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Hakan Gustavsson, Ludovico Slongo- Nr. 90

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Condition: As New. First US Printing. Or pictorial card. Size: 4to. Fiat CR. Seller Rating:. Available From More Booksellers.

About the Book. We're sorry; this specific copy is no longer available. AbeBooks has millions of books. We've listed similar copies below. Stock Image. Published by Osprey Publishing Used Paperback Quantity Available: 1. Published by Osprey Publishing, New York Bookmans Tucson, AZ, U. Published by Osprey Publishing. Mediaoutlet Springfield, VA, U. Published by Osprey Published by Osprey, Great Britain About this Product. The Fiat CR. Its combat debut came when the Belgian air force threw its fleet into action during the German invasion of the Low Countries on 10th May Despite being quickly overwhelmed, the Belgian pilots managed to make a number of aerial claims.

The CR.

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Drawing on research from a range of sources, this book examines the extensive employment of the Italian fighter plane during the course of World War II. Biographical Note. He runs one of the internet's oldest and largest sites surfcity. He has been in contact with numerous pilot veterans, and their families, over the past two decades, unearthing first-hand accounts and other invaluable material relating to their often forgotten wartime exploits.

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In the early spring of Allied forces in-theatre were improved with the arrival of more modern aircraft. However, for the Italians supplies were becoming increasingly difficult to come by. Indeed, when an additional 50 CR. When the British launched their new offensive in late April , only two S. With the surrender of the Amba Alagi garrison on 19 May, effective Italian resistance in-theatre ended. However, in western Ethiopia the last vestiges of the Regia Aeronautica in the AOI continued to fly sporadically from Gondar in support of ground troops until the last CR.

No fewer than seven Italian aces were created during the near 18 months of fighting in the AOI. This captured CR. This a Squadriglia aircraft along with a CR. Put on public display, both Fiat fighters survived through to the end of the war, although only small parts of the CR. It never effectively developed a strategic character of its own, and fighter pilots and all other pilots in-theatre for that matter waged war apace with the humble soldier on the ground, preceding his advance or being sac-.

Despite losing a leg in the latter campaign, he had returned to frontline flying by Botto, who claimed four kills in Spain, scored a further three victories during World War 2.

Fiat CR.42 Aces of World War 2 (Aircraft of the Aces Book 90) (English Edition) by Håkan Gustavsson

It was in North Africa, however, that Italian pilots obtained the majority of their victories. Older CR. Seeking to eradicate the modest Italian force in North Africa before it became large enough to pose a real threat, the handful of RAF fighter units based in neighbouring Egypt attempted to seize control of the skies by introducing a small number of Hurricanes into service within days of Italy entering the war.

However, these were never sufficient in number to deal with the Fiat fighters, and both sides simply skirmished until 13 September On this date Marshal Rodolfo Graziani who had taken over command in Libya after the death of Italo Balbo on 28 June ordered his army to cross the Egyptian border and head east for Suez.

Within a week his troops had got as far as Sidi Barrani, where Graziani stopped to plan his next offensive.


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  • In early December the Marshal considered that the time was right for Italian forces to push forward to ensure the capture of Marsa Matruh. On the eve of that attack, 5a Squadra Aerea could muster aircraft, of which were fully serviceable. On the British side, the RAF boasted roughly the same number of aircraft, although its fighter force now featured more Hurricanes than it had done in the autumn. The British counter-attack was as sudden as it was effective, and it caused the German high command such concern that X Fliegerkorps hastily left Sicily in late January to help shore up the routed Italian forces.

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    These consisted of 37 G. At the end of January a further two G. The arrival of the Germans, and General Erwin Rommel in particular, helped raise Italian morale, which had been completely shattered. Fighting recommenced, although at a much reduced level, with the handful of Fliegerfuhrer Afrika units seeing the bulk of the action. Due to its lack of modern aircraft, 5 a Squadra Aerea could only manage a limited contribu-. Italian fighters did, however, see much service escorting German Ju 87s into combat. And it was during the spring-summer of that co-operation between Italian and German forces began to flourish, especially at unit level.

