Italo Balbo (1896-1940)



“Against mobilised British armored car and tank columns we have to fight with rifles and machine pistols (on Libyan-Egypt border) but if I were the British commander then my troops would already reach Tobruk against such opposition”

Italo Balbo , Fascist Field Marshall and Military Governor of Libya quote on June 1940 ( six months before British captured both Tobruk and Derna then Benghazi much further west on Libya)


General Italo Balbo and his flying boats were returning from New York to Italy after his famous transatlantic visit, when they stopped over in Random Sound, Nfld. Canada. One of the elementary schools in my small town (not the one I attended, there were only 2) was named Balbo Elementary, and I drive past the body of water they landed on every day.

(Photo courtesy of The Rooms provincial archives) Two cremen stand atop one of the 24 Savoia-Marchetti S.55 flying boats that made up General Italo Balbo’s armada. Photo between the 26th of July and the 8th of August, 1933.