On this day: the downing of Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870

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The recovered wreckage in 2007. X

On the 27th of June, 1980, Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 disappeared from the sky during a flight from Bologna to Palermo, Italy.

The plane crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea, killing all eighty-one people on board.

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While it was concluded by British investigators that a bomb on the aircraft caused the disaster, to this day Italian officials insist a missile was fired at the plane.

The disaster occurred in the middle of a wave of terrorist acts to hit Italy (such as the Bologna Bombing), fuelled by far left and right-wing groups in the country’s north.

On this day: Preparing for Battle

This photograph, dated the 24th of June, 1918, shows Italian troops at 10am, waiting for battle.

They are in the commune of Nervesa, in the northern Italian Veneto region, an area that was largely destroyed in battle in the days immediately before.

The soldiers retook the region from the Austro-Hungarians.

World War 1 - Italian Army Nervesa - Italian troops at 10am on 24th June 1918 near the train station before the battle

On this day: Italy declares war.

Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini stands on the balcony of the Palazzo Venezia in Rome to declare war on France and Great Britain on the 10th of June, 1940.

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Mussolini_DOW_10_June_1940 Italian leader Benito Mussolini delivering his war declaration on France and Great britain from the Palazzo Venezia Balcony in Rome. Fscist dictator.

Meanwhile, in Turin in the north of the country, people gather in a piazza to listen to the declaration on the radio.

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Turin-10-6-1940 People in Charles Albert Square, Turin, listening to the radio message of Benito Mussolini from Rome, announcing the italian declaration of war, 10th June 1940.

On this day…

Mount Vesuvius in Italy erupted in March, 1944, destroying a number of villages.

North American soldiers were in the area at the time, fighting in the Second World War.

The original caption of the picture reads:

Crew member cleaning the ashes and cinders off the wing of a North American B-25 of the 340th Bomb Group. This was caused by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius on 23 March 1944.

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Mt Vesuvius in 1944

Mount Vesuvius, a volcano on the Gulf of Naples in Italy, had one of its more destructive eruptions in March 1944.

The eruption destroyed the villages of San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, Massa di Somma and Ottaviano. Part of San Giorgio a Cremano was also destroyed.

John Reinhardt, serving in the US Army Air Forces in the Second World War, took this photograph.

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