Italians love their food. And they love it fresh. You know this. What you might not know, though, is the lengths they will go to in order to enjoy a fine dining experience.
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When the Italian army advanced across the Danakil Desert in north-eastern Ethiopia during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, it was crucial that they travel with as little as possible. The desert, named by National Geographic as "The Cruelest Place on Earth," is pockmarked with volcanoes and known for its oppressive heat. With 120 miles of nothingness ahead of them, the troops had to move fast.
Enter the flying supply column, a new idea in warfare at the time, but one that would be used again in future conflicts. Twenty-five planes carried water, ammunition and rations for the Italians as they advanced on Emperor Haile Selassie's Army of the Ethiopian Empire. As they supposedly refused to eat the standard pre-packaged processed food that accompanied most armies and because fresh meat would spoil in the extreme temperatures of Danakil, the supply planes dropped living animals for the troops to butcher and cook. By the time the army had finished their trek, seventy-two sheep and two bulls had been pushed from planes, parachutes strapped to their backs.
Images: Click: The National Picture Monthly (Vol. 1 No. 7; August, 1938) via OldMagazineArticles.com.