Regia Aeronautica
Overview
 
The Italian Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica Italiana) was the name of the air force of the Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

. It was established as a service independent of the Royal Italian Army from 1923 until 1946. In 1946, the monarchy was abolished and the Kingdom of Italy became the Italian Republic
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, whereupon the name of the air force changed to Aeronautica Militare Italiana.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Italy was at the forefront of aerial warfare: during the colonization of Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 in 1911, it made the first reconnaissance flight in history on 23 October, and the first ever bombing raid on 1 November.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the Italian Corpo Aeronautico Militare, then still part of the Regio Esercito (Royal Army), operated a mix of French fighters and locally-built bombers, notably the gigantic Caproni
Caproni
thumb|right|300px|[[Caproni Ca.316]] seaplane at its moorings.Caproni was an Italian aircraft manufacturer founded in 1908 by Giovanni Battista "Gianni" Caproni....

 aircraft.
Encyclopedia
The Italian Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica Italiana) was the name of the air force of the Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

. It was established as a service independent of the Royal Italian Army from 1923 until 1946. In 1946, the monarchy was abolished and the Kingdom of Italy became the Italian Republic
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, whereupon the name of the air force changed to Aeronautica Militare Italiana.

History

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Italy was at the forefront of aerial warfare: during the colonization of Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 in 1911, it made the first reconnaissance flight in history on 23 October, and the first ever bombing raid on 1 November.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the Italian Corpo Aeronautico Militare, then still part of the Regio Esercito (Royal Army), operated a mix of French fighters and locally-built bombers, notably the gigantic Caproni
Caproni
thumb|right|300px|[[Caproni Ca.316]] seaplane at its moorings.Caproni was an Italian aircraft manufacturer founded in 1908 by Giovanni Battista "Gianni" Caproni....

 aircraft. The Regia Marina
Regia Marina
The Regia Marina dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 after Italian unification...

 (Royal Navy) had its own air arm, operating locally-built flying boats.

The Italian air force became an independent service—the Regia Aeronautica—on March 28, 1923. Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

's fascist
Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism also known as Fascism with a capital "F" refers to the original fascist ideology in Italy. This ideology is associated with the National Fascist Party which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party which ruled the Italian...

 regime turned it into an impressive propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 machine, with its aircraft, featuring the Italian flag colors across the full span of the undersides of the wings, making numerous record-breaking flights. It reached its zenith when two squadrons of flying boat
Flying boat
A flying boat is a fixed-winged seaplane with a hull, allowing it to land on water. It differs from a float plane as it uses a purpose-designed fuselage which can float, granting the aircraft buoyancy. Flying boats may be stabilized by under-wing floats or by wing-like projections from the fuselage...

s, led by General Italo Balbo
Italo Balbo
Italo Balbo was an Italian Blackshirt leader who served as Italy's Marshal of the Air Force , Governor-General of Libya, Commander-in-Chief of Italian North Africa , and the "heir apparent" to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.After serving in...

, crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1931 and 1933 respectively. During the latter half of the 1930s, the Regia Aeronautica participated in the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

, as well as the invasion of Ethiopia
Ethiopian Empire
The Ethiopian Empire also known as Abyssinia, covered a geographical area that the present-day northern half of Ethiopia and Eritrea covers, and included in its peripheries Zeila, Djibouti, Yemen and Western Saudi Arabia...

.

Ethiopian War

During the Ethiopian war
Second Italo-Abyssinian War
The Second Italo–Abyssinian War was a colonial war that started in October 1935 and ended in May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy and the armed forces of the Ethiopian Empire...

, the Regia Aeronautica performed massive poison gas
Chemical warfare
Chemical warfare involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons. This type of warfare is distinct from Nuclear warfare and Biological warfare, which together make up NBC, the military acronym for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical...

 bombings and sprayings over the Ethiopian country side using mustard gas
Sulfur mustard
The sulfur mustards, or sulphur mustards, commonly known as mustard gas, are a class of related cytotoxic, vesicant chemical warfare agents with the ability to form large blisters on exposed skin. Pure sulfur mustards are colorless, viscous liquids at room temperature...

 and phosgene
Phosgene
Phosgene is the chemical compound with the formula COCl2. This colorless gas gained infamy as a chemical weapon during World War I. It is also a valued industrial reagent and building block in synthesis of pharmaceuticals and other organic compounds. In low concentrations, its odor resembles...

