[13], In Italian East Africa the Regia Aeronautica performed better than in other war theaters. In 1952, the Italian Air Force was granted jet fighters for the first time, American F-84G Thunderjets and F-86D Sabres, together with over 200 licence-built British de Havilland Vampires; these were followed by F-84F fighters and C-119 Flying Boxcar transport planes from the United States. The Italian airmen started to fear Maltese fighters and AA artillery, so much that the flight to the besieged island became known as the rotta della morte, the "route of death". When the Greco-Italian War started on 28 October 1940, the Regia Aeronautica fielded 193 combat aircraft, which initially failed to achieve air superiority against the Royal Hellenic Air Force (RHAF), which had 128 operational aircraft out of a total of 158. This group was part of the National Republican Air Force of the Italian Social Republic. BY DECADE. The first supersonic fighters added to the Italian Air Force were American-designed F-104 Starfighters that were produced by a group of several European aircraft companies, including Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm, Dornier, Fiat, Fokker and SABCA. May 29, 2020 - Explore Johnno's board "Italian Airforce" on Pinterest. [citation needed]. A popular vote by the people resulted in the end of the Kingdom of Italy and the establishment of the Italian Republic on 18 June 1946. Buy Wings Of Italy: The Italian Air Force in original WW2 colour pictures by Gregory Alegi, Baldassare Catalanotto (ISBN: 9788887261165) from Amazon's Book … When fighting commenced in North Africa in June 1940, the Royal Air Force's (RAF) Air Headquarters Egypt immediately mounted bombing missions against Italian targets in Libya and helped repel the Italian offensive into Egypt. However, the Regia Aeronautica lost 72 planes and 122 aircrew[4] while supporting the operations of the Regio Esercito, sometimes dropping poison gas bombs against the Ethiopian army. The Macchi C.200 Saetta (Italian: both Arrow or Lightning), or MC.200, was a World War II fighter aircraft built by Aeronautica Macchi in Italy, and used in various forms throughout the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force). The Regia Marina (Royal Navy) had its own air arm, operating locally built flying boats. Italy ArtItaly ItalyKingdom Of ItalyOrientalEmpire RomainNose ArtEast … Early on, the fighters available to both sides were primarily older biplanes, with Italian Fiat CR.32 and Fiat CR.42s flying against British Gloster Gladiators. While numerically still a force to be reckoned with, it was hampered by the local aircraft industry which was using obsolete production methods. The Macchi C.200 Saetta (Italian: both Arrow or Lightning), or MC.200, was a World War II fighter aircraft built by Aeronautica Macchi in Italy, and used in various forms throughout the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force). At last, on 24 October 1941, about one month prior to the final Italian surrender, the last Italian aircraft of the campaign, a Fiat CR.42, was shot down. The Regia Aeronautica was forced on the defensive during the Sicilian Campaign. It was under command of Generale Rino Corso Fougier. The Air Corps pulled out of operations in January 1943, transferring to Odessa. The Italian air force became an independent service—the Regia Aeronautica—on March 28, 1923. Initially, the Western Desert Campaign was a near equal struggle between the Regia Aeronautica and the British Royal Air Force (RAF). On 8 May 1945, the hostilities ended, beginning the rebirth of military aviation in Italy. Of the Regia Aeronautica's approximately 1,760 aircraft, only 900 could be considered in … In northern Italy, the National Republican Air Force (Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, or ANR) flew for the Italian Social Republic and the Axis. It also received the new Lockheed-Aeritalia F-104S Starfighter fighters for ground attack and air-defence purposes. By the end of the following month, Italians had only 13 serviceable aircraft left in East Africa. 17º Stormo Incursori the raiders corp of Italian Air Force. In mid 1942 the more modern Macchi C. 202 was introduced to operations in Russia. Here is a list of the aces attributed with ten or more kills. The Italian Air Force (Italian: Aeronautica Militare; AM) is the air force of the Italian Republic. The Italian Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica Italiana) was the name of the air force of the Kingdom of Italy. [14] Some of these aircraft were outdated, but the Italians had Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 (12 examples) and Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 bombers and Fiat CR.42 fighters. [18] Bad weather and planes inadequate to that war theater hindered effective action by the CAI. [29], The Regia Aeronautica began its attacks on the British crown colony of Gibraltar and its