Italian air force frontline strength throughout Crusader

Italian air force frontline strength throughout Crusader


The following information is similar to that provided for the German side in this post and is based on Santoro’s not particularly satisfying L’Aeronautica Italiana Nella II Guerra Mondiale published in the 1950s. At the end of the 1941 section of this book, Santoro has inserted some data which is very interesting.  Unfortunately he does not provide loss data for the period by month, but only in total between 7 February and 31 December.  For the table below, which shows average effective (serviceable) frontline strength, I have included September as starting date since it was fully outside the Crusader air offensive.

Mc 202 folgore sized

Macchi Mc.202, 81a Squadriglia, 6o Gruppo 1o Stormo Caccia Terrestre, North Africa, Date Unknown but between November 1941 and mid-1942. A Mc.200 in the background. Wikipedia

The list is quite interesting, in that it gives a nice overview of the high variety of types present with the Regia Aeronautica, and the relative weight.  It is also interesting to note that average frontline strength did not drop very much in November compared to October, but crashed in December. This was probably related to the loss of landing grounds east of El Agheila, and the withdrawal of units to Italy, because North Africa had run out of fuel to keep the planes operating.

Average Monthly Frontline Strength Sept - Dec 41

Average Monthly Frontline Strength Sept – Dec 41. based on Santoro