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Italian Airmen in China, circa 1933

This morning I was asked a short piece on the Italian Concession in Tientsin, to serve as a bridge between two history articles of mine that are being reprinted. It was a fun job, 700 words in one hour. Thanks to all the research I did for my books,The Ministry of Thunder and Cynical Little Angels, I have tons of material on the Italian presence in China between the wars.

But I did a little web search anyway, and unearthed some stuff I had never seen before, including a photograph.

These are Italian airmen, photographed in China in the early ’30s, at the time of the Breda Ba.27 debacle that is at the start of Felice Sabatini’s adventures in China. The photo is badly colorized, but you get the idea.

“And who’s Sabatini?” my brother asked me upon seeing the picture.
Nice question.
I have of course my own candidate for the role.
But what do you guys say?

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