Macchi C.202 in Action (Aircraft 41)
By Roberto Gentilli, Luigi Gorena
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications Inc. 1980 50 Pages
PDF 14 MB
In the second half of the 1930s, as a new war loomed on Europe's horizon, the Regia Aeronautics, the Italian Air Force, found itself beset by serious problems. Having long thought itself to be one of the great war machines in history, the prospect of fighting Britain and France forced the Regia Aeronautica (RA) to face up to its weaknesses. Italian aviation held the world records for height, distance and, until 1939, for speed. For the 1931 Maneuvers at Ferrara, over 800 aircraft had been assembled, at a time when many other major air forces couldn't lay claim to near that number of all types. From 1936 to 1939 Italian fighters and bombers had fought with great success (albeit against second-rate opposition) in the skies over Spain. All this led to a false sense of satisfaction with the equipment of the RA, with the CR.32 biplane fighters (equivalent to the Hawker Fury or Curtiss P-6E) and three-engine bombers such as the SM.79 and SM.81 (of the same vintage as the Ju52), satisfaction that was only tarnished by the realization that other air forces were now equipping with superior aircraft.
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