Superga Air Disaster: The Fallen Hero’s of Grande Torino Part 2 #806

Two Year Absence: Football stop due to the WAR

World War II: A Military And Social History | The Great Courses

Ferruccio Novo took all the appropriate steps building Torino into what we later referred to as Grande Torino. He was able to put this team together and they finally we’re getting the recognition as the Torino side returned to glory. Juventus may have still been The prominent Club in the city but it was only going to last for so long as Grande Torino was coming. The 1942-1943 League-winning campaigns showed the promise and expectation of what was to come. Such a prominent team at least that was on the cusp of what was happening. Torino had conquered the league title and even took the Coppa Italia they had the team and personnel to go even further. Everything was at their fingertips the world was on their shoulders they were building a walking Giant in one of the oldest cities in Italy. Torino had its eyes on continued Glory but unfortunately, it would have to wait. Not because of another team regaining power quite the opposite. Football had temporarily stopped there was none at all. In fact, they was not another match for two years. This was certainly something that did not help the situation. They had worked so hard to get to a place where they could win trophies they had the momentum confidence and accolades now to really take it up a level but unfortunately, the war stood in the way of the continued progress. Not a single match will be played in the Italian top-flight until 1945. World War II was going on at the time and they needed all the help they could get. The war destroyed so many lives football was a sense of hope to give to the people. Even though they might not have been the most important thing in the world it gave people a reason to believe again but football stopped as the war continued. It became impossible for the football to continue being able to travel was a problem and because of this it largely attributed to the two-year absence from football. World War II ultimately ended with the unconditional surrender of the Axis powers on the 8th of May 1945 signaling the end of the war. The Allies accepted Germany surrender about a weak after Hitler committed suicide after so much suffering and pain the war was finally over. From Pearl Harbor to the Holocaust Hitler was dead and even though there were some suffering times a sense of Joy hope and happiness pierced through the countries that were involved.


Historic Trio: Guglielmo Gabetto,Valentino Mazzola & Ezio Loik

Sticker 17: Loik-Gabetto-Mazzola - Panini Azzurro Mondiale 1910 ...

The 1945-1946 season was the first campaign that followed the two-year absence. Wartime disruptions and the US occupational of Northern Ireland forced to divide the Serie A Championship into two sections north and South some of the Southern sides took part in the competition. Due to everything that happens they had to change the system temporarily but by the next season it was back to the way it was before. Before the war, Torino had won just their second Championship. Following everything that was built and the title they claimed it was a transition. There was the concern of whether or not grande Torino which they were later referred to as could continue their success that they were heading towards before the league stopped for the war. There was a real question whether or not they could just pick up where they left off 2 years is a long time Having spent away from the game especially with teammates that you have to be on the same page with. Could Torino really just keep it going despite the absence? it was unprecedented territory even though Torino was a team with quality from back to front everyone was 2 years older and had not played in 2 years it could have caused some issues on the pitch. Trying to recreate the success they had before the war was going to be their biggest ever challenge not just for Torino but for everyone in football.


