Los italianos fueron los primeros en usar aviones en combate. Fue en la guerra ítalo-turca en Libia, en 1911. La guerra terminó por el tratado de Lausana por el que el Imperio otomano cedía a Italia el control del territorio en disputa (sin renunciar la soberanía) y ambos contendientes procedieron a retirarse a su contiente a hacer preparativos para las guerras venideras en los balcanes y en Europa. En fin, además de anecdótica, esta fue una guerra colonial más entre imperios de segunda, totalmente de gusto y sin resultado concreto, más que servir de preludio inmediato a la primera gran guerra del siglo. Pero antes, quedaron los hitos.
The entire Libyan coast was under Italian control, but the interior was difficult to maintain, requiring counterinsurgency warfare. The Royal Army used all possible weapons and technology in Libya. Trucks were used as well as armored cars. Radio was largely used, and airships bombed enemy troops. A real milestone was the employment of aircraft in a combat role, for the first time in the world.
The Italian army tested the use of aircraft for reconnaissance in the 1911 summer exercises, using two sections of four planes. When the war began, the General Staff ordered the Airplanes Squadron to Libya. The 10 officers and 29-trooper unit had nine aircraft, each with its own hangar. First test flights occurred on October 22, but the first official flight happened the day after, when Captain Carlo Piazza made a short-range reconnaissance of sixty-one minutes. The first long-range (for that time) reconnaissance flight occurred on October 24. Captain Moizo spent two hours flying to Azizia and back to Tripoli. On November 1, 1911, 2nd Lieutenant Giulio Gavotti made the first bombing attack from a plane. He dropped a bomb on Ain Zara and three more on the Tajura oasis. In March 1912, Captain Piazza took the first photo by plane. On May 2, Captain Marengo conducted the first night action. He recognized Jok Kebir and, on the night of June 11 he made the first night bombing. Captain Moizo held another record he would have referred to avoid; being the first pilot captured by the enemy. In fact, in the last days of the war, because of an engine breakdown, his plane landed near El Maya and he was taken prisoner. The Turks had their own records for the first antiaircraft artillery fire, on December 15, 1911, and on January 31, 1912, the first enemy pilot—Captain Carlo Montu`—was wounded by antiaircraft fire. But, it was far too early in the century to see airpower providing troops with decisive tactical support.
-A military history of Italy, Ciro Paoletti, 2008, p.134