Mc-202s over Malta

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Graf
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Mc-202s over Malta

Post by Graf » Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:19 pm

I've recently started digging into the aircraft of the Regia Aeronautica and the Folgore has really garnered my attention. The air battle for Malta also intrigues me and I cannot find much info, besides RAF accounts, on the Italian side of things.

How did Mc-202s fare in action over the skies of Malta when first introduced in Oct '41? I'd love to read some reports of the Folgore and how it fared against the Hurricanes and Spitfires over Malta.

Thanks!

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Post by Editor » Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:21 am

Welcome. You may want to drop an email to Richard Caruana who resides in Malta, or on this forum get in touch with Stefano Lazzaro (Stefano), Riccardo Trotta (Rick) or Ludovico Slongo and perhaps also Maurizio Di Terlizzi (macchi205), if he is available. In general, the C.202 was the equivalent of the Spitfire and the C.200 compared well against the Hurricane – the C.200 was a better plane in tight turns, climbing and diving and had the same straight line speed. The guns of the C.200 had a longer range and the pilots were well trained. In terms of individual combat reports and scores that could be verified by one side or the other, its best to refer to the persons above.
Vince Tassone

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stefanuccio
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macchi mc 202 on malta

Post by stefanuccio » Wed May 13, 2009 6:22 pm

i suggest the reading of a book titled stormi d italia giorgio lazzati ed mursia.i am no sure if you reed italian as the book is in this language if you can is a highly reccomanded work who deals with the historical aspect of the ami stormi including accounts of missions in details of major campains including of course malta
ciao stefanuccio

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Post by Stefano » Thu May 14, 2009 3:13 pm

Graf,

I agree with Vince that Richard J Caruana is one of the best experts around over the Battle of Malta, as he lives there. He has written several books and articles on the matter. He has an own site, and you can contact him through it: http://rjcaviationart.googlepages.com/. He is a very kind person.

Other than the book suggested by Stefanuccio, if you're interested to the first duty tour of 202s over Malta (9° Gruppo of 4° Stormo) and you are/understand Italian, the best choice is Antonio Duma's QUELLI DEL CAVALLINO RAMPANTE, the complete and detailed story of 4° Stormo from its birth to mid-Sixties.

You can also take a look to Håkan Gustavsson site, which deals mainly of biplane aces, but it has good files on Italian aces that fought with 9° Stormo in that period. Here are some:
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_larsimont.htm
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_barcaro.htm
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_bonfatti.htm
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_borghese.htm
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_damiani.htm
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_frigerio.htm
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_martinoli.htm
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_oblach.htm
http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_querci.htm

I hope this helps.

Stefano

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stefanuccio
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Post by stefanuccio » Thu May 14, 2009 4:17 pm

ciao stefano
un saluto alla tua simpatica padova
the book quelli del cavallino rampante a.duma suggested by you is it still available? and if yes how can i get hold of it?
i must agree with you that the websites suggested by you are very rich of intersting informations even if mainly based on biplane aces they are precious to most of us passionate with stories of eroism and courage
salutissimi !
stefanuccio

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Post by Stefano » Sat May 16, 2009 4:04 am

Ciao Stefano,

the book QUELLI DEL CAVALLINO RAMPANTE (two volumes) is no longer present in the Aeronautica Militare bookstore. However, it should be still available at www.tuttostoria.it with the code 080D011.

Image

It's not so cheap, but it well worth all of its 40 Euros.
You can e-mail to info@tuttostoria.it for an order.

Grazie per i saluti. Ciao.

The "other" Stefano by the other hemisphere. :wink:

P.S. the aircraft on the foreground in the picture above is the 73-7 of Giulio Reiner, the same wonderfully made by Jean Barby.

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Ludovico Slongo
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Post by Ludovico Slongo » Sat May 16, 2009 5:44 am

Dear Grief and Stefanuccio,

very detailed day-by-day accounts of the air fighting over Malta is contained in the books by Chris Shores, Brian Cull and Nico Malizia published by Grub Street around twent years ago and still available (you can also get quite fairly priced used copies at Abebooks)

Malta the Hurricane years 1940-41, Grub Street, London 1987 ISBN 0-948817-06-2

Malta the Spitfire Year 1942, Grub Street, London 1991 ISBN 0-948817-16-X

In more recent times Brian Cull and the Maltese historian Frederik Galea have produced similar studies but richer in personal accounts that were published again by Grub Street and are currently available.

