Designed in 1917 by Ansaldo engineer Giuseppe Brezzi, the Ansaldo A.1 Balilla was the first fighter aircraft developed by the Italians during World War I. In trials, Pier Piccio gave the Balilla a favorable review but criticized the gun installation, the narrow cockpit and several other details. 91aSquadriglia, received the first Balillas in the summer of 1918. But shoddy workmanship and a number of other problems led many Italian pilots to conclude the Balilla was unfit for combat.
Italian ace Leopoldo Eleuteri was the only flyer to score a confirmed victory with the Balilla. Following the Armistice, many of these planes were exported to Poland and other nations.