Italian poet and man of action Gabriele D’Annunzio is serving in the Italian air force, commanding a fighter squadron. Now he combines his interest in words and aviation, leading his squadron on a roundtrip of more than 1,100 kilometres, flying from their base near Padua all the way to Vienna, Austria’s capital. Their mission is not to drop bombs but propaganda leaflets. Some of these are written by D’Annunzio himself, in colourful Italian prose that he declines to have translated into German. Other leaflets, including the one shown, are printed in both German and Italian.
That aeroplanes are able to make a trip of this distance is a sign of how far aviation has developed. That they are able to do so without interception by the Austro-Hungarians is a testament to Italian dominance of the skies. The starving people of Vienna may not be able to read the leaflets falling down on their city, but they know what they mean: the war is drawing to a close and defeat is staring them in the face.
leaflets fall over Vienna, near St. Stephen’s Cathedral & Italian side of leaflet (Wikipedia: Flight over Vienna)