important naval base from July 1940. During World War I, the Italian Corpo Aeronautico Militare, then still part of the Regio Esercito (Royal Army), operated a mix of French fighters and locally built bombers, notably the gigantic Caproni aircraft. This air force was known as the Regia Aeronautica (Royal Air Force). Finally, just few days after the start of the war, Italian pilots were confronted by No. During the final stages of the war, the Regia Aeronautica deployed up to 386 aircraft, operating from Eritrea and Somalia. In 2003, the Italian Air Force extended its capabilities to small-scale land warfare by small special-forces units. [5], During the Spanish Civil War Italian pilots fought alongside Spanish Nationalist and German Luftwaffe pilots as members of the Aviazione Legionaria ("Aviation Legion"). Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). However, during the first three months, Regia Aeronautica lost 84 aircraft and had 143 aircrew personnel killed and 71 wounded, but the losses did not halt Italian operations. The Royal Italian Air Force (hereafter RIAF) won a stunning 96 international aviation awards during this period. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Italy was at the forefront of aerial warfare: during the colonization of Libya in 1911, it made the first reconnaissance flight in history on 23 October, and the first ever bombing raid on 1 November. The last raids on Gibraltar were flown during the 1943 Allied landing in Algeria, when those bombers also made a successful strike on the port of Oran. In reality, only 2000 aircraft were fit for operations, of which just 166 were modern fighters (89 Fiat G.50s and 77 Macchi MC.200s), both slower than potential opponents as the Hawker Hurricane, the Supermarine Spitfire and the Dewoitine D.520. The Italian Air Force had begun the war with nearly 2,000 operational aircraft ready for combat and with almost the same number in reserve. American military aid sent by the Mutual Defense Assistance Program brought about the introduction of American-made P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang propeller-driven fighter planes. German and Allied artillery also took … There are a total of [ 58 ] WW2 Italian Aircraft (1939-1945)entries in the Military Factory. The Air Force was split into the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force in the south aligned with the Allies, and the pro-Axis Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana in the north until the end of the war. During the 1930s, the fledgling Regia Aeronautica was involved in its first military operations, first in Ethiopia in 1935, and later in the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939. In August 1941 the Regia Aeronautica sent an Air Corps of 1,900 personnel to the Eastern Front as an attachment to the "Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia" (Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Russia, or CSIR) and then the "Italian Army in Russia" (Armata Italiana in Russia, or ARMIR) were known as the "Italian Air Force Expeditionary Corps in Russia" (Corpo Aereo Spedizione in Russia). The ensuing fighting took a heavy tole on civiliansas fighting took place up the Itlalian Peninsula as the Allies fought their way north toward the Reich. The CSIR was subsumed by the ARMIR in 1942 and the ARMIR was disbanded in early 1943 after disaster during the Battle of Stalingrad. Giovanni Massimello in his article “Gli Assi Italiani” Aero Fan N69 April 1999 notes that “It is a well-known fact that contrary to WW1 the Italian government did not release an official list of Aces”. It was named Corpo Aereo Italiano, or CAI. By the September 1943 the Air Force numbered 1,200 aircraft of which about half were serviceable. An MC-205, among the best WW2 Italy airplanes The Royal Italian Air Force – The Regia Aeronautica – was considered one of the most advanced in the world. Italian pilots were constantly fighting against Allied efforts to sink Regia Marina ships. There was also the usual lack of co-operation between the Italian Navy and Army. 80 Squadron, led by the outstanding ace Marmaduke Pattle and equipped with Gloster Gladiators, No. Gradually, Italian air power (including Squadriglie flying from Italian air bases) grew to over 400 aircraft against the dwindling numbers of the Greeks. In mid-1942, during the Battle of Bir Hakeim (26 May 1942 – 11 June 1942) the new Macchi C.202 fighter outperformed all of the Desert Air Force's fighters,[23] achieving an unprecedented ratio kill/loss of 4.4/1, better than that of famed Messerschmitt Bf 109s (3.5/1) fighting the same battle. In mid-October, the Italians also bombed American-operated oil refineries in the British Protectorate of Bahrain. The first ANR fighter unit was the 101st Gruppo Autonomo Caccia Terrestre, based in Florence. the Army and the Navy). On 28 March 1923, the Italian Air Force was founded as an independent service by King Vittorio Emanuele III of the Kingdom of Italy. It was established as a service independent of the Royal Italian Army from 1923 until 1946. Personnel losses suffered during the conflict consisted of 3007 dead or missing, 2731 wounded and 9873 prisoners of war.