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The Royal Navy's stunning attack on Taranto in 1940 heralded a new age of warfare. It was the decisive moment in a struggle for dominance of the Mediterranean that had gone on for months, as the British and Italian navies both looked to secure maritime supply routes for their colonies. With the enormous demands of a global war beginning to tell, the British capital ships were simply too thinly spread for a large fleet action against Taranto, where the bulk of the Italian fleet lay menacingly. How was the Royal Navy to eliminate the threat of the Regia Marina?
This is the story of one of World War II's most devastating raids, recounting how a handful of obsolete Fairy Swordfish biplanes swooped in on the harbour, destroyed an Italian battleship and badly damaged two more. With expert analysis, detailed colour illustrations and a gripping narrative, this book explains the origins of the attack, how it was planned and executed, and what happened in the aftermath. Uncover the details of a strike that reverberated around the world and changed war at sea forever.
Amazon Price: $18.95 $16.64 You save: $2.31 (12%). (as of October 22, 2017 2:18 pm –
This volume assesses the formidable special forces fielded by Italy's navy and air force in World War II, both before and after Italy's surrender in September 1943. The Italian Navy special forces were particularly active and respected in the Mediterranean, where 10th Motor-Torpedo Boat Flotilla (Xa MAS) used frogmen, 'two-man torpedoes' and explosive ram-boats; Italian midget submarines were also deployed against the Soviet Navy in the Black Sea. After September 1943 the Germans allowed the expansion of Count Borghese's Xa MAS, which continued fighting on their side at sea and on land, most notoriously in anti-partisan operations. The marines of the 'San Marco' Regiment fought hard in North Africa, earning the respect of their opponents and the German general Hans-Jürgen von Arnim, who described them as the best soldiers he had ever commanded; they also gave birth to a paratroop-frogman section.
The Italian Air Force formed a special commando unit, ADRA (Arditi Distruttori Regia Aeronautica), before the 1943 surrender; it was tasked with attacking Allied airfields and communications in North Africa alongside the 'Loretto' Battalion, which was made up of ground crew trained to operate captured enemy airfields. Men from ADRA and diehard Army paratroopers formed the new 'Folgore' Regiment, which also continued to fight alongside German forces until 1945.
Continue reading “Italian Navy & Air Force Elite Units & Special Forces 1940–45”
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Derided by Allied propaganda which made it out to be an air force equipped solely with elderly biplanes, ineffective in attack or always in retreat, the Regia Aeronautica was overshadowed by its more ruthless Axis partner, the Luftwaffe.
Using research from a mass of original documentation, including personal accounts and combat diaries, the author takes an objective view and shows that the men who flew the Macchis, Fiats, and Savoias were no less skilled or determined than their opponents.
Continue reading “Courage Alone: The Italian Airforce 1940-1943”
Amazon Price: $35.00 $35.00 (as of October 22, 2017 4:50 am –
econd edition, revised and extended. The development of the most famous Italian WWII fighter is described and illustrated. Combining the agility and excellent flying characteristics of the earlier MC.200 with a powerful German aero-engine, the Folgore was the best Italian fighter in large-scale service. It served with the Regia Aeronautica and other forces, including the Croatian air arm. This book describes the design, development and operations of this elegant and effective fighter.
This expanded 2nd edition contains: scale plans, photos and drawings from Technical Manuals, superb color illustrations of camouflage and markings, and rare b/w archive photographs. Color photos of the preserved aircraft illustrate all aspects of the airframe. Essential reading for aviation enthusiasts & scale aeromodelers.