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1 November 2011

On this day in history: First aerial bombing, 1911

On 29th September 1911, the Italian government declared war on the Ottoman Empire having failed to achieve their demand for control of those Ottoman territories that make up modern day Libya. The conflict marked the first military use of airplanes. Initially the Italians used the new technology for reconnaissance, and later to attack Turkish troops.

On 1st November, Liuetenant Giulio Gavotti [pictured] set off on a reconnaissance flight over the Ain Zara oasis in his Taube ("dove") monoplane. He took with him four 2kg grenades with the intention of attacking the Turkish forces without the knowledge of his superiors. He dropped each of the bombs onto the enemy camp, but (thankfully) there were no casualties.

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