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.