The operation of Italian pyrotechnics was demonstrated before the Second Corps Gas School of the American Expeditionary Forces on February 28, 1919. The conspicuous features exhibited were the following:

1. Parachute Illuminating Flare (Model Poma)

Description and method of employment. - It is composed of a heavy pasteboard tube that surrounds another tube of sheet iron, which when it arrives at the top of the trajectory expels an illuminating flare that is suspended from a parachute. For the firing of this flare, hold firmly with the left hand the throwing tube, giving it an inclination of 45°, and with the right hand pull out the ignition string that is in the lower part of the flare. This string should be pulled with an energetic stroke. The flare is used to illuminate an extensive zone of ground and has a duration of about 40 seconds.

Composition of illuminating mixture. - Barium nitrate, potassium nitrate, gumlac, and aluminum.

2. Rocket For Day Signaling (Model Poma)

(A) Black Smoke

Description and method of employment. - It is composed of a tube of pasteboard with a charge of black powder that serves to raise the flare. When this flare arrives at the top of its trajectory it expels a smoke bomb, which emits a black smoke, while suspended from a parachute, giving off smoke for about 20 seconds. This is a stick rocket and is fired in the usual way with a string pull.

Composition of mixture. - Coal tar, potassium chlorate, red phosphorus, white napthaline and wood sawdust.

(B) Yellow Smoke

Description and method of employment. - This rocket is similar to the one which produces the black smoke, except that a yellow smoke is produced for a period of 20 seconds. It is fired as in 2 (a).

Composition of mixture. - Potassium nitrate, sulphur, antimony sulphide, and red arsenic.

(C) Small Blue Cloud

Description and method of employment. - When the rocket arrives at the top of its trajectory a small bomb in a paper envelope is expelled and after three seconds produces a small blue cloud. It is fired as in 2 (a).

Composition of mixture. - Ultramarine blue and potassium nitrate.

(D) Silver-Colored Spray

Description and method of employment. - At the top of the trajectory there are expelled 32 capsules of the aluminum mixture which light and drop rapidly, forming a spray of very bright small white lights. Duration of action ten seconds. It is fired as in 2 (a).

Composition of mixture. - Gumlac, aluminum, barium nitrate, and potassium nitrate.

(E) Red Smoke

Description and method of employment. - This rocket is similar and is fired similarly to 2 (a), except that a red smoke is produced.

Composition of mixture. - Mercuric sulphide (cinnibar).

3. Flares For Night Signaling (Model Poma)

(A) Red Spray

Description and method of employment. - Methods of firing same as for No. 2. At the top of its trajectory it expels 30 small capsules of red fire that drop rapidly. It has a duration of action of about ten seconds.

Composition of mixture. - Potassium chlorate, lamp black, strontium carbonate, gumlac, and magnesium.

(B) Green Sprat

Description and method of employment. - General description same as for No. 2. Action same as of No. 3 (a), except that the 30 capsules are filled with green-fire composition. Duration of action, 10 seconds.

Composition of mixture. - Barium chlorate, gumlac, magnesium.

(C) Changing Between Red And Green

Description and method of employment. - General description same as for No. 2. A flare is expelled which is attached to a parachute. The flare changes from red to green, green to red, and to green again. Duration of action, 40 seconds.

Composition of mixture. - For red, same as 3 (a); for green, same as 3 (b).

(D) Tricolor

Description and method of employment. - General description same as for No. 2. At the top of the trajectory there is expelled a wire to which are attached three capsules. This wire is fastened to a parachute. The three capsules are filled with three different mixtures, giving red, white, and green colors, respectively.

Composition of mixture. - White, same as No. 1. Red, same as 3 (a). Green, same as 3 (b).

These flares above enumerated are used to effect liaison between the Artillery and Infantry. Each flare has a different meaning. In the Italian forces each army has its own code. In case one code falls into the hands of the enemy, the code is changed only for the sector covered by that code and not for the whole front.

All these flares, except No. 1, have wooden sticks. In firing, No. 1 is held by the left hand and the interior portion shoots out. The others are fired similarly to American firework rockets. The recoil of No. 1 is very strong, and it must therefore be properly supported before firing.