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The Blériot XI gained lasting fame on 25 July 1909 when Blériot crossed the English Channel from Calais to Dover, winning a £1,000 prize awarded by the Daily Mail. The first Blériot XIs entered military service in Italy and France in 1910, and a year later, some of those were used in action by Italy in North Africa (the first use of aircraft in a war) and in Mexico. The Royal Flying Corps received its first Blériots in 1912. During the early stages of the First World War, eight French, six British and six Italian squadrons operated various military versions of the aircraft, mainly in observation duties but also as trainers, and in the case of single-seaters, as light bombers with a bomb load of up to 25 kg.