Only in 1962 did the Air Force Historical Office release a partial list of Aces – 19 in total. The Italian Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica Italiana) was the name of the air force of the Kingdom of Italy. The Regia Aeronautica was succeeded by Aeronautica Militare when Italy became a republic on 2 June 1946. The aerobatic display team is the Frecce Tricolori. 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. It later saw action in Albania and Greece, where it acquitted itself surprisingly well against British hurricanes. 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. Although the air campaign in Libya was seriously limited because of desert conditions, the Italian Royal Air Force managed to retain a force of nearly four hundred airplanes. From 1944 to 1945, Italian personnel operated from the Baltic area and in the northern part of the Eastern Front under the direct command of the Luftwaffe under the name Air Transport Group 1 (Italian: 1° Gruppo Aerotrasporti "Terracciano" , German: 1° Staffel Transportfliegergruppe 10 (Ital)). The CSIR was subsumed by the ARMIR in 1942 and the ARMIR was disbanded in early 1943 after disaster during the Battle of Stalingrad. [14] Some of these aircraft were outdated, but the Italians had Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 (12 examples) and Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 bombers and Fiat CR.42 fighters. [25] After the armistice of 8 September 1943, Italy was divided into two sides, and the same fate befell the Regia Aeronautica. By the end of February, the Regia Aeronautica had only 42 aircraft left in East Africa, and the British now had the upper hand. The CAI was based in occupied Belgium. Its primary missions: raids on aeronautical compounds, forward air control, combat controlling, and combat search and rescue. the Air Force) and the “users”(i.e. Home Forums > WWII Forums > Theaters of the Second World War > North Africa and the Mediterranean > Air War in the Mediterrean > Stukas in the Italian Airforce Discussion in ' Air War in the Mediterrean ' started by us11thairborne , Mar 31, 2005 . The Italian Air Force (Italian: Aeronautica Militare; AM) is the air force of the Italian Republic. In 1911, reconnaissance and bombing sorties during the Italo-Turkish War by the Servizio Aeronautico represented the first use of heavier-than-air aircraft in armed conflict. The first test for the new Italian Royal Air force came in October 1935,[3] When the war began, Italian pilots were relatively well trained and confident of their abilities. 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. Technical assistance provided by its German ally did little to improve the situation. [29], The Regia Aeronautica began its attacks on the British crown colony of Gibraltar and its important naval base from July 1940. In 1942, Italian Piaggio P.108 bombers attacked Gibraltar from Sardinia, flying a number of long-range night raids. In 1941, Regia Aeronautica carried out further attacks on Malta, but less intensely than in 1940. Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily the primary operator. Back to main article. Some 150,000 Italians are believed to have been killed during World War II. The commanders of the Italian Air Force soon saw the need to improve the Italian air defences. 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 . Most or some 125,000 Italiam civilians were killed after the Armistice and with the German occupation and Allied invasion (September 1943). Its origins are in the A.D.R.A Arditi Distruttori Regia Aeronautica (Royal Air Force Brave Destroyers), a corp of World War II. Italian pilots were constantly fighting against Allied efforts to sink Regia Marina ships. The only unit of the Regia Aeronautica to fly the Piaggio P.108 was the 274th Long-Range Bombardment Group, which was formed in May 1941 as the first machines came off the assembly lines. In mid-October, the Italians also bombed American-operated oil refineries in the British Protectorate of Bahrain. 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. 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. [18] Bad weather and planes inadequate to that war theater hindered effective action by the CAI. [28] But during the siege, the RAF's losses were even heavier, amounting to 547 in the air (including some 300 fighters) and 160 on the ground, plus 504 aircraft damaged in the air and 231 on the ground. Aircraft of the Royal and Republican air forces never fought each other. The Typhoons are intended to replace all of the F-104, Tornado ADV and F-16 aircraft. [26] The Italian Airf Force was not as powerful as their German ally. 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 last mission of the Regia Aeronautica before the truce with the Allies was the defence during the United States Army Air Forces' bombing of Frascati—Rome on September 8, 1943. Regia Aeronautica aircraft were involved in the Middle East almost from the start of Italian involvement in World War II. These masqueraded as Iraqi aircraft and were painted as such en route. [16] 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. Italy is one of the nations that can boast some of the oldest traditions in the field of aviation. It also received the new Lockheed-Aeritalia F-104S Starfighter fighters for ground attack and air-defence purposes. The Regia Aeronautica was forced on the defensive during the Sicilian Campaign. [5], During the Spanish Civil War Italian pilots fought alongside Spanish Nationalist and German Luftwaffe pilots as members of the Aviazione Legionaria ("Aviation Legion"). During this short war, Regia Aeronautica lost 10 aircraft in aerial combat and 24 aircrew personnel, while claiming 10 kills and 40 French planes destroyed on the ground. July, 2021. It was under command of Generale Rino Corso Fougier. 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. This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 08:37. 