The Italian wars to conquer the sky
Italy is a pioneer in the use of aerial warfare: the first enemy bombardment, the first reconnaissance flights and first photographic surveys are conducted during the Italo-Turkish war (1911-1912). WWI strongly accelerates the industrial production and diversified use of air power. To prevent the repetition of the massacres of 1914-1918, Giulio Douhet in Il dominio dell'aria (The Command of the Air - 1921) advocates a large fleet capable of ‘strategically bombing’ the enemy and of ‘terrorising’ the defenceless populations, thus quickly putting an end to future conflict. His theories anticipate the indiscriminate attacks against civilians in Libya (1921-1931), in Ethiopia (1935-1940), in Spain (1936-1939) and during the ‘total air warfare’ (1939-1945).