View Full Version : Regia Aeronautica in the Battle of Britain, source?

09-04-2010, 04:34 AM
I am trying to help edit the Norwegian Wiki entry on Battle of Britain (the battle, not the sim). the other editors would like some god documentation on my claim the the Italians did indeed partook in the battle. The problem is that I hardly know anything about the Italian side, ca any of you very knowledgeable guys help me out here? I would like bout facts and an authorative soruces.

09-04-2010, 05:37 AM
There is a good 7 page article in "Luftwaffe im Focus" No.13.


09-04-2010, 06:41 AM
The Chianti Raiders (http://www.amazon.com/Chianti-Raiders-Extraordinary-Italian-Britain/dp/1861058292/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1283604029&sr=8-1)

This is meant to be good, haven't read it though!

09-04-2010, 07:44 AM
The CAI, Corpo Aereo Italiano, flying Fiat G.50, Cr.42, BR.20 and Cant Z.1007, joined in Autumn 1940 the Battle of Britain. Mussolini wanted a propaganda hit and convinced his good friend Adolf to lend him a couple of bases for the CAI. Apart from being ill-equipped for the cold and foggy northern weather, having no radios nor winter clothing, their planes showed totally inadequate against the modern and battle-hardened RAF fighters. The order of battle was the following:

Corpo Aereo Italiano - commanded by Generale sa A Corso-Fougier, composed by:

13 Stormo BT
Commanded by Colonello Carlo di Capoa and based at Melsbroeck equipped with Fiat BR.20Ms.

43 Stormo BT
Commanded by Colonello L. Questra and based at Chièvres, equipped with Fiat BR.20Ms.

56 Stormo CT
Commanded by Colonello Umberto Chiesa.
based at Ursel (Fiat CR.42)
Maldegem (Fiat G.50bis)

179a Squadriglia
Commanded by Capitano C. Pirelli, based at Melsbroeck and equipped with Cant Z.1007bis for tactical reconnaissance.

BT= Bombardamento Terrestre (Bombers)
CT= Caccia Terrestre (fighters)

You can find on the Internet some references to this adventure. Google for "CAI and Regia Aeronautica".

BTW, I'm quite surprised that your co-editors ignore all this ... so goes the Wikipedia credibility. Oleg knows better and will include G.50s and Cr.42 in his SoW:BoB.

09-04-2010, 09:23 AM
Osprey's Italian Aces of WW2 mention their involvement. I can copy the info if you need.

09-04-2010, 09:55 AM
There is mention of the RA in the BoB in the Squadron Signal Publication "Fiat CR 32/42 In Action"

09-04-2010, 10:29 AM
The want proof for the _fact_ that the RA took part in BoB??? That's like common knowledge.

Well, they can go to the UK and look at Cr.42's in museums that were shot down during BoB.

Good read here. (http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/falco_bob.htm)

09-04-2010, 11:14 AM
For specific citation on a specific event I can see wanting sources but it's fairly common knowledge that has been reproduced in book after book. The Regia Aeronautica's disastrous debut in the late stages of the Battle of Britain is sometimes sidestepped but fairly well known about when you go into the sources.

Do they take resources like Osprey or need they be academic papers?

09-04-2010, 11:44 AM
This book is an excellent source on RA operations as well as those of the other countries that fought with the Axis.

http://www.amazon.com/Skies-Eu...id=1283622149&sr=1-1 (http://www.amazon.com/Skies-Europe-Forces-Luftwaffe-1939-1945/dp/1861267991/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1283622149&sr=1-1)

09-04-2010, 03:47 PM
Thank you all of you, I now have all I need! Osprey is considered reliable, but I think I might want to buy the "In the Skies of Europe" book.

JtD: Very useful website!

09-05-2010, 04:49 PM
Hi Friendly_flyer,

'In the Skies of Europe' makes for very dry reading but it's the best source I've ever found on the subject.

Make yourself a big pot of coffee... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

09-06-2010, 06:52 AM
Synopsis here:


09-06-2010, 10:34 AM
Try Chris Dunning's Regia Aeronautica an operational history and Courage Alone the Italian Air Force 1940-43. They contain a whole chapter on the Battle of Britain and individual unit operations respectively.

09-06-2010, 06:11 PM
Italian propaganda footage. Some of it is probably stock footage rather than specifically of the BoB.

Points of interest to watch for .. bomb with "Churchill" painted on it at 1:14 and good shot of the Dover cliffs at 2:09 .

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