Fiat CR42 vs Hawker Hurricane

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Vincent Biondi
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Fiat CR42 vs Hawker Hurricane

Post by Vincent Biondi » Sun Jul 29, 2007 7:10 pm

Hello All,
This topic is on how effective the CR42 was against the Hurricane in the East African Campaign.
Well, in this campaign it more than held its own.
In fact, the combat record for both aircraft is roughly the same. About 22 Hurricanes were shot down by CR42s, (about a third were actually CR32s) and 23 CR32/42 shot down by Hurricanes.
So, even though the CR32/42 was a biplane with only two 12.5 mm guns aganist the faster monoplane with eight .303 guns, it did quite well.
Any thoughts?
Vincent.

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Post by Editor » Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:49 am

I like this post Vince! Great investigative work. Would you by chance have quotes from Italian pilots, in this theater or from others, that compare the CR.42 against this opponent (the Hurricane) or other British aircraft. Often we get a view from persons (posters) that spoke to pilots about the deficiencies in equipment, however I've never seen an actual quote (in text, in the open literature) from an RA pilot that specifically states that significant gaps in equipment existed. Can you clear this up ?
Vince Tassone

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Vincent Biondi
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Fiat CR42 vs Hawker Hurricane

Post by Vincent Biondi » Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:50 am

Hi Vince,
As a matter of fact I just purchased a new book by Italian Aviation Historian G. Bianchi entitled, "I Giovani Assi" (The young Aces).
In this book he writes about the exploits and eywitness accounts of various Regia Aeronautica pilots in WW2.
One chapter is about Ten. Aldo Menzione, who fought with the CAI in the Battle of Britain.
The author starts off by interviewing an RA veteran named Pieraccini, who was a ground mechanic with the 95 Sq., of the 18th Gruppo based in Ursel Belgium, 1940.
Author, ...SO, YOU HAD ANTIQUATED CR42S...
Pieraccini quickly interrupts me and answers, "...NO...NO...THE CR42 WAS A SUPERB AIRCRAFT, THAT COULD HOLD ITS OWN AGAINST ANY OF THE ENGLISH ONES!..."
The author then realized that the mechanic wasn't too far off with that statement, since the actions of the CR42 in the campaign would speak for themselves.
Later on in the chapter, the author interviews Menzione's brother Vincenzo, who has in his posession, documents and diaries with eywitnesses, recorded by Aldo Menzione.
According, to Menzione's diaries, despite some of the disadvantages that the RA pilots faced, when compared to the RAF pilots, moral remained high.
Pilots like, Menzione, Gorrini, Bordoni-Bisleri, Giuntella still had faith in the CR42, even when facing the Spitfire, although slower in speed, but definately more maneuvarable.
This is an example of positive things that RA pilots had to say about the CR42, in contarst to the negative comments one reads about in other publications.
Vincent.

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Post by jrlucero » Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:57 pm

In my mind, the CR.42 was the best biplane fighter of all time. It outclassed all the other biplanes that served in WWII.

Thanks for sharing!
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Post by Editor » Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:27 am

jrlucero wrote:In my mind, the CR.42 was the best biplane fighter of all time. It outclassed all the other biplanes that served in WWII.

Thanks for sharing!
You can add my vote as well.
Vince Tassone

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Re: Fiat CR42 vs Hawker Hurricane

Post by Editor » Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:35 am

Vincent Biondi wrote: "...NO...NO...THE CR42 WAS A SUPERB AIRCRAFT, THAT COULD HOLD ITS OWN AGAINST ANY OF THE ENGLISH ONES!..."
Thank you. This is an interesting quote and stands at odds with what's often written about the plane. This is the first quote from either ground crewmen or its pilots affirming (or not affirming) the aircraft's value. I think we need more of this, ie., direct statements from personnel involved as opposed to interpretations of what is said.
Vince Tassone

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