. Despite being inadequately equipped, the Regia Aeronautica managed to decimate Ethiopian forces and undertook massive bombings of Ethiopian cities (particularly Addis Abeba
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

). The operations of the Regia Aeronautica were crucial for the success of the invasion of the Regio Esercito and was enhanced by the near total lack of an opposing Imperial Ethiopian Air Force
Ethiopian Air Force
The Ethiopian Air Force is the air arm of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and is tasked with protecting the air space, providing support to the ground forces as well as assisting during national emergencies.- Early years :...

.

Spanish Civil War

During the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

 Italian pilots fought alongside Spanish Nationalist and German Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 pilots as members of the "Aviation Legion
Aviazione Legionaria
The Legionary Air Force was an expeditionary corps from the Italian Royal Air Force. It was set up in 1936 and sent to provide logistical and tactical support to Francisco Franco's Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War, alongside its German equivalent, the Condor Legion, and the Italian ground...

". This deployment took place from July 1936 to March 1939 and complimented an expeditionary force of Italian ground troops titled "Corps of Volunteer Troops
Corpo Truppe Volontarie
The Corps of Volunteer Troops was an Italian expeditionary force which was sent to Spain to support General Francisco Franco and the Spanish Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War...

". In Spain, the Italian pilots were under direct command of the Spanish Nationalists and took part in training and joint operations with the pilots of the German "Condor Legion
Condor Legion
The Condor Legion was a unit composed of volunteers from the German Air Force and from the German Army which served with the Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War of July 1936 to March 1939. The Condor Legion developed methods of terror bombing which were used widely in the Second World War...

".

Albania

The Regia Aeronautica played a limited role during the Italian invasion of Albania
Italian invasion of Albania
The Italian invasion of Albania was a brief military campaign by the Kingdom of Italy against the Albanian Kingdom. The conflict was a result of the imperialist policies of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini...

.

World War II

When World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 began in 1939, Italy had the smallest air force among the three major Axis powers
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

. With a paper strength of 3,296 machines, only 2,000 were fit for operations, of which just 166 were modern fighters. The Macchi MC.200 and Fiat G.50
Fiat G.50
The Fiat G.50 Freccia was a World War II Italian fighter aircraft. First flown in February 1937, the G.50 was Italy’s first single-seat, all-metal monoplane with an enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear to go into production...

 were the best available but were still slower than potential Allied fighters. While numerically still a force to be reckoned with, it was hampered by the local aircraft industry which was using obsolete production methods. Technical assistance provided by its German ally did little to improve the situation.

Battle of France

In June 1940, during the closing days of the Battle of France
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

, Italy declared war on France and the United Kingdom. The Regia Aeronautica carried out 716 bombing missions in support of the invasion of France
Italian invasion of France
The Italian invasion of France in June 1940 was a small-scale invasion that started near the end of the Battle of France during World War II. The goal of the Italian offensive was to take control of the Alps mountain range and the region around Nice, and to win the colonies in North Africa...

 by the Regio Esercito. Italian aircraft dropped a total of 276 tons of bombs.

Middle East

Regia Aeronautica aircraft were involved in the Middle East almost from the start of Italian involvement in World War II. During the Anglo-Iraqi War
Anglo-Iraqi War
The Anglo-Iraqi War was the name of the British campaign against the rebel government of Rashid Ali in the Kingdom of Iraq during the Second World War. The war lasted from 2 May to 31 May 1941. The campaign resulted in the re-occupation of Iraq by British armed forces and the return to power of the...

, German and Italian aircraft of "Flyer Command Iraq" (Fliegerführer Irak
Fliegerführer Irak
Flyer Command Iraq was a unit of the German Air Force sent to Iraq in May 1941 as part of a German mission to support the regime of Rashid Ali during the Anglo-Iraqi War...

) stopped to refuel in the Vichy French
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

-controlled Mandate of Syria
French Mandate of Syria
Officially the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon was a League of Nations mandate founded after the First World War and the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire...

 as they flew to Iraq
Kingdom of Iraq
The Kingdom of Iraq was the sovereign state of Iraq during and after the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. The League of Nations mandate started in 1920. The kingdom began in August 1921 with the coronation of Faisal bin al-Hussein bin Ali al-Hashemi as King Faisal I...