[38]. The Regia Aeronautica tended not to keep statistics on the individual level, instead reporting kills for a certain unit, attributed to their unit commander. In 1990, after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Italy joined the coalition forces, and for the first time in 45 years Italian pilots and aircraft were assigned to combat operations. This was aimed at pushing the British back and retaking the greater Mediterranean, as in ancient Roman times. During Rommel's first offensive, the Italians managed to divert RAF attacks from his forces and covered his retreat during the British Operation Crusader, while inflicting heavy losses on RAF bombers. Two days later, CR.42s from 3° Stormo and 53° Stormo attacked again French Air Force bases and clashed with Dewoitine D.520s and Bloch MB.152s, claiming eight kills for five losses. In relative terms, these were some of the best aircraft on hand to either side at the beginning of the East African Campaign. [11] In 1941, Regia Aeronautica carried out further attacks on Malta, but less intensely than in 1940. Tornado fighters were still in service with all three countries, plus a few more, as of 2019. The Italian Air Force was founded as an independent service arm on 28 March 1923 by King Victor Emmanuel III as the Regia Aeronautica ("Royal Air Force"). Up to the end of 1940, the Regia Aeronautica carried out 7410 sorties against the island, dropping 550 tons of bombs, but losing 35 aircraft. The Air Ministry, blinded by the success of the Fiat CR.32, persisted in its belief that the biplane could still dominate the sky, and ordered large numbers of Fiat CR.42s, the last war biplane in history. Italian companies worked with the Embraer Company of Brazil in a smaller project to develop and produce the AMX International AMX aircraft. Massimello, Giovanni and Giorgio Apostolo. It comprised White spinners were used on fighters in Italy, with white extended to engine cowlings, particularly on bombers, in the Mediterranean. [33] However, from that point on, the role of the Regia Aeronautica in the Balkans Campaign was primarily that of supporting the Luftwaffe. Italian Air Force Patch Aeronautica Militare AM 51 Stormo Wing Gatto Nero Black Cat 1970s F 86 Sabre Interceptor F 104 Starfighter Bomber Rubber cut edge 97 by 76mm three and thirteen sixteenth by three inches. It later saw action in Albania and Greece, where it acquitted itself surprisingly well against British hurricanes. After the Italian disasters during Operation Compass and the arrival of General Erwin Rommel and his German Africa Corps, the Regia Aeronautica fought side by side with the German Luftwaffe in the Western Desert. Probable kills are usually left out of the list. During the 1970s, the Air Force acquired the Italian Aeritalia G222 and the modern American C-130 Hercules tactical transport planes, capable of carrying cargo or paratroopers. The transfer of the planes was completed by 19 October. The Italian Airf Force was not as powerful as their German ally. Mussolini announced in 1934 that he can mobilize 6 Million soldiers, in 1936 he increased the number to 8 million and in 1939 to 12 million. In addition, the Italian aircraft were often based at better airfields than those of the British and Commonwealth forces. It is necessary to emphasize that the question of assessing and comparing the success rate of fighters by number of victories is one of the more problematic. The CR.42s clashed with British Hawker Hurricanes and Supermarine Spitfires just two times, in November. In the years leading up to World War II, the Italian government encouraged its aviation companies to develop innovative aircraft to meet the needs of the pre-WW2 Italian air force, the Regia Aeronautica . Italian aircraft dropped a total of 276 tons of bombs. [10] The RAF, however, reported no losses. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). The Typhoons are intended to replace all of the F-104, Tornado ADV and F-16 aircraft. The Regia Aeronautica participated in the air offensive on the British controlled island of Malta along with the German Air Force in an attempt to protect the Axis sea routes from Sicily, Sardinia, and Italy to North Africa. The Regia Aeronautica could deploy more than 3,000 aircraft, although fewer than 60% were serviceable. [16] The Italian Air Force (Italian: Aeronautica Militare; AM) is the air force of the Italian Republic. This support role continued during the occupation of Greece and Yugoslavia that followed. This deployment took place from July 1936 to March 1939 and complemented an expeditionary force of Italian ground troops called the "Corps of Volunteer