Hurricanes over Malta June 1940- April 1942, Grub Street, London 2001, ISBN 1 902304 91 8

Spitfires over Malta the epic air battles of 1942, Grub Street, London 2005, ISBN 1 904943 30 6.

They are definitly great books, it is just to mention the fact that -in my very personal opininon (and perhaps I'm wrong)- the view that Mr. Shores gave in his studies is slightly unbalanced in the fact that when German units were present he tended to overlook the Italian contribution verifiying the RAF losses mostly with the (I must admit more reliable) German claims. But they are -nothwithstanding this- great books that I recommend strongly.

Regarding the impact of the C202 over Malta, in autumn 1941 it for sure changed the whole affair for the Italian pilots that had been definitly at disadvantage when flying on C200s against the radar-guided Hurricanes II of the island, but it never had sufficient numbers to destroy the Maltese fighter force . However it seems that in the couple of months of the first tour of duty over Malta of the first Italian unit operating the new Macchi , namely 9° Gruppo 4° Stormo (oct-Nov 1941), at least three (and perhaps four) Hurricane IIs (B and C) went down for each Macchi lost in combat and this was really a radical change from the previous years. Then the few Fologores were retired from Malta to be drawn in Norht Africa to help stop the Crusader offensive and they came back to Malta only in May 1942. At that time the whole situation had changed because Malta air defence was now mainly equipped with Spitfire Vs type B and C, moreover a strong German fighter force was present so it become difficult to understand exactly the real effectiveness of the Italian fighters because they very frequently operated togheter with the Luftwaffe and as I told you Shores tend to assign all the successes against the RAF to the Germans. However it looks clear that against the cannon&radio-equipped, radar-guided Spitfires it was a much tougher situation for the Macchis then the year before.

Ciao

Ludovico

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Post by stefanuccio » Sat May 16, 2009 7:46 am

ciao stefano
thank you for your replay
i must admit i would do anything to get hold of this book as i am going to try to ordered in the way you have suggested
i believe books of this caliber are the essence of the real history of the r.a.
in ww2 it is certainly expensive especially compared to the local revenu but unique for my interests about the cavallino rampante
salutissimi from
the " african stefano"

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stefanuccio
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Post by stefanuccio » Sat May 16, 2009 8:39 am

ciao ludovico
thanks for your suggestions
its seems that you and i like the same avatar
i have chosen mine for the devotion to the cavallino rampante and the africa shape for obvious reason of residency
about the bias accounts of the historical facts contained in the books suggested i am not surprised as the british propaganda of the time is still somehow obvious today even if a lot has been rectified about the real happenings of events
a real historian however should stick to factual events researching in details what really happened otherways better watch i nice episode of "star trek" on television
the wartime british propaganda has depicted a different picture of the italian air force often denigrating our pilots and with good use of theyr "humor" ridiculized the italian aircrafts some time forgetting possibly on purpose all the spitfires,hurricanes,bleinheims,warhawks, etc.lost in acction against italian aircrafts
in the accounts of the british propaganda it was possibly easier to descibe
our pilots as spaghetti eaters or mandolino players rather than having to explain theyr population about the bombs raining on harwick or about those ships ended at the bottom of the mediterraneo
about the events of malta i think that a lot of man and aircraft of the regia
were unusefully sacrificed
the regia s unit could have been concentated in other sectors while the strategic island of malta could have been taken with a beach landing or
a drop of paratroopers units or a combine effort of both strategies
the scattering of italian air force units around different teathers of operations probably decreased efficience and nullified those few good results obtained with honor and blood from the italian pilots
ciao
stefanuccio

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Vincent Biondi
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Post by Vincent Biondi » Sat May 16, 2009 8:07 pm

Hello Ludovigo,
As you say:
.....They are definitly great books, it is just to mention the fact that -in my very personal opininon (and perhaps I'm wrong)- the view that Mr. Shores gave in his studies is slightly unbalanced in the fact that when German units were present he tended to overlook the Italian contribution verifiying the RAF losses mostly with the (I must admit more reliable) German claims. But they are -nothwithstanding this- great books that I recommend strongly....
I agree with you 100%!
I to have read the books by Shores and yes, Italian contributions were overlooked.
As an example I have been doing some research on Italian Ju87 units operating in Greece and North Africa, in particular G. Cenni. He and his unit sure did a lot of damage on bridges, airfields and ships. Italian Stukas contributed more than they're given credit for.
Vincent.

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