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. 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. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). [10] The RAF, however, reported no losses. The Regia Marina (Royal Navy) had its own air arm, operating locally built flying boats. While numerically still a force to be reckoned with, it was hampered by the local aircraft industry which was using obsolete production methods. 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. White spinners were used on fighters in Italy, with white extended to engine cowlings, particularly on bombers, in the Mediterranean. After a period of neutrality, Italy entered World War II on 10 June 1940 alongside Germany. approximately 170 aircraft [11] including 80 Fiat Br.20 bombers and 98 Fiat G.50 and CR.42 fighters. 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). 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. [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. In northern Italy, the National Republican Air Force (Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, or ANR) flew for the Italian Social Republic and the Axis. 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"). In addition, the Italian aircraft were often based at better airfields than those of the British and Commonwealth forces. 80 Squadron, led by the outstanding ace Marmaduke Pattle and equipped with Gloster Gladiators, No. With the UK lease due to expire in 2004, the Italian government wished to avoid a costly lease extension and instead opted to lease 34 F-16 Fighting Falcon multi-role fighter planes on multi-year leases from the US. [9] [15] Cut off from Italy as they were though, problems with lack of fuel, munitions, spare parts and replacements became a serious problem and the Regia Aeronautica was worn down in a war of attrition. Benito Mussolini's fascist regime turned it into an impressive propaganda machine, with its aircraft, featuring the Italian flag colors across the full span of the undersides of the wings, making numerous record-breaking flights. Just two squadrons of G.50s remained until mid-April 1941. 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 Peace Treaty of Paris of 1947 placed severe restrictions on all of the Italian armed forces, but the establishment of NATO in 1949 with Italy as a founding member brought about the necessity for the modernization of all of the Italian armed forces, including the Italian Air Force. This pioneering achievement was organized and led by General of Aviation Italo Balbo.[2]. [17], On 10 September 1940, an independent air corps for supporting Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain was established. Italy is one of the nations that can boast some of the oldest traditions in the field of aviation. Its air arm dates back to 1884, when the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) was authorised to acquire its own air component. The aerobatic display team is the Frecce Tricolori. [33] However, from that point on, the role of the Regia Aeronautica in the Balkans Campaign was primarily that of supporting the Luftwaffe. 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. Italy was among the earliest adopters of military aviation. By the end of the following month, Italians had only 13 serviceable aircraft left in East Africa. In mid 1942 the more modern Macchi C. 202 was introduced to operations in Russia. The story of the Italian Air Force in World War II is really three stories. It had operated as a unit of the Royal Italian Army during World War I, but was created as a independent service (1923). Buy Wings Of Italy: The Italian Air Force in original WW2 colour pictures by Gregory Alegi, Baldassare Catalanotto (ISBN: 9788887261165) from Amazon's Book … It fought from the icy steppes of Russia to the sands of the North African desert, losing men and machines. 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. [11] On 28 March 1923, the Italian Air Force was founded as an independent service by King Vittorio Emanuele III of the Kingdom of Italy. This book examines the conception, development and sometimes the construction and testing of some of these aircraft. 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. Italy airplanes were renowned worldwide. During World War I, the Italian Corpo Aeronautico Militare, then still p… It was established as a service independent of the Royal Italian Army from 1923 until 1946. Here is a list of the aces attributed with ten or more kills. Personnel losses suffered during the conflict consisted of 3007 dead or missing, 2731 wounded and 9873 prisoners of war.[38]. The bombing of Tel Aviv on September 10 killed 137 people. In one of the lesser known incidents of the war, starting in July 1940, Italian aircraft bombed cities in the British Mandate of Palestine. BY DECADE. 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. 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. They were initially based in the Ukraine and ultimately supported operations in the Stalingrad area. The Regia Aeronautica could deploy more than 3,000 aircraft, although fewer than 60% were serviceable. [9] The Regia Aeronautica carried out 716 bombing missions in support of the Italian invasion of France by the Regio Esercito. In March, surplus personnel of air force units had to fight as infantry. The beret is made from black wool and features a … 17º Stormo Incursori the raiders corp of Italian Air Force. 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. 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". Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). 70 Squadron with Vickers Wellingtons. This support role continued during the occupation of Greece and Yugoslavia that followed. 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. In June 1940, the Italian Royal Air Force had here 195 fighters, bombers and reconnaissance aircraft, plus 25 transport planes. 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