An Announcement about Our Royal Patronage

Lunchtime Lecture (London): A history of the Swedish Air Mission to rescue the airship “Italia” (1928)

29 October 2024

On Tuesday 29th October 2024, Pier Paolo Alfei will explore the Swedish Air Mission to rescue the survivors of the airship “Italia.” This talk will be hosted in-person at the RAF Museum’s London site and virtually via Crowdcast.
 
Talk Outline
The lecture aims to provide a first overall history of the aerial rescue expedition organized by Sweden in 1928 to contribute to the search for the survivors of the airship “Italia.” Through the cross-use of archival documentation kept mainly in Rome, Tromsø, Stockholm and Taby, the lecture will analyse what can be considered Sweden’s first Arctic air mission: an expedition that – in short – operated in Svalbard through the use of thirty men, two ships and seven aircraft (2 Fokker, 2 Heinkel HE 5, 1 Junker G24, 1 de Havilland DH.60 Moth, 1 Klemm-Daimler L20). Particular attention will be given to the international dimension of the Swedish expedition, from the cooperation with the Finns to the frictions that occurred (in Svalbard) with the Italians. The last part of the lecture will focus on Einar Lundborg, figure often associated with the rescue of the Italian General Umberto Nobile: in particular, the US coast to coast tour undertaken by the Swedish aviator in 1929 will be read as a litmus test to reflect – between history and memory – on the lights and shadows of the Swedish Air Expedition to rescue the survivors of the airship “Italia.”
Location
This hybrid lecture will be hosted in-person at the RAF Museum’s London site in the Sunderland Suite. Attendance in-person is free but registration is required via Digitickets.
Livestream
To attend virtually, register via Crowdcast.
 
About Pier Paolo Alfei
Pier Paolo Alfei is an Italian PhD student at the Catholic University of Milan, where he is working on the history of Italian polar exploration with a focus on Norge and Italia airship arctic expeditions of 1926 and 1928. His last publication is titled I due tour di Umberto Nobile attraverso gli Stati Uniti e gli italiani d’America tra consenso e dissenso politico (1926-1927) [“Quaderni di Scienze Politiche”, n.22, 2022].

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