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The Flight over Vienna
was an epic action performed by Italian poet and nationalist patriot Gabriele D'Annunzio
Gabriele D'Annunzio or d'Annunzio was an Italian poet, journalist, novelist, and dramatist...
on 9 August 1918. With 11 Ansaldo S.V.A. from his team, the 87ma squadriglia
(squadron) called "La Serenissima", he flew for over 1,200 km in a roundtrip from the squadron's military airfield near San Pelagio at Due Carrare
Due Carrare is a comune in the Province of Padua in the Italian region Veneto, located about 40 km southwest of Venice and about 15 km south of Padua....
near Padua to Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...
to drop some thousands of propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....
The action was planned the year before but technical problems, such as the fuel capacity of the planes, delayed it.
The first trial was attempted on the 2 August 1918, but the aircraft returned due to heavy fog. The second trial, on 8 August 1918, was cancelled due to strong wind, while the last one, on 9 August, was successful.
They flew over Vienna and dropped 50,000 leaflets on a three-colored card (green, white, and red: the colors of the Italian flag). They were written by D'Annunzio himself and were not translated into German. They began:
"On this August morning, while the fourth year of your desperate convulsion comes to an end and luminously begins the year of our full power, suddenly there appears the three-color wing as an indication of the destiny that is turning.
Destiny turns. It turns towards us with an iron certainty. The hour of that Germany that thrashes you, and humiliates you, and infects you is now forever passed.
Your hour is passed. As our faith was the strongest, behold how our will prevails and will prevail until the end. The victorious combatants of Piave, the victorious combatans of Marna feel it, they know it, with an ecstasy that multiplies the impetus. But if the impetus were not enough, the number would be; and this is said for those that try fighting ten against one."
They also dropped 350,000 leaflets calling for the end of the alliance between Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...
and "Prussia". These were translated into German.