. These masqueraded as Iraqi aircraft and were painted as such en route. Continued concern over German and Italian influence in the area led to the Allies' Syria-Lebanon Campaign
Syria-Lebanon campaign
The Syria–Lebanon campaign, also known as Operation Exporter, was the Allied invasion of Vichy French-controlled Syria and Lebanon, in June–July 1941, during World War II. Time Magazine referred to the fighting as a "mixed show" while it was taking place and the campaign remains little known, even...

.
In one of the lesser known incidents of the war, starting in July 1940, Italian aircraft bombed cities in the British Mandate of Palestine
Italian bombings on Palestine in World War II
The Italian bombing of Palestine in World War II was part of an effort by the Italian Royal Air Force to strike at the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations wherever possible in the Middle East.-Background:...

. In mid-October, the Italians also bombed American-operated oil refineries in the British Protectorate of Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

.

East Africa

ln June 1940, the Regia Aeronautica in Italian East Africa
Italian East Africa
Italian East Africa was an Italian colonial administrative subdivision established in 1936, resulting from the merger of the Ethiopian Empire with the old colonies of Italian Somaliland and Italian Eritrea. In August 1940, British Somaliland was conquered and annexed to Italian East Africa...

 had between 200 and 300 combat ready aircraft. Some of these aircraft were outdated, but the Italians had Savoia-Marchetti SM.79
Savoia-Marchetti SM.79
The Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero was a three-engined Italian medium bomber with a wood and metal structure. Originally designed as a fast passenger aircraft, this low-wing monoplane, in the years 1937–39, set 26 world records that qualified it for some time as the fastest medium bomber in the...

 and Savoia-Marchetti SM.81
Savoia-Marchetti SM.81
The Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 Pipistrello was a three-engine bomber/transport aircraft serving in the Italian Regia Aeronautica during World War II...

 bombers and Fiat CR-42 fighters. In relative terms, these were some of the best aircraft on hand to either side at the beginning of the East African Campaign
East African Campaign (World War II)
The East African Campaign was a series of battles fought in East Africa during World War II by the British Empire, the British Commonwealth of Nations and several allies against the forces of Italy from June 1940 to November 1941....

. In addition, the Italian aircraft were often based at better airfields than those of the British and Commonwealth forces. When the war began, Italian pilots were relatively well trained and confident of their abilities. Cut off from Italy as they were though, problems with lack of fuel, munitions, spare parts and replacements became a serious problem and the Regia Aeronautica was worn down in a war of attrition. By 31 January, Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, reported that the Italian military forces in East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

 were down to 67 operational aircraft with limited fuel and on 24 October 1941, about one month prior to the final Italian surrender, the last Italian aircraft of the campaign was shot down.

Battle of Britain

From 25 October 1940, some 170 Italian planes (including 73 Fiat Br.20
Fiat BR.20
The Fiat BR.20 Cicogna was a low-wing twin-engine medium bomber produced from mid-1930s until the end of World War II by the Turin firm. When it entered service in 1936 it was the first all-metal Italian bomber and it was regarded as one of the most modern medium bomber of the world...

 bombers) were sent to occupied Belgium to form the Italian Air Corps (Corpo Aereo Italiano
Corpo Aereo Italiano
The "Italian Air Corps" was an expeditionary force of the Italian Royal Air Force that participated in the Battle of Britain during the final months of 1940 during World War II. The CAI supported the German Air Force and flew against the British Royal Air Force...

, or CAI) to participate in the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain is the name given to the World War II air campaign waged by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940...

. The CAI achieved only very limited successes and in December 1940, were largely withdrawn to Greece. The last Italian aircraft left Belgium by mid-April 1941.

Western Desert

Initially, the Western Desert Campaign
Western Desert Campaign
The Western Desert Campaign, also known as the Desert War, was the initial stage of the North African Campaign during the Second World War. The campaign was heavily influenced by the availability of supplies and transport. The ability of the Allied forces, operating from besieged Malta, to...

 was a near equal struggle between the Regia Aeronautica and the British Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 (RAF). Early on, the fighters available to both sides were primarily older biplanes with Italian Fiat CR.32
Fiat CR.32
The Fiat CR.32 was an Italian biplane fighter used in the Spanish Civil War and World War II. This nimble little Fiat was compact, robust and highly manoeuvrable and gave impressive displays all over Europe in the hands of the Pattuglie Acrobatiche. The CR.32 fought in North and East Africa, in...