    Such co-operation was recorded in the following report drawn up by Maggiore Baylon, then commander of a fighter unit equipped with G. I have flown 51 escort missions for German aircraft between 23 April and 6 July. For each mission we used 12 to 18 G. This proved to be an excellent operational period thanks to the precision and skill with which each mission was planned by X CAT command.

    One such outfit was C.

    The second British counter-offensive of the campaign, codenamed Crusader, was launched in the early hours of 18 November , and one of the first Axis units to feel the direct effects of this was 20o Gruppo. Only three G. The unit returned to Italy soon afterwards. By early January the British had advanced halfway across Libya to El Agheila, although their planned conquest of the whole of the country was thwarted when Rommel counter-attacked on the 21st of the month. All available fighter units were launched to harry the retreating Allied troops, and by 29 January Axis forces had reoccupied Benghasi, where 6o and o Gruppi took up residence.

    On 30 January the 8th Army commander Ritchie decided to retire behind the Gazala line which. Operating CR. Finally, all three fighters visible in this shot have white-painted upper wingtips, which was the theatre marking adopted by the Regia Aeronautica to facilitate rapid identification of friendly aircraft in North Africa. It features the yellowpainted cowling applied to all Italian fighters and some reconnaissance and bomber types operating in North Africa from late onwards.

    This practice was officially discontinued in October , after which yellow theatre markings were only retained on aircraft assigned to the Eastern Front. Undaunted, Rommel continued his chase, directing all aerial forces to soften up the port stronghold. German bombers carried out the bulk of these attacks in daylight hours, relying on C. Bf s, covering them from afar, failed to come to their assistance for some reason.

    The Italian pilots took up the overwhelming challenge, fighting to their limits, and enabling the German formation to return home unharmed — at the cost of six C. A formation of 24 Kittyhawks was found neatly parked wing-to-wing on the ground, and these were duly attacked. When the Axis armoured divisions launched their attack in the afternoon, C. Finally, that evening, after some Italian and German aircraft had attacked Tobruk, the beleaguered stronghold finally surrendered.

    Following the fall of Tobruk, Axis troops kept the pressure on retreating Allied forces, at times advancing as much as 50 kilometres in a day. Air support now entered a critical phase, for ground equipment could not be transferred to advanced airfields at the same rate as mechanised troops were heading eastward. Moreover, the movement of troops hindered proper logistical co-operation, which, in truth, had never been properly planned by either the Italians or the Germans.

    Fortunately, the RAF failed to put in much of an appearance during the headlong Allied retreat, leaving the vulnerable Axis ground columns to go about their business practically undisturbed. Equally, Axis units never really exploited the grave situation that now faced the Allies, allowing the retreat to continue in an orderly manner.

    Fiat CR.42 Aces of World War 2

    In such circumstance, had the full weight of Italian and German air power intheatre been brought to bear, the retreat could have ended in a rout. Moreover, the line had been well fortified with fresh reserve troops, obstacles and minefields. Finally, and most importantly, during the course of full cooperation between the 8th Army and the Desert Air Force had been. Groundcrewmen can be seen trying to manhandle the aircraft at left away from the blazing fighter, whilst a pilot dashes towards the C.

    The fighter in the foreground was the aircraft assigned to 97a Squadriglia commander, Capitano Fernando Malvezzi, who was credited with ten kills. Such co-operation did not just happen overnight, having instead been tried and tested throughout the various advances and retreats that had punctuated the North African campaign to date.

    Such a system was totally lacking amongst the Italian forces, which meant that the Regia Aeronautica could not guarantee functional tactical support for Axis troops on the ground. This failure would soon prove fatal. At this time Italian aircraft had a declared average serviceability rate of just 60 per cent, which compared with the RAF figure of between 73 and 77 per cent.