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Old 26th May 2005, 02:21
carpenoctem1689 carpenoctem1689 is offline
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Fiat C.R.42, shows italys ineptitude

The Fiat C.R.42 falco was the last biplane put into front line service by the Italians. This radial powered, out of date before completed fighter composed much of the Regia Aeronautica's front line at the beginning of the war, and some were even used until the end of hostilities in southern Italy. It was powered by a 840Hp, 14-cylinde air cooled radial Fiat A.74 RC.38 engine. It had fixed landing gear, and an open cockpit. 1,781 Falco's were produced, making it Italys most produced aircraft. It had a top speed of 272mph at 19,700ft. The range was only 480 miles,. and the armament was a meager two machine guns, probably 7.92mm, and were mounted to fire syncronized through the propeller. This proves how inept the Regia Aeronautica was. If the germans had truly helped its ally, things could have been better, instead of an example or two of the DB-601, and a few machines for producing it, they should have also introduced production methods. If they can build an air force in secret, then they could have helped the Iatlians more, pre-war and during. If that had been the case, maybe italy would have been more an ally, and less a burden.
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Old 26th May 2005, 10:50
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Re: Fiat C.R.42, shows italys ineptitude

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, really. The Cr. 42 is widely acklnowledged as the best of the biplane fighters and many were sold for export (as was the Gladiator). Biplanes were widely used by many nations during the Second World War (look at the website "Hakan's Aviation Page" which is devoted to this topic).

The Luftwaffe pilots I met and corresponded with who flew the Cr. 42 in combat praised it. The Luftwaffe also used many German-made biplanes in combat itself, in the East and the Balkans: the Hs 123 for a start. It was still using biplanes in the last days of the war - as well as jets. In Britain, the Fairey Swordfsih was being used in 1945 against shipping off the Dutch coast - the obsolete plane that sank three Italian battleships in harbour and crippled the Bismarck.

As for Germany helping Italy before the war, why? They were not formal Allies for much of the time and in fact Mussolini was one of the few people to face Hitler and make him back down (over disputed territory in the South Tyrol).

Italy was weak in the design of modern aero engines, Britain was bad at tanks, Germany was behind with radar - everyone had their problems.
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Last edited by Nick Beale; 26th May 2005 at 15:54.
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Old 26th May 2005, 11:52
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Re: Fiat C.R.42, shows Italy's ineptitude

Quote:
Originally Posted by carpenoctem1689
This proves how inept the Regia Aeronautica was.
I don't think so. There were very sound reasons why the Fiat C.R.42 was put into service. But let's first look at the Fiat's contemporaries.

The Gloster Gladiator admittedly first flew on 12 September 1934, but it didn't enter service with the RAF until February 1937. And even though both the Hawker Hurricane and the Supermarine Spitfire were under development at that time, the RAF continually requested that Gloster provide upgrades to the Gladiator, they being the new Mk.II in November 1937, desert filters and ammo capacity in Feburary 1938, three blade metal propellors in June 1938 and the introduction of the Sea Gladiator in October 1938. The aircraft served in France, Norway, BoB (local protection over Plymouth), the Western Desert, Greece and Malta, as well as being the primary Carrier fighter until replaced by Fulmars and Sea Hurricanes in late 1941. In fact front-line service ended in Egypt in 1942!

The Henschel Hs123 first flew in May 1935 and entered service with the fledgling Luftwaffe in June 1936. And although production finished in October 1938, it remained in front-line service until September 1944! It saw service in the Spanish Civil War, Poland, France, the Balkans and then Russia.

The last biplane comparison is the Polikarpov I-153. It first flew in June 1938, and entered service in May 1939 with the V.V.S. It first saw service against Japan in the Nomonhan Incident on the Manchurian boarder in 1939, followed by the war against Finland in 1939-40 and the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939. It was still in front-line service at the commencement of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, and was only withdrawn from service in March 1942.

The Fiat C.R.42 first flew on 23 May 1938, and entered service with the Regia Aeronautica in April 1939. It saw service over France, briefly over Britain, Greece, Crete, East Africa and throughout the Western Desert and Malta. It was withdrawn as a front-line fighter in December 1941, but remained in service first in the ground attack role, then as a night fighter until Italy surrendered in 1943.

So given the development history of Biplanes the fact that Italy also continued to develop them in 1938 is reasonable. And although the Regia Aeronautica knew that the Fiat C.R.42 was 'obsolescent' at the time of it's introduction, Italy had several pressing reasons to continue it's development.

