The truth about Regia Aeronautica

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Saetta66, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. Saetta66

    Saetta66 Member

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    #1 Saetta66, Feb 8, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
    Was really in your opinion the Regia Aeroanutica (Italian Royal Air Force) the worst air force in ww2?
    And if yes, why?
    And if maybe, why?
    And if not, why?
    Seems like a stupid question but I am very serious. Only talking about things is possibile to undestand them without prejudice and helpin ourselves and the others lookin things form a different point of view.
    The truth, for the memory of the thousands of Regia Aeronautica dead pilots and specialist, is my personal crusade.
    Please help me in this difficult mission
    Thank you
    Fabio - son a Regia Aeronautica fighter pilot
     
  2. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    hundred of thousands? the truth it's very less under twenty thousands?
     
  3. Saetta66

    Saetta66 Member

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    Sorry, I was sure I wrote only the word thousands. :(Thank you, I correct it immediately.:oops:
     
  4. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    The RA was like every other air force that participated in the war, it had its strengthss and its weaknesses. Its pilots and other aircrew were brave.

    As an example, the RA were effective in the torpedo bombing role.

    They were weak in their fleet co-operation. A fundamental problem for them was the low serviceability rates in their air formation, brought about by a weak support and industrial base, and a political system that was iherently inneffiicient and corrupt. Replacement ratesw were low, and the force as a whole too thinly spread out to be effective. The fascists tended to disdain technological developments like radar, which downgraded the overall effeectiveness of a brave force
     
  5. Timppa

    Timppa Active Member

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    "Good soldiers, bad officers; however don't forget that without them we would not have any Civilization " - Erwin Rommel on Italians, as quoted in The Rommel Papers (1982) edited by Basil Henry Liddell Hart

    "The German soldier has impressed the world, however the Italian Bersaglieri soldier has impressed the German soldier."-On the plaque dedicated to the Bersaglieri that fought at Mersa Matruh and Alamein


    One of the most competent volunteer pilots in Finland was a very experienced Italian Staff Sergeant Diego Manzocchi who was killed in his wounds after forced landing. A bullet had gone through his chest in aerial battle but he still tried to fly his valuable plane back to a temporary ice airfield of LLv.26 at Haukkajärvi near Utti airbase. Probably because of the weakness caused by bleeding blood he got lost and forced landed landing gears down on the ice of a frozen lake west from Utti airbase with the last drops of fuel. His plane turned upside down in deep flush which also packed into the open cabin of FIAT G.50. Manzocchi couldn’t release himself away from the belts but was still alive when the rescue patrol found him six hours later. He had already hung too long time upside down and died soon afterwards. Diego Manzocchi was buried in Helsinki, Finland at Hietaniemi military cemetery.


    :salute:
     
  6. Saetta66

    Saetta66 Member

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    Very interesting the story about the sergente Manzocchi.
    Those pics are for you and for the Finnish Air Force: g50 freccia (arrow) with finnish emblems.:D










     

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  7. LWulf

    LWulf New Member

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    There's no absolute worst airforce. Any airforce you look at had its own failings and issues. But I would say that RA wasn't very successful.
    They had excellent pilots, that in general weren't as proficient in combat flying and tactics as the other successful airforces. They had some excellent aircraft that too often sacrificied ease of production for a bit of performance more in a design that was already lagging behind competition. They had some leaders that understood things and wanted well for their pilots and airforce in general, but had superiors who had no clue and didn't give a **** about the people they were sending to die.
    So in short, any failings of the RA came from the top and affected the tactical level. Despite the best will and skill of pilots, mechanics and other soldiers involved, there wasn't much more they could've done. And while I sympathize with everyone involved in a war I am happy the RA didn't fare better.
     
  8. Saetta66

    Saetta66 Member

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    I wrote in red, hope is clear :idea:

     
  9. Saetta66

    Saetta66 Member

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    Hope the red is clear enough
     
  10. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Saetta66 - I don't know anything about the "truth" of your quest - but as anecdotal comment, I read when young in either's Baeder's or Stanford Tuck's autobios that when the RA came to France to Support the LW during the B of B they only flew a very few missions. The tri-motor bombers were savaged by the RAF. At a crash site they found a superbly packed wicker picnic hamper (basket). Unused. Might that say something about these men. Brave. Romantic. Perhaps a little misguided.