Troops". The Regia Aeronautica Italiana (Italian Royal Air Force--RAI) was the air force of the Kingdom of Italy. During the latter half of the 1930s, the Regia Aeronautica participated in the Spanish Civil War, as well as the invasions of Ethiopia and Albania. This was accomplished by forming the 17º Stormo Incursori ("17th Special Operations Wing"), also known as RIAM (Reparto Incursori Aeronautica Militare, "Air Force Raiders Group"), a unit that is primarily responsible for raids on land-based aeronautical compounds, forward air control missions and combat search and rescue operations. The Air War Over North Africa In The Second World War. Alongside the Fiat CR.42 biplane, the Macchi C-200 formed the backbone of the Italian Royal Air Force in 1940, and was soon involved escorting bombers in raids against the island fortress of Malta. The Regia Aeronautica claimed 218 aircraft shot down plus 55 probables against the RHAF and RAF, while the Greeks claimed 68 air victories (plus 23 probables) and the British 150 kills. Just before the Allied invasion, a huge Allied bomber offensive struck the airfields in Sicily in an effort to gain further air superiority. The bombing of Tel Aviv on September 10 killed 137 people. [1], As of 2014, the Italian Air Force[2] operates a total active fleet of 557 aerial vehicles,[3] including 209 manned and 12 unmanned combat aircraft, with eight more Eurofighter Typhoon on order and 75 more F-35s planned. The Italians claimed five victories and nine probables, but five Fiat biplanes were shot down. The Macchi C.202 Folgore is considered one of the best fighter planes Italy designed during World War II. [4][5][6][7][8], Air warfare branch of Italy's armed forces, From the end of the Cold War to present day, Learn how and when to remove this template message, List of aircraft used by Italian Air Force, Italy opens F-35 assembly line, as political opposition grows, " Italy's ruling party divided over order for F-35 combat jets", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Italian_Air_Force&oldid=987741635, Military units and formations established in 1923, Articles lacking in-text citations from August 2014, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 1 Cavalier Cross of the Military Order of Savoy, Generale di Squadra Aerea con Incarichi Speciali, This page was last edited on 8 November 2020, at 23:36. approximately 170 aircraft [11] including 80 Fiat Br.20 bombers and 98 Fiat G.50 and CR.42 fighters. Humbrol Colour System Binder. Headquartered at Salerno in southern Italy, the Royalist Italian Co-belligerent Air Force (Aviazione Cobelligerante Italiana, or ACI) fought alongside the Allied forces. After the armistice of 8 September 1943, Italy was divided into two sides, and the same fate befell the Regia Aeronautica. This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 08:37. The CAI was based in occupied Belgium. Just two squadrons of G.50s remained until mid-April 1941. 30 Squadron, No. Italy airplanes were renowned worldwide. For night missions the fuselage bands and fin crosses were usually blacked out. In June 1940, the Italian Royal Air Force had here 195 fighters, bombers and reconnaissance aircraft, plus 25 transport planes. By the end of February, the Regia Aeronautica had only 42 aircraft left in East Africa, and the British now had the upper hand. Only in 1962 did the Air Force Historical Office release a partial list of Aces – 19 in total. [10] But when a small French fleet shelled the Ligurian coast on 15 June, the Italian air force was not able to prevent this action or attack the French ships effectively, showing a lack of cooperation with the Regia Marina, Italian navy. From 10 June 1940 up to 8 September 1943, the Regia Aeronautica lost 6483 aircraft[36] (other sources report 5201[37]), including 3483 fighters, 2273 bombers, torpedo-bombers and transports, plus 227 reconnaissance planes. By the time of the Tunisian Campaign, the Regia Aeronautica and the Luftwaffe rarely enjoyed parity let alone air superiority in North Africa. Italy is one of the nations that can boast some of the oldest traditions in the field of aviation. Only about 80 long tons (81 t) of bombs were dropped on the targets, to little effect. To aid the promotion of the new Super Enamel range, Humbrol has produced a Colour System Binder.This publication contains instructions of how to interblend the paints of the Super Enamel range to obtain selected authentic colours as well as Humbrol paints discontinued with the introduction of the Super Enamel. Possibly the most brilliant successes were the floatplane's world speed record of 709 km/h (440.6 mph) achieved by Francesco Agello on the Macchi-Castoldi MC-72 in October 1934 [1] and the long-range formation flight to the USA and back to Italy in 1933, a total of 19,000 km (11,800 miles) on Savoia-Marchetti S.55 flying boats. Between 1 April 1939 and 1 November 1939, Italian airmen established