Italy and Spain used the S.M.81s.
S.M.81s were used in the bombing of Ethiopian troops.
Spanish Civil War
Starting in 1936 the S.M.81 was used in the Spanish Civil War. They were used to transport General Franco's troops from North Africa.
The S.M. 81 was viewed as a success in the Spanish Civil War but it never went up against any heavy enemy defenses.
Start of World War II
There were ~300 / 304 S.M.81s in service with Italy in June 1940. In the Mediterranean there were 147 and 59 in East Africa.
The 4° and 29° Gruppi were used in raids on Khartoum, Port Sudan, and Aden.
Use in the Mediterranean
The 39° Stormo used S.M.81s to attack the British fleet. In the Western Desert the S.M.81s were used primarily as transports.
The S.M.81s were often used as nighttime bombers.
Benito Mussolini used a modified S.M.81 as his personal transport and was called the Taratuga (tortoise).
The following bomber Stormi were equipped with S.M.81s: 7°, 8°, 9°, 14°, 15°, 37°, 38°, 39°
The following transport Stormo was equipped with the S.M.81: 18°
After the Armistice
There were four S.M. 81s that remained in the south after the Italian Armistice in September 1943.
Post World War II
Some of the S.M.81s served in the Aeronautica Militare Italiana until 1951.