘greeting of the tricolor’ and freedom. It was intended that the Viennese should think about their ‘stubborn government’ and how badly they were being treated. A continuation of the war would be suicide. The text ends with the invocation: ‘Viennese citizens! Consider what will await you and awake! Long live freedom! Long live Italy! Long live the Entente!’

D’Annunzio was an Italian writer, well known for his novels, poems and dramas in Italy, was also politically very active. In 1915, he had supported the entry of Italy into the war and was an enthusiastic soldier.

Transcript

People of Vienna!
Meet the Italians!
If we so wished, we could drop tons of bombs on your city, but we are simply sending you the greetings of the tricolour, the tricolour of freedom!
We Italians do not wage war against citizens, children, old men and woman. We wage war against your government, the enemy of national freedom, with your blind, obstinate and cruel government, which can give you neither bread nor peace and feeds you only on a diet of hatred and elusive hopes.

People of Vienna!
People say of you that you are intelligent, but since you have donned the Prussian uniform you have sunk to the level of a Berlin brute, and the whole world has turned against you.
Do you want to continue the war? Go ahead, if you want to commit suicide. What are you hoping for? The decisive victory that the Prussian generals have promised you?
Your decisive victory is like bread from the Ukraine: people expect it and die before it arrives.

Citizens of Vienna! Think about what awaits you and wake up!
Long live freedom!
Long live Italy!
Long live entente!

  1. Transcript

    English

    People of Vienna!
    Meet the Italians!
    If we so wished, we could drop tons of bombs on your city, but we are simply sending you the greetings of the tricolour, the tricolour of freedom!
    We Italians do not wage war against citizens, children, old men and woman. We wage war against your government, the enemy of national freedom, with your blind, obstinate and cruel government, which can give you neither bread nor peace and feeds you only on a diet of hatred and elusive hopes.

    People of Vienna!
    People say of you that you are intelligent, but since you have donned the Prussian uniform you have sunk to the level of a Berlin brute, and the whole world has turned against you.
    Do you want to continue the war? Go ahead, if you want to commit suicide. What are you hoping for? The decisive victory that the Prussian generals have promised you?
    Your decisive victory is like bread from the Ukraine: people expect it and die before it arrives.

    Citizens of Vienna! Think about what awaits you and wake up!
    Long live freedom!
    Long live Italy!
    Long live entente!

    Danish

    People of Vienna!
    Meet the Italians!
    If we so wished, we could drop tons of bombs on your city, but we are simply sending you the greetings of the tricolour, the tricolour of freedom!
    We Italians do not wage war against citizens, children, old men and woman. We wage war against your government, the enemy of national freedom, with your blind, obstinate and cruel government, which can give you neither bread nor peace and feeds you only on a diet of hatred and elusive hopes.

    People of Vienna!
    People say of you that you are intelligent, but since you have donned the Prussian uniform you have sunk to the level of a Berlin brute, and the whole world has turned against you.
    Do you want to continue the war? Go ahead, if you want to commit suicide. What are you hoping for? The decisive victory that the Prussian generals have promised you?
    Your decisive victory is like bread from the Ukraine: people expect it and die before it arrives.

    Citizens of Vienna! Think about what awaits you and wake up!
    Long live freedom!
    Long live Italy!
    Long live entente!

    Dutch

    People of Vienna!
    Meet the Italians!
    If we so wished, we could drop tons of bombs on your city, but we are simply sending you the greetings of the tricolour, the tricolour of freedom!
    We Italians do not wage war against citizens, children, old men and woman. We wage war against your government, the enemy of national freedom, with your blind, obstinate and cruel government, which can give you neither bread nor peace and feeds you only on a diet of hatred and elusive hopes.

    People of Vienna!
    People say of you that you are intelligent, but since you have donned the Prussian uniform you have sunk to the level of a Berlin brute, and the whole world has turned against you.
    Do you want to continue the war? Go ahead, if you want to commit suicide. What are you hoping for? The decisive victory that the Prussian generals have promised you?
    Your decisive victory is like bread from the Ukraine: people expect it and die before it arrives.

    Citizens of Vienna! Think about what awaits you and wake up!
    Long live freedom!
    Long live Italy!
    Long live entente!

    French

    People of Vienna!
    Meet the Italians!
    If we so wished, we could drop tons of bombs on your city, but we are simply sending you the greetings of the tricolour, the tricolour of freedom!
    We Italians do not wage war against citizens, children, old men and woman. We wage war against your government, the enemy of national freedom, with your blind, obstinate and cruel government, which can give you neither bread nor peace and feeds you only on a diet of hatred and elusive hopes.

