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The war is still far away

Italian Forces

The war is still far away

Leros, Aegean Sea: Italian flying boats at Portolago, today Lakki, the large naval base with annexed air harbor built during the Italian domination began on 1912 after the Italian-Turkish War and ended with the German attack on September 1943. The two all silver seaplanes in foreground of this photo, taken on 1937, three years before the Italy’s entry in the World War 2, are modern, for this time, CRDRA Cant-Z-501. In background some Savoia-Marchetti S.55 (the version X was chosen by Italo Balbo for his famous mass cruise Italy-United States-Italy on 1933) at this time still in service as maritime reconnaissance and bombardment seaplane but already obsolescent and being replaced by the Cant-Z-501. The “501” of the photo are in service with the 185th Squadriglia (as indicated by the black number 185 over the fuselage), one of two Squadriglie (the other were the 147th) of the 84th Gruppo Ricognizione Marittima (Maritime Reconnaissance Group). Three year later, at the moment of Italy’s entry in the WW2 (10 June 1940) the 84th Gruppo is still at Leros with a strength of a dozen of Cant-Z-501. Victor Sierra