The first was the all important Export Revenue. Of the first 200 Fiats produced, 149 went in export sales - 25 to Belgium, 52 to Hungary and 72 to Sweden.

The second and third reasons for the Fiat C.R.42 being produced was that it's proposed replacements were delayed.

The Italian Air Ministry called for a C.R.42 replacement in a 1936 specification, requiring that the new aircraft be a monoplane. Both Fiat and Macchi were following monoplane development in other countries with a very close eye. Fiat designed the G.50 Freccia, Macchi the M.C.200 Saetta.

The G.50 first flew in February 1937, but service entry was affected in 1938 by diversion of the first twelve to Spain for the Civil War. Following the Spanish trial, a number of improvements were istigated by Fiat, which delayed service entrance until early 1939. The improved G.50bis didn't enter widespread service until December 1940. Only one Gruppo was equipped with the Fiat G.50 in June 1940.

Progress of the Macchi M.C.200 wasn't much better. It first flew in December 1937, and entered service in October 1939. Poor production techniques, and low quality control though affected the delivery rate, and at the time of Italy's declaration of war in June 1940 only 156 M.C.200's were in service.

So if Italy had not developed the Fiat C.R.42, then it's ability to offer fighter protection would have been limited to 156 M.C.200's and 45 G.50's!

Seen in that light it is not a wonder that the C.R.42 was developed, and production continued so late in the war.
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Old 26th May 2005, 12:50
Primoz Primoz is offline
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Re: Fiat C.R.42, shows italys ineptitude

The armament of the C.R.42 consisted of two 12,7 mm guns (not 7,92!).
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Old 26th May 2005, 14:40
veltro veltro is offline
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Re: Fiat C.R.42, shows italys ineptitude

I'm not sure too what point carpenoctem1689 is trying to make...

I'm more than willing to give anyone willing to learn the opportunity to improve his knowledge through exchanges of informations and answers to questions (a question is never stupid, a reply can be...) and our new friend certainly has full rights to do so.

I don't understand however when a posting is an assembly of historical statements (allow me this expression) "cut with an hatchet" and not asking anything if not to provoke a reply which can be either informative or merely irritated.

The art of "contructive provocation" is, in fact, an art and to be exercised needs a lot of experience.

If carpenoctem1689 will allow me a humble suggestion, in view of his self-declared low knowledge of many historical topics debated here, I would stick to questions and would learn to use with proficency a good search engine.

Of course, this is told with no intentions to teach anything to anyone, since we're all here to learn.
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Old 26th May 2005, 20:02
Jon Jon is offline
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Re: Fiat C.R.42, shows italys ineptitude

The Italian army may have been a burden at times, but if you speak with any RAF fighter pilots who served over Malta they all agree that Italian fighters and bombers were flown with skill and courage.

The CR42 was outdated, but you just try and out turn it in a Spitfire or Hurricane !!
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Old 26th May 2005, 21:16
Schenck Schenck is offline
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Re: Fiat C.R.42, shows italys ineptitude

According to same ULTRA messages, German pilots from NSGr.7 considered Cr.42 vastly superior to Hs 126 and He 46 for purpose of attacking schooners and wooden motor boats in Adriatic, and regarding the armament and flying characteristics of all three aircraft.
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Old 26th May 2005, 22:33
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Re: Fiat C.R.42, shows italys ineptitude

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schenck
According to same ULTRA messages, German pilots from NSGr.7 considered Cr.42 vastly superior to Hs 126 and He 46 for purpose of attacking schooners and wooden motor boats in Adriatic, and regarding the armament and flying characteristics of all three aircraft.
Could you tell us the serial numbers of those Ultra messages? I've read most of them from January 1944 to the end of the war and I must have missed the ones you mention.
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Old 26th May 2005, 23:52
Schenck Schenck is offline
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Re: Fiat C.R.42, shows italys ineptitude

Hello Nick

My Word is not the best database, but I can pull out right now KV397 from DEFE3/36 (5 - 8 April 1944), and there should be two more in 3/38 or 3/37 referencing this one.

P.S. Is there any way I can contact you off board, maybe through your web site, I have a question regarding DEFE 3 and HW series, considering your experience using them?
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Old 27th May 2005, 04:19
Dick Powers Dick Powers is offline
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Then what does...

If the CD 42 "shoes Italy's ineptitude", what does the Maccchi MC 72 show?
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