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Italian Stuka Pilots
Vincent Biondi
Generale di Divisone Aerea
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Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 467
Location: Niagara On The Lake, On. Canada
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Hello All,
While surfing in the net, I came upon an article on Serg. Magg. Bertolotti.
He was a Stuka pilot who belonged to the 237sq. 96 Gruppo under the command of Capitano Ercolani.
On January 10 1941, the British Aircraft Carrier HMS Illustrious came under attack first by German Ju. 87 of the I./St.G.1 group at around 13:00, which inflicted some minor damage to the Carrier's deck, but not enough to disable the ship.
Later, at around 16:00, it was the turn of the 96 Gruppo who took off from Comiso Sicily, led by Ercolani and Bertolotti. Their bombs hit the deck, causing exttensive damage to the bridge and the right side of the ship. Also, two other bombs fell close to the ship's side in the water, causing severe damage to the Hull.
The final result was, extensive damage to the bridge and ship's hull.
Flight elevators destroyed and major explosions in the internal hangar causing fire on the ship.
Sadly, 126 sailors dead and 91 injured.
The ship limped back to Malta for temporary repairs and eventually sailed to Norfolk Virginia, for major repairs. It returned to active duty 15 months later.
I looked up evey article on the net to verify this and all I read is that the British admit to the ship being attacked by Germans only and no mention of Italian Stukas!
Luckily, I came upon this article written by Francesco Mattesini, who verifies that in fact, it was indeed Italian Stukas that inflicted major damage to the Carrier and not, German!
Here is the article (in Italian)

http://www.aereimilitari.org/forum/topic/13401-danneggiamento-della-portaerei-britannica-illustrious/

My question is this: why is it that anything to do with Italian Exploits of WW2, still do no get credit or recognition from the their former enemies?
Can anyone answer this question.
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Great article. This site answers questions like yours when you post these kinds of articles. Great investigative work!

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Vincent Biondi
Generale di Divisone Aerea
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Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 467
Location: Niagara On The Lake, On. Canada
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Thanks Vince,
It sure would be nice if the Anglo-American sources would get the proper facts straight when writing about such WW2 events on Wikipedia and other web sites.
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I think this is more of an "Anglo" problem and what they teach in their schools.

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Vincent Biondi
Generale di Divisone Aerea
Generale di Divisone Aerea

Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 467
Location: Niagara On The Lake, On. Canada
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Yes, it probably is.
I also think that sometimes the British Military historians cannot handle the truth particularly, when it comes to losses against Italian Air, land and sea forces of WW2.
Example: little known fact that of all the Royal Navy Submarine losses of WW2, Italian Military Forces sunk more Subs than the Geman and Japanese forces combined!!
I just finished reading a book entitled " British Submarine vs Italian Torpedo Boat Med 1940-43" by David Greentree.
Some of the most successful Axis torpedo boats of WW2 were Italian!
These boats, with their excellent ASW tactics, sunk about 1/3rd of the RN Submarines in the Med.
Hopefully, we will start to see more publications like this one.
Very good book, highly recommended.
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Awesome work, Vince can you please write a short article and summarize all this. I've always enjoyed reading your posts, you always have something new to add! And I doubt we'll see anything new from the British, it'll remain the job of sites like this to get to the truth.

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Vincent Biondi
Generale di Divisone Aerea
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Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 467
Location: Niagara On The Lake, On. Canada
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Do you want an article on the 96º Gruppo and the damaging of the HMS Illustrious?
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Yes, a correction for the attacks by 96o Gruppo on HMS Illustrious are long over due, also try to work in MAS boats + ASW tactics etc

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Vincent Biondi
Generale di Divisone Aerea
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Location: Niagara On The Lake, On. Canada
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Ok.
I will email you the article
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Re: Italian Stuka Pilots
Trajanus
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My question is this: why is it that anything to do with Italian Exploits of WW2, still do no get credit or recognition from the their former enemies?
Can anyone answer this question.


Well Vincent, it's quite simple: British arrogance and their obsolete colonial idea of being superior to everything and every other nation in the world. (Herein lies the true reason for the Brexit btw...)

There are many historic publications written by British that ridiculise the Italian armed forces of WWII. It all started when Italy tried to expand their territories in North Africa and Somalia/Eritrea, which didn't end up all too well for them. Here it gets psychological. The British losses were very high. The best way to draw the attention away from this fact is ridiculising your opponent, which they did.

Italians are always portrayed as cowards, who fought with inferior hardware. We all know that is not true. The main problems of the Italians were logistics, insufficient production capabilities and splitting their fighting power by covering too many fronts, which was the result of the deal the Axis-countries had made. Mussolini's greatest mistake, though he had wanted not to wage war before 1943, when the production problems were tackled, so he hoped.

Unfortunately British historians keep on repeating the old notions, without doing proper research, so they are lazy as well. I stumbled again on this disdain when I did my research on the Corpora Italiana, that fought in the Battle of Britain.

Italians were not braver or cowardly than any other nation that was involved, nor were their weapons inferior to others. There is an old saying, which is applicable here: "He who wins writes the history". And btw, that is exactly why the Allies never were accounted for the massive and criminal bombing of the German civilians and cities.

Just my 2 cts.

Jan
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JeffZ
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English superiority over whom? Look at them, they’re pathetic. Never has a nation been on a winning side in war only to lose it. Britain (UK, England … whatever they call themselves, they’re confused), France, Italy, Germany and Japan all went to war fighting for or trying to expand their empires only for all of them to lose those empires. Only two super powers emerged from WWII, the United States and the USSR. English historians should stick to writing what they’re good at … Harry Potter stories.
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Vincent Biondi
Generale di Divisone Aerea
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Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 467
Location: Niagara On The Lake, On. Canada
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Hello Jan,
I guess that your explanation pretty well answers my question.
Thanks.
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Italian Stuka Pilots
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