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Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 34 : Italian Aces of World War 2

The Italians were the junior partners of the Axis alliance in the European war, and although operating less capable aircraft than the Luftwaffe, the Regia Aeronautica and ANR (post the 1943 surrender) still produced 102 pilots who qualified as aces by scoring five or more kills. The majority of these individuals scored their kills in 1941-42 during the bitter aerial battles over Malta and the Mediterranean convoys, and in support of Axis offensives in North Africa. Flying aircraft such as the Macchi 200-202, Fiat G.50 and biplane Fiat CR.42, the Italian fighter pilots were recognised by their Allied counterparts as brave opponents blessed with sound flying abilities, but employing under-gunned and underpowered equipment. Following the Italian surrender in September 1943, a number of aces continued to take the fight to the Allies as part of the Luftwaffe-run ANR, which was equipped with far more potent equipment such as the Bf 109G, Macchi 205V and Fiat G.55. Flying these types, the handful of ANR squadrons continued to oppose Allied bombing raids on northern Italy until VE-Day. Text by Giovanni Massimello and Giorgio Apostolo with illustrations by Richard Caruana.

 

Osprey Aircraft of the Aces


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