Let's talk about the point after WW2 where the Knights Hospitaller, of medieval crusading fame, 'accidentally' became a major European air power.
I shitteth ye not. 🛩️🛩️
1) Angry Christians on armoured horses
2) Them being wiped out long ago like the Templars.
3) Some Dan Brown bullshit
And you would be (mostly) wrong about all three. Which is sort of how this happened.
They also quite liked boats. Which were useful for both.
As the Templars fatally discovered, being weak AND having the King of France owe you money is a bad combo.
Being a useful NAVY, however, wins you friends.
Suleiman the Magnificent FINALLY managed it in 1522 with 200,000 men. But even he had to agree to let the survivors leave.
Because that's how good rents were pre-housing crisis in Europe.
The Knights, fighting almost to the last man, held out and won.
(Partly because the French contingent of the Knights swapped sides)
THE KNIGHTS: Can we have our strategically important island back please?
THE BRITISH: What island?
THE KNIGHT: That island
THE BRITISH: Nope. Can't see an island
But every offer was conditional on the Knights dropping their claim to Malta. Which they REFUSED to do.
It's the 1900s. The Knights are still a stateless state complaining about Malta. What that means legally is a can of worms NO ONE wants to open in international law but they've also rediscovered their original mission (healthcare) so everyone kinda ignores them
Italy surrenders. The allies move on then...
Who wrote this peace deal again?
This is because it presupposes that relations between the west and the Soviets will be good, and so limits Italy's MILITARY.
This is a problem.
But the treaty limits the Italians to 400 airframes, and bans them from owning ANYTHING that might be a bomber.
This can be changed, but not QUICKLY.
Then someone remembers about the Knights
And they're not bound by the WW2 peace treaty.
The Knights reasonably point out that they're not in the business of fighting wars anymore, but anything that could be called a SUPPORT aircraft is another matter.
The Italians transfer all of their support and training aircraft to the Knights.
This then frees up the 'cap room' to allow the US to boost Italy's warfighting ability WITHOUT breaking the WW2 peace treaty.
Eventually the treaties were reworked, and everything was quietly transferred back. I suspect it's a reason why the sovereign status of the Knights remains unchallenged still today though.
..,and even have a tiny bit of Malta back.
More here: orderofmalta.int