    No criticism intended in this comment.

    MM
     
  11. LWulf

    LWulf New Member

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    I just said that I am sorry for everyone that had to suffer through that terrible war, no matter which country or side they represented. But I am also happy the RA wasn't more successful since they would've caused more losses on both sides.
     
  12. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    IMHO their biggest weakness appeared to be their training program. I wish I could remember where I had read it, but there was an article comparing Italian training soldiers vs the ones trained by Germany and there was a significant difference.
     
  13. Saetta66

    Saetta66 Member

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    The red letters system seems to work.

     
  14. Saetta66

    Saetta66 Member

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  15. Saetta66

    Saetta66 Member

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    Claer now, and I agree with you. We can't change the course of history fortunately !
    Thanks
     
  16. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    ".... Well, is like the italian army and the afrikakorps found jam, tea, pudding and excellent scotch whisky in Tobruk. Very typical, but didn't add or less anything form the bravery of english troops ".

    Well perhaps, :), but to me hardly the same as packing a picnic lunch for a three hour bombing mission over heavily defended Britain.

    In land positions, troops are dug in and fighting from their "homes" - in a bomber you're in and out - hardly an excursion in the family car. :)

    MM
     
  17. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    George Buerling from a book by Miles Constable entitled "George Beurling, Canadian Ace" (Beurling had 32 confirmed air to air kills and faced off against both the Germans and Italians.)

    "The Eyeties are comparatively easy to shoot down. Oh, they're brave enough. In fact, I think the Eyeties have more courage than the Germans, but their tactics aren't so good. They are very good gliders, but they try to do clever acrobatics and looping. But they will stick with it even if things are going against them, whereas the Jerries will run."
     
  18. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Personally I thought the major problem with the Italian armed forces was the equipment. To be more specific the engines let down the aircraft and the armour/transport for the army.
    Once the designers had access to modern engines the aircraft were as good as the best anywhere. The army when properly equiped fought well and the navy also did well where the problem was more to do with leadership than anything else.
     
  19. Markus

    Markus Banned

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    The Italian Air Force did not have radar but they had a unit that specialized in messing with radio navigation equipment. A lot of planes send to Malta fell victim to their "beam-bending". Some just vanished, others found themselvs suddenly over Sicily.

    IMO their biggest weakness was fighter procurement. Whoever decided to approve the Fiat CR42 must have been a spy. Or how else does one explain the design of a new biplane fighter at the same time Hurricanes and Me109 entered service?
     
  20. al49

    al49 Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    we know by the history why Italy entered in WW2: Mussolini was convinced that Germany was on the brink to win the war.
    Mussolini knew that Italy was unprepared for a long war, missing raw materials, just coming out from two wars (Spain and Ethiopia that burned out finance and machines) but for a couple of months of engagement he thought it was enough what he had.
    Without entering political discussions, history has already given its verdict, my personal opinion is that Italy had zero possibility to win.
    Soldiers as well as pilots and seamen were very brave (most of them) some leaders as well, but just consider a few rough figures about aeroplanes:
    Till the armistice in September 1943 Regia Aeronautica employed about 10,000 aircraft in total.
    Talking about fighters, the Macchi C 205 was the best fighter produced in reasonable number.
    When I say "reasonable numbers" I mean aprox 250 units, nothing in comparison with over 33,000 Me 109, over 20,000 Spitfire and FW 190, over 12,000 P51 and P 47, over 11,000 Zeros etc.
    You can add, if you want:
    1,100 pcs Macchi C 202
    1,100 pcs Macchi C 200
    780 pcs Fiat G 50
    and 1,900 Fiat CR 42 a biplane, very good in Spain but unable to cope with an Hurricane.
    Cheers
    Alberto
     
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