Italy gets little respect for their participation in WWII. They are considered to have been the junior partner in the Axis. The standing joke is that their battle cry was "I surrender." By the time the other European powers became actively involved in war, the Italians had become battle-weary after extended campaigns in Africa, which spent much treasure and many lives for little apparent gain.
Nonetheless, Italy was an active participant in the war. Their air force, the Regia Aeronautica, began the war with a fairly-high-quality, if a bit small, air force. But as is pointed out in one of the articles, Italy had a very limited industrial base compared to the other major combatants and they had been at war for quite a while, mostly in Africa, for quite some time when war broke out in Europe.
- The RAF vs the Axis" [ HTML ] is a six-page pictorial article featuring action and detail photos of British, German and Italian planes, including:
- "Powered by Hot Air" [ HTML ] describes the Caproni-Campini CC-2 and goes into the basic theories of jet propulsion and some of the prior development work.
- "What's Happened to the Italian Air Force?" [ HTML ] discusses the history of the Regia Aeronautica, describes some of the more important types of warplanes, and goes into the core elements of Douhet's theories as proposed in his book, Command of the Air.
- A news clip [ HTML ] announces what is probably the Piaggio P.108, often described as a copy of the (early) B-17.
- Planes from Caproni-Campini
- Although it was not an combat plane, the Caproni-Campini CC.2 was of considerable note because if its reputation of being the first operating jet aircraft.
- "Aviation's Sketchbook of Design Detail" included two drawings:
- "Powered by Hot Air" [ HTML ] includes 2 photos:
- photo of a Caproni 312 torpedo plane, from "Hitler's Latest Weapon" [ HTML ]
- Planes from Fiat
- A news clip with photo from July, 1940, shows Fiat CR-30s massed for inspection. Caption misidentifies them as Caproni pursuits.
- The "Have You Seen?" section for February, 1942, shows a downed Fiat CR-42 biplane fighter.
- A Yearbook entry from 1943 shows a Fiat BR-20M two-engine medium bomber, on the ground, seen from 9 o'clock.
- A Yearbook entry from 1944 shows a Fiat BR-20M two-engine medium bomber, on the ground, seen from 10 o'clock.
- Planes from Macchi
- "Italian Planes" [ HTML ] includes a photo of a Macchi C-200, on the ground seen from 10 o'clock.
- On-the-ground photo of a crashlanded Macchi C202, seen from 9 o'clock.
- A Yearbook entry from 1943 shows the same crashlanded Macchi 202 photo, gives particulars.
- A Sketchbook drawing shows details of the construction of the wing root of a Macchi 200.
- Yearbook entries from 1944 show a Macchi 200 (in flight, seen from 11 o'clock) and Macchi 202 (on the ground, seen from 2 o'clock.)
- Planes from Savoia-Marchetti
- On-the-ground photo of a Savoia-Marchetti SM-79, seen from 3 o'clock.
- The "Have You Seen?" section for February, 1942, shows a Savoia-Marchetti SM-82 transport loading troops.
- Flying's "For Identification feature for April, 1942, includes a photo (9 o'clock) and 3-view silhouette of Savoia-Marchetti SM-82 transport.
- Flying's "For Identification feature for May, 1942, includes a photo (three o'clock) and 3-view silhouette of Savoia-Marchetti SM-79 bomber.
- "Italian Planes" [ HTML ] includes photos of a Savoia-Marchetti SM-79 bomber in flight, seen from 7 o'clock high.
- Yearbook entries from 1943 show SM-79 (in flight, seen from 10 o'clock high) and SM-81 in flight, seen from 2 o'clock low) three-engine bombers.
- A Yearbook entry from 1944 shows a SM-79 on the ground, seen from 2 o'clock.
- Planes from other manufacturers
- Recognition drawings
- Flying's "For Identification features include photo and 3-view silhouettes:
- "Italian Planes" [ HTML ] includes 4 photos and a page and a half of 3-view silhouettes of most of the Italian warplanes operational in 1942.
- Aviation's Yearbook for the year 1943 includes a number of Italian planes:
- Aviation's Yearbook for the year 1944 includes a number of Italian planes: