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This book examines the conception, development and sometimes the construction and testing of some of these aircraft. This pioneering achievement was organized and led by General of Aviation Italo Balbo.[2]. In 2003, the Italian Air Force extended its capabilities to small-scale land warfare by small special-forces units. The bombing of Tel Aviv on September 10 killed 137 people. Massimello, Giovanni and Giorgio Apostolo. 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. Tornado fighters were still in service with all three countries, plus a few more, as of 2019. Buy Flying Equipment of the Italian Air Force in World War II: Flight Suits * Flight Helmets * Goggles * Parachutes * Life Vests * Oxygen Masks * Boots * Gloves by Alberto Spaziani (ISBN: 9780764343773) from Amazon's Book Store. By 31 January, Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, reported that the Italian military forces in East Africa were down to 67 operational aircraft with limited fuel. 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"). Finally, just few days after the start of the war, Italian pilots were confronted by No. 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. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). These masqueraded as Iraqi aircraft and were painted as such en route. The Regia Aeronautica could deploy more than 3,000 aircraft, although fewer than 60% were serviceable. They put their aircraft on the front lines against the allied air forces. The first test for the new Italian Royal Air force came in October 1935,[3] 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. 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. 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. All Military aircraft in Italy during WW2 were part of the AirForce and with Air Force crews. 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. 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. [33] However, from that point on, the role of the Regia Aeronautica in the Balkans Campaign was primarily that of supporting the Luftwaffe. This was aimed at pushing the British back and retaking the greater Mediterranean, as in ancient Roman times. May 29, 2020 - Explore Johnno's board "Italian Airforce" on Pinterest. [11], After the war, there was a widespread rumour in France, especially between Paris and Bordeaux, of Italian aircraft strafing civilian columns, with many people claiming to have seen the tricolour roundels painted on them. On 10 June 1940, during the closing days of the Battle of France, Italy declared war on France and the United Kingdom. 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". German and Allied artillery also took … Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily the primary operator. [20][21][22] During this campaign, Regia Aeronautica lost 36 planes, (including 26 in accidents) and 43 aircrew personnel, without achieving a single confirmed air victory.[19]. After a period of neutrality, Italy entered World War II on 10 June 1940 alongside Germany. Continued concern over German and Italian influence in the area led to the Allies' Syria-Lebanon Campaign. Here is a list of the aces attributed with ten or more kills. However, delays in the production of the Typhoon forced the Italians to seek a supplement, and then replacement, for the leased Tornado ADVs. By the time of the Tunisian Campaign, the Regia Aeronautica and the Luftwaffe rarely enjoyed parity let alone air superiority in North Africa. 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". The Regia Aeronautica tended not to keep statistics on the individual level, instead reporting kills for a certain unit, attributed to their unit commander. [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. After the Italian armistice, the Regia Aeronautica was briefly succeeded by two new Italian air forces. See more ideas about italian air force, wwii aircraft, ww2 aircraft. [11] 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. Actually the air war against Greece cost the Italians just 65 losses (but 495 damaged)[34] while RAF losses in the Greek campaign were 209 aircraft, 72 in the air, 55 on the ground, and 82 destroyed or abandoned during the evacuation.[35]. 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. 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. It later saw action in Albania and Greece, where it acquitted itself surprisingly well against British hurricanes. 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. The Regia Aeronautica was succeeded by Aeronautica Militare when Italy became a republic on 2 June 1946. Since its formation, the service has held a prominent role in modern Italian military history. After World War II, when Italy was made a republic by referendum, the Regia Aeronautica was given its current name. It was established as a service independent of the Royal Italian Army from 1923 until 1946. In one of the lesser known incidents of the war, starting in July 1940, Italian aircraft bombed cities in the British Mandate of Palestine. 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. The Aviazione legionaria achieved approximately 500 aerial victories, losing 86 aircraft in air combat and about 200 flying personnel. They were initially based in the Ukraine and ultimately supported operations in the Stalingrad area. Working with the Luftwaffe, the Regia Aeronautica performed better due to the exchange of tactical doctrine and the arrival of more modern aircraft. 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 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. 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. But more important than the material losses were the wrong conclusions drawn from air war in Spain. During the Anglo-Iraqi War, German and Italian aircraft of "Flyer Command Iraq" (Fliegerführer Irak) stopped to refuel in the Vichy French-controlled Mandate of Syria as they flew to Iraq. In 1942, for its operations against Malta, between 1 January and 8 November, the Regia Aeronautica had 100 more aircraft lost in action. 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. 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. [16] It fought from the icy steppes of Russia to the sands of the North African desert, losing men and machines. After the armistice of 8 September 1943, Italy was divided into two sides, and the same fate befell the Regia Aeronautica. The first ANR fighter unit was the 101st Gruppo Autonomo Caccia Terrestre, based in Florence. In early 1941, the tide was turned as the German Wehrmacht launched its simultaneous invasions of Yugoslavia and Greece. The story of the Italian Air Force in World War II is really three stories. Only about 80 long tons (81 t) of bombs were dropped on the targets, to little effect. Italian companies worked with the Embraer Company of Brazil in a smaller project to develop and produce the AMX International AMX aircraft. (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. The 17 bombing raids carried out by the BR.20s did not cause much material damage, moreover aircraft were needed on the Greek front and in Cyrenaica [19] so in January 1941 the bombers and CR.42s started to be withdrawn to Italy. [30] [27], Malta suffered heavy loss of equipment, ship, and vehicles, and was to the edge of starvation. The Regia Aeronautica Italiana (Italian Royal Air Force--RAI) was the air force of the Kingdom of Italy. However, pilots were able to keep personal log books, so the few that survived through World War II give individual statistics. The reborn Italian aviation industry also began to develop and produce a few ingenious aircraft designs of its own, such as the Fiat G91, the Aermacchi MB-326, the Piaggio Aero P.166 and the line of Agusta-Bell helicopters. The ADV Tornados served as fighter-interceptors to supplement and then to replace the old F-104 Starfighters. The Regia Marina (Royal Navy) had its own air arm, operating locally built flying boats. In March, surplus personnel of air force units had to fight as infantry. It comprised Some 150,000 Italians are believed to have been killed during World War II. 84 Squadron with Bristol Blenheims, and No. Following the declaration of war on 10 June 1940, the Italian Air Force engaged with its French and British counterparts throughout the Mediterranean. The beret is made from black wool and features a … Limited role during the closing days of the National Republican Air forces never fought each other intended replace... 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