Grande Torino’s Run Through Italy


There is a lot of all-time great teams however only the truly great ones have names attached to their achievements. They work all the Grande Torino for a reason as great as other teams have been this was a different animal. Could this team really win the league title not play for two years and continue to win? How would that be possible unique camaraderie and involvement with one another to win as a team. You would think there would have been some struggles but this was Grande Torino. They return to the pitch and it was like they never left. I was not alive during that time but I’m assuming there were struggles at the beginning but nonetheless, their goal in mind never escaped from their thoughts. Even when they were in the war they were thinking about their families of course but the league title still is on their mind. Football is life in this part of the country in Italy it is one of the only things that matter. They always were thinking about it trying to categorize their thoughts in hopes of being able to reclaim that title before the war. The 1945-46 season was something truly special not many teams can go through what they did and continue to win but that’s exactly what they did and that’s why they’re called Grande Torino they continued to prove it year after year after year. In 1945-46 Torino made it back-to-back titles. 42 points took them to Glory beating Inter Milan for the league title. In addition to that, they had the highest-scoring team in the league with 65 goals and only conceded 18 which was on the lowest ever seen in Italian football. What they were able to prove as despite all the circumstances that led up to that point the greatness was within them there’s never going to be more difficult circumstances then what Torino had to endure from winning the title from a two-year absence from the war and then winning again. There couldn’t possibly be anything more difficult to live up to at least at that point in time that was the thought. Torino would have to deal with something even more difficult in years to come but for them to do all that behind that brilliance shows everyone why they were called Grande Torino They were more than a team because what they achieved. Torino had back-to-back titles and they got even better they were running through Italian football the next season in 1946-47 they took what they had already achieved and they lit the league on fire. Torino won the league title for the third consecutive season. Even beyond that, they found life quite easy they finished 10 points clear of city rivals Juventus. The bigger Club in Torino was beginning to be a serious question. Juventus had that immediate success but Grande Torino was becoming something unimaginable in Italian football. They were the national team and in the city, they were starting to become the dominant force in Italian football. Torino had the second-best defense that year but what they did off pensively is what set them apart. Grande Torino scored 104 goals in the league 21 more than Juventus. Gabetto and Valentino Mazzola were the most Unstoppable Force in European football. The future all-time greats were ripping through Italian defenses all season largely attributed to their third consecutive title. During the run, Grande Torino consistently had some of the best players in the world. The 1947-48 season it was the greatest single-season in the history of Italian football. Torino set records during that year that will never be broken no matter how many opportunities that are given to the great teams of modern-day no team in Italian football has ever or will ever accomplish some of the feats that they pulled off during that season. After 1947-48 there was no disputing who was the greatest team in Italian football. Torino, also we’re clearly the Kings in Turin. They finished that season with 65 points 17 more than their City Rivals Juventus and Inter. They were the Kings Juventus were the peasants. Once again they had the best defense in the entire league only conceding 33 goals all season. However, the most important factor was the number of goals they were able to score. Gabetto and Valentino Mazzola, as well as others, lead an attack that even to this day it’s considered the best in history. In 1947-48 season Torino scored 125 goals in the league the most in the history of Italian football. It is a number that is unreachable there been a lot of great things no one has even got close 2 what Grande Torino did. They conquered their fourth consecutive title. They win before the war two years later with no football then won four straight Torino was slowly becoming one of the biggest clubs in European football. The 1948-1949 season was the last time we ever saw them. Even after four straight league titles Torino only continued their domination with 60 points they won the title at five points clear of Inter Milan it was their fifth consecutive title once again they had the best defense in the league and even though they have the number of goals in the attack which wasn’t as impressive from the two years prior they still were ruthless and quite simply the greatest team in Italy. They would win the title but unfortunately, it would come at a cost. May 4th, 1949 the great Grande Torino went up in flames. Grande Torino was coming off five scudetto’s in a row. They were the most dominant force in all of Italian football. They were symbolism of Pride and Joy of their Homeland. Torino, we’re Italian football an unrest times during the war and even afterward they were the reason behind the belief in people. They were iconic truly one of the greatest teams in the history of football. The success and accomplishments they were able to accumulate even in the harshest moments made Italy fall in love with them. They represented the people and the things they stood for. Under different circumstances, they would have continued winning and ultimately develop and earned the right to call themselves the biggest Club in World football. This team was on a trajectory to reach an elite status that in the modern-day would be celebrated at a much higher level. They represented the football but they also represented the people they were Kings in Turin they were symbolic in Italian football the majority of the national team was built with Torino players they were bigger than the sport itself.