no fewer than 110 records, winning world championships in round trips, long-range flights, high speed and altitude flights. The commanders of the Italian Air Force soon saw the need to improve the Italian air defences. Aircraft in East Africa wore a black 'X' over the white fuselage band, also with a black cross under each wing inboard of the insignia. The Aviazione legionaria achieved approximately 500 aerial victories, losing 86 aircraft in air combat and about 200 flying personnel. Italy was among the earliest adopters of military aviation. After a period of neutrality, Italy entered World War II on 10 June 1940 alongside Germany. The capability of the Italian Air Force as a transportation unit has been improved with the acquisition of 22 American C-130J tactical transports and 12 Alenia C-27J Spartans, which have replaced all of the G222s. When the war began, Italian pilots were relatively well trained and confident of their abilities. Initially the Italian Air Force did reasonably well but with the introduction of the RAF’s Hawker Hurricane towards the end of 1940 the balance of forces was tipped to the Allies’ advantage. The last of these fighters was returned to the United States in May 2012, following the Italian Air Force's acquisition of a sufficient number of Typhoons over a period of several years. Only two airfields – Tirana and Valona – had macadam runways, so autumn and winter weather made operations more difficult. Hence the Regia Aeronautica lost its "Royal" designation, and it became the Aeronautica Militare, a name that it has continued to hold ever since. The ACI operated in the Balkans and the ANR in northern Italy and the area around the Baltic Sea. The primary fighter of the Italian Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) was the Fiat CR.42, which, though an advanced biplane with excellent performance, was technically outclassed by monoplane fighters of other nations. New Italian aircraft and units were supplemented by the arrival of the German Afrika Corps, and the attached Luftwaffe contingent deployed almost 200 airplanes in Libya and another 600 in Sicily. For the 11-day campaign against Yugoslavia, the Regia Aeronautica deployed 600 aircraft, claimed five air victories (plus 100 planes destroyed on the ground) and suffered five losses. 70 Squadron with Vickers Wellingtons. 84 Squadron with Bristol Blenheims, and No. Its primary missions: raids on aeronautical compounds, forward air control, combat controlling, and combat search and rescue. The aerobatic display team is the Frecce Tricolori. Armed conflicts in Somalia, Mozambique and the nearby Balkan Peninsula led to the Italian Air Force becoming a participant in multinational air forces, such as that of NATO over the former Yugoslavia, just a few minutes flying time east of the Italian peninsula. The Italian aviators did not have any opposition in the air, as the Imperial Ethiopian Air Force had just 15 transport and liaison aircraft, only nine of which were serviceable. In March, surplus personnel of air force units had to fight as infantry. [36] [11]. The book reviews the aircraft used by the Italian air forces in world wwar two thta were not ready to compete against the allied world war 2 aircraft. It had operated as a unit of the Royal Italian Army during World War I, but was created as a independent service (1923). But more important than the material losses were the wrong conclusions drawn from air war in Spain. 211 Squadron and No. The Italian Air Force did not officially credit victories to individual pilots, but to their unit as a whole. Generale Giuseppe Santoro in his book published after the war criticized such unplanned use of the Air Force, which had not been prepared for operations against fortifications which were immune to aerial bombing. The story of the Italian Air Force in World War II is really three stories. (Schreiber, Gerhard: S. 54, in Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg, Band 3) If those numbers sound a bit off, well, Operation Barbarossa was largest military invasion in history and it was conducted by around 4 million soldiers. These squadrons, initially consisting of 22° Gruppo CT with 51 Macchi C.200 fighters and 61° Gruppo with the Caproni Ca.311 bomber, supported the Italian armed forces from 1941 to 1943. [24] In Spain, the Italian pilots were under direct command of the Spanish Nationalists and took part in training and joint operations with the pilots of the German "Condor Legion". Not quite on par with her contemporaries of World War 2, Italy nonetheless fielded a variety of useful aircraft in the conflict. During World War II, when Italy was among the earliest adopters of military aviation in during... Small special-forces units is the Air Force ( RAF ), but intensely. On the targets, to little effect as their German ally number of long-range night raids and free on! 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