    People of Vienna!
    People say of you that you are intelligent, but since you have donned the Prussian uniform you have sunk to the level of a Berlin brute, and the whole world has turned against you.
    Do you want to continue the war? Go ahead, if you want to commit suicide. What are you hoping for? The decisive victory that the Prussian generals have promised you?
    Your decisive victory is like bread from the Ukraine: people expect it and die before it arrives.

    Citizens of Vienna! Think about what awaits you and wake up!
    Long live freedom!
    Long live Italy!
    Long live entente!

    German

    Wiener!
    Lernt die Italiener kennen!
    Wenn wir wollten, wir könnten ganze Tonnen von Bomben auf euere Stadt hinabwerfen, aber wir senden euch nur einen Gruss der Trikolore, der Trikolore der Freiheit!
    Wir Italiener führen den Krieg nicht mit Bürgern, Kindern, Greisen und Frauen. Wir führen den Krieg mit euerer Regierung, dem Feinde der der nationalen Freiheit, mit euerer blinden, starr-köpfigen und grausamen Regierung, die euch weder Brot noch Frieden zu geben vermag und euch nur mit Hass und trügerischen Hoffnungen füttert.

    Wiener!
    Man sagt von euch, dass ihr intelligent seid, jedoch seitdem ihr die preussische Uniform ange-zogen habt ihr seid auf das Niveau eines Berliner-Grobians herabgesunken, und die ganze Welt hat sich gegen euch gewandt.
    Wollt ihr den Krieg fortführen? Tut es, wenn ihr Selbstmord begehen wollt! Was hofft ihr? Den Entscheidungssieg, den euch die preussischen Generale versprochen haben?
    Ihr Entscheidungssieg ist wie das Brot aus der Ukraina: Man erwartet es und stirbt bevor es ankommt.

    Bürger Wiens! Bedenkt was euch erwartet und erwacht!
    Hoch lebe die Freiheit!
    Hoch lebe Italien!
    Hoch lebe die Entente!

    Hebrew

    People of Vienna!
    Meet the Italians!
    If we so wished, we could drop tons of bombs on your city, but we are simply sending you the greetings of the tricolour, the tricolour of freedom!
    We Italians do not wage war against citizens, children, old men and woman. We wage war against your government, the enemy of national freedom, with your blind, obstinate and cruel government, which can give you neither bread nor peace and feeds you only on a diet of hatred and elusive hopes.

    People of Vienna!
    People say of you that you are intelligent, but since you have donned the Prussian uniform you have sunk to the level of a Berlin brute, and the whole world has turned against you.
    Do you want to continue the war? Go ahead, if you want to commit suicide. What are you hoping for? The decisive victory that the Prussian generals have promised you?
    Your decisive victory is like bread from the Ukraine: people expect it and die before it arrives.

    Citizens of Vienna! Think about what awaits you and wake up!
    Long live freedom!
    Long live Italy!
    Long live entente!

    Italian

    People of Vienna!
    Meet the Italians!
    If we so wished, we could drop tons of bombs on your city, but we are simply sending you the greetings of the tricolour, the tricolour of freedom!
    We Italians do not wage war against citizens, children, old men and woman. We wage war against your government, the enemy of national freedom, with your blind, obstinate and cruel government, which can give you neither bread nor peace and feeds you only on a diet of hatred and elusive hopes.

    People of Vienna!
    People say of you that you are intelligent, but since you have donned the Prussian uniform you have sunk to the level of a Berlin brute, and the whole world has turned against you.
    Do you want to continue the war? Go ahead, if you want to commit suicide. What are you hoping for? The decisive victory that the Prussian generals have promised you?
    Your decisive victory is like bread from the Ukraine: people expect it and die before it arrives.

    Citizens of Vienna! Think about what awaits you and wake up!
    Long live freedom!
    Long live Italy!
    Long live entente!

    Russian

    People of Vienna!
    Meet the Italians!
    If we so wished, we could drop tons of bombs on your city, but we are simply sending you the greetings of the tricolour, the tricolour of freedom!
    We Italians do not wage war against citizens, children, old men and woman. We wage war against your government, the enemy of national freedom, with your blind, obstinate and cruel government, which can give you neither bread nor peace and feeds you only on a diet of hatred and elusive hopes.

    People of Vienna!
    People say of you that you are intelligent, but since you have donned the Prussian uniform you have sunk to the level of a Berlin brute, and the whole world has turned against you.
    Do you want to continue the war? Go ahead, if you want to commit suicide. What are you hoping for? The decisive victory that the Prussian generals have promised you?
    Your decisive victory is like bread from the Ukraine: people expect it and die before it arrives.

    Citizens of Vienna! Think about what awaits you and wake up!
    Long live freedom!
    Long live Italy!
    Long live entente!