Italian Airforce Vs Japan

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Apr 23, 2005
Of the main participants in WW2 the Italians and Japanese tended to have planes that were different to the VVS, USA, German and UK forces.

Both the Japanese and Italian planes tended to be: -

a) Slower
b) More agile
c) Less well armed

Than the other airforces (PS I know that the Zero is the exception in (C))

I was wondering what peoples views were if they had come up against each other.
Italians would trash the Japs. The G.55 was faster than anything the Japs had, more manoeverable and had great armament. And that was 1943. The Italians I believe were further ahead in jet technology too. As for the early years, I still think the Italians would have it.
I think the Italians fought better tactically although both enjoyed WW1 type dogfights. I know the Italians received extensive combat aerobatic training and would like to exploit that if they could get someone to fight on their level. With that said, the Japanese lacked teamwork and sometimes threw themselves into tactically suicidal situations!
The largest produced Italian inline fighter, the Macchi MC.202 could outfly just about anything in the ETO. Italian pilots often complained because their German allies fought in the horizontal in the 109 whilst the MC.202 fought in the vertical and won. Its slightly let down by the 2x12.7 MG, but this was augmented to include 2x7.7 or 2x20 as well. No Japanese plane could stand up to 3x20mm and 2x12.7mm for long.

CC, do you have any info on the G.55S? It was a torpedo carrying version that i'm having a few problems tracking down.
red admiral said:
Italian pilots often complained because their German allies fought in the horizontal in the 109 whilst the MC.202 fought in the vertical and won.

Excellent point! Fighting in the vertical manages energy better and provides more options.
Later in the war the Italians, like CC said would trash the Japanese. But earlier in the war I think it would be more of a toss up, like something say a G.50 or MC.200 vs. a Ki27....
Thanks JCS, already found that one unfortunately. Earlier in the war? The Italian planes have some armour and protected fuel tanks.
Yeah, the G.50, MC.200, Re-2000 were slower than stuff like the Zero (Just, well more so the G.50) but Im adamant that the Re-2000 would actually outmanouver a Zero. They were tougher too.
red admiral said:
Earlier in the war? The Italian planes have some armour and protected fuel tanks.

Yea, but I still think it'd be pretty close, the early itailian fighters had better armament and were faster but the early japanaese planes like the Ki27 and the A5M were some of the most maneuverable planes of the war and could've probably flown circles around the Cr.42s and G.50s.

I read something online a while ago about a competition bewteen an early Zero (A6M2 Model 21 I belive) and an A5M, and turns out under 300mph the Claude had the Zero every time. I'm trying to find it now but I'm not having much luck....
The A5M had a tighter turn than the A6M - I'd like you to provide evidence that the Re-2000 could out-turn an A6M - and then an A5M! I doubt it - but feel free to prove me wrong.
Fiat G55
Max Speed 375mph at 6000m, 387 at 7,000m, 391 at 8000m
climb 7.2min to 6000m, 8.57min to 7000m, 10.18min to 8000m
Range (Internal) 746miles at 304mph, (2x22gal DT) 1,025miles at 354mph
Armament 1 x 20 with 380 rpg, 2 x 20 with 200 rpg, 2 x 12.7 with 300 rpg

Only one example M.M.91194 was fitted with a dummy torpedo and was fitted with a longer tailleg for ground clearence.

The thing that impressed me was the Ammo load. Most planes carried around 150rpg for the 20. The G55 could fire all day.
Oh the G.55 was a great plane - The Germans were phenomenally impressed with the examples they captured and considered producing them theirselve after the Italians signed the armistice. 41,000ft ceiling was great too.

D, id love to provide evidence on that. Sadly, I dont think many tests were carried out between them, and its pretty hard to find good data on Italian planes. That site I posted above is the best Ive found on the Re-2000 ;) Im sure the Re-2000 could out manouver an A6M, but probably not an A5M. It wouldnt matter anyway, it would still win in a dogfight.


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I still don't know what makes you so sure the Re-2000 could out-turn a A6M - remember the Reisen was a nimble aircraft at low speeds. It could turn on a six pence!
Italy does not seem to have greatly helped the axis cause in the war but some of their planes were apparently fairly good.
Fairly good?

The Series 5 fighters (Macchi Mc-205, Fiat G.55, Reggiane Re-2005) all saw combat (in pitifully small numbers) before Italy, as an Axis country, left the battlefield. At that point in time, September of 1943, the 5 Series fighters were among the very best air superiority fighters in existence for any country.

Italy's contributions were hampered not by design but by production.

Fiat G.55

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