I found this article really interesting because this is a type of history that I have been interested in since I was a little kid! Rochat definitely gave a ton of information about the actual airforce and the support given to it from the government, but left some points out in the open without expanding at all on them. I agree with Margot that he definitely left the reader “hanging” by not expanding on the usage of gas and the reaction to it, or the reason that Italians supported the war so vehemently.
I was very interested in the italian planes used during the war. I did some more research on the planes and found out some interesting things:
This is an article on wikipedia about an Italian pilot, Tito Minniti who was a fighter pilot during the Ethipoian war and was eventually captured and killed by the Ethiopians, apparently the Italians used this as justification for using mustard gas. Here is the plane he flew, ALSO a plane that was widely used during the war.
The Romeo Ro.1 was a dutch-built plane (Fokker C.V.) that was sold to a ton of different countries in the early 20th century. Had a bunch of different models that featured extra fuel tanks for long-range flight or extra machine guns for improved ground attacks/reconnaissance protection.
The Italian-made Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 was a bomber used in the Ethiopian war, and later was used by the Spanish government in the Spanish Civil War. For the time, it was fast, durable and versatile because it could carry lots of people, bombs and supplies. Though it was modern for Italy, it quickly was surpassed by the massive aeronautical industry in Nazi Germany, Britain and the United States during the outbreak of World War II, who saw the development of advanced fighters like the Messerschmitt Bf 109, 110 and Heinkel He 111.
INTERESTING FACT!! In that movie we watched in class where we saw some aircraft in an Italian Air Force base, those planes could not have been period planes and look much more similar to later planes, such as the Cant Z-1018 “Leone,” which was not built until late 1939. Cool stuff, I really got into this.