The Hill of Superga Disaster 

They never got the storybook ending they deserved on May 4th, 1949 they perished in a crash as the heart of Italian football was a ripped out of Italy. Late in the season during their final campaign of Glory, the team collectively took a trip to Portugal as they would play a friendly match against SL Benfica to show respect and honor for Benfica captain Francesco Ferreira. The entire team of the Grande Torino lost their lives on their return to Italy. Ferruccio Novo didn’t make the trip because of influenza and a Torino fullback and a reserve goalkeeper did not board the plane due to injury concerns. However, the entire team, as well as coaches and a media Personnel all, boarded the plane. The three-engine the three engine Fiat 212 aircraft took off from Lisbon at 9:40 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4th, 1949. The plane landed at the airport in Barcelona at 13:00 the plane needed to refuel during The Layover. The Grande Torino team met with AC Milan who was in the airport on their way to Madrid. Something that I imagine was very emotional for the AC Milan players given what ultimately happened. After lunch, AC Milan said goodbye to the Grande Torino team they never saw each other again. The flight set off at 14:50 for the airport in Turin. It turned out to be really horrible weather conditions that impacted the Pilot. The plane ultimately directed North in the direction of the capital of Piermont. Where the plane was expected to arrive in 30 minutes. The weather conditions were really complicated and the communication became increasingly difficult as time passed. the pilot was made aware of the weather problems clouds almost touching the ground showers strong gust of wind to the Southwest as well as very poor horizontal visibility from 40 m 130 ft. the tower ultimately asked for the Pilot’s position the pilot responded after a few minutes of silence at around 16:59. The pilot said 2000 M 6600 feet he mentioned that they would cut at Superga which was located southeast of Torino. On the approach, Plane lined up with Runway about nine miles away to the West at 3:05 m. Just north was the Basilica of Superga. The plane suffered adrift that put the plane off course. which shifted the direction at the hill of Superga. Speculation argued that it is possible that the altimeter had malfunctioned and locked in 2000 Which made the pilots think that they were at a higher altitude. At 17:03 the plane made a right turn to the left but it was too late the plane crashed into the back of the embankment of the Basilica of Superga. The pilot who potentially believe that the hill of Superga I was off to his right would have suddenly emerged Direct in front of him at 180 kilometers per hour it is very likely he was unable to react. There was no indication from the wreckage open attempt to go around. This likely means based on how everything unveiled There was nothing that could have been done to salvage them. At 17:05 on May 4th, 1949 they receive no response of the 31 people on board the crash obliterated the greatest team in the history of football there were no survivors. Every player that boarded that plane died on the impact of the crash. Mothers and fathers lost their sons, sisters and brothers lost their siblings and kids lost their fathers. These kids had to live life without their dad’s which no child should ever have to go through. In the football world we lost the team they gave us a reason to believe again. That would be the end of Grande Torino as the heart of Italy was stripped from all of us. Former Italian manager who won World Cups Victorio Pozo was given the Dreadful job of trying to identify the bodies. He had given a lot of these young men opportunities to play on the national team. After the crash at the request of rival teams, Torino were proclaimed the winners of that year’s championship. Torino’s Reserve team would play out the final four games of the season and they won all four of them really showing the courage and belief that the Grande Torino gave all of us. At their funeral half, a million people ran to the streets of Turin to give a final goodbye to the team that gave its people hope. A propeller, a tire, scattered pieces of fuse, and personal bags of some of the players were the remaining pieces from the crash. They have been preserved and are displayed in a museum near Turin. The museum was opened on May 4th, 2008 the anniversary of the tragedy. Eight of the 18 players as well as two coaches and a journalist were buried at a memorial nearby where the crash took place. It was one of the saddest moments in the history of Italian culture, not just football. In April 2016 Torino Stadium was renamed the Stadio Grande Torino even more important was the return of their old stadium the Filadelfia closed in 1963 it was reopened in 2016 the same location of the stadium in which Grande Torino played. The stadium does not have the capacity to fulfill their Serie A games but the first team trains there and the youth team plays in that very Stadium 90 years after hosting his first game. It devastated an entire nation unbelievable beginning had a catastrophic ending.


The Stadio Grande Torino: In Honor of the Fallen Hero’s

A general view of the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino during the ...



















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