 and Fiat CR.42s
Fiat CR.42
The Fiat CR.42 Falco was a single-seat sesquiplane fighter which served primarily in Italy's Regia Aeronautica before and during World War II. The aircraft was produced by the Turin firm, and entered service, in smaller numbers, with the air forces of Belgium, Sweden and Hungary...

 flying against British Gloster Gladiators
Gloster Gladiator
The Gloster Gladiator was a British-built biplane fighter. It was used by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy and was exported to a number of other air forces during the late 1930s. It was the RAF's last biplane fighter aircraft and was rendered obsolete by newer monoplane designs even as it...

. Later, the balance of power would shift periodically as each side obtained improved aircraft.

After the Italian disasters during Operation Compass
Operation Compass
Operation Compass was the first major Allied military operation of the Western Desert Campaign during World War II. British and Commonwealth forces attacked Italian forces in western Egypt and eastern Libya in December 1940 to February 1941. The attack was a complete success...

 and the arrival of General Erwin Rommel
Erwin Rommel
Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel , popularly known as the Desert Fox , was a German Field Marshal of World War II. He won the respect of both his own troops and the enemies he fought....

 and his German Africa Corps
Afrika Korps
The German Africa Corps , or the Afrika Korps as it was popularly called, was the German expeditionary force in Libya and Tunisia during the North African Campaign of World War II...

, the Regia Aeronautica in the Western Desert
Libyan Desert
The Libyan Desert covers an area of approximately 1,100,000 km2, it extends approximately 1100 km from east to west, and 1,000 km from north to south, in about the shape of a rectangle...

 became dependent on the German Luftwaffe.
Although the air campaign in Libya was seriously limited because of desert conditions, the Italian Royal Air Force managed to retain a force of nearly four hundred airplanes. During the first British counter-offensive, the Regia Aeronautica had suffered heavy losses (over 400 aircraft) until the Axis attack on Greece
Battle of Greece
The Battle of Greece is the common name for the invasion and conquest of Greece by Nazi Germany in April 1941. Greece was supported by British Commonwealth forces, while the Germans' Axis allies Italy and Bulgaria played secondary roles...

 began, when a major part of the British land and air forces were diverted there giving the Italian forces time to recover. New Italian aircraft and units were supplemented by the arrival of the German Afrika Corps, and the attached Luftwaffe contingent deployed almost 200 airplanes in Libya and another 600 in Sicily. Working with the Luftwaffe, the Regia Aeronautica performed better due to the exchange of tactical doctrine and the arrival of more modern aircraft. During Rommel's first offensive, the Italians managed to divert RAF attacks from Rommel's forcesand covered Rommel's retreat during the British Operation Crusader
Operation Crusader
Operation Crusader was a military operation by the British Eighth Army between 18 November–30 December 1941. The operation successfully relieved the 1941 Siege of Tobruk....

 while inflicting heavy losses on RAF bombers.

During Rommel's second offensive the Regia Aeronautica and the Luftwaffe suffered considerable losses due to stronger Allied resistance during the air battles over El Alamein
El Alamein
El Alamein is a town in the northern Matrouh Governorate of Egypt. Located on the Mediterranean Sea, it lies west of Alexandria and northwest of Cairo. As of 2007, it has a local population of 7,397 inhabitants.- Climate :...

 and the bombing raids over Alexandria and Cairo.
The Regia Aeronautica, having suffered heavy losses in Egypt, was withdrawn progressively to Tobruk, Benghazi, Tripoli and, eventually, Tunisia.

Malta

The Regia Aeronautica participated in the air offensive on the British controlled island of Malta along with the German Air Force in an attempt to gain control of the Axis sea routes from Sicily, Sardinia, and Italy to North Africa. Although on the edge of starvation and suffering heavy losses, Malta managed to withstand the attacks from the Italian and German air forces, and inflicted losses of almost 1,500 planes.

The battle cost the RAF 800 planes and considerable numbers of transport ships, but the cost to the Axis was far higher, with 60% of Axis supplies sent to Africa sunk thanks to British aircraft, submarines, and destroyers based in Malta, cutting the Axis forces in Africa off from resupply efforts.

Gibraltar

Mainly in 1942, Piaggio P.108
Piaggio P.108
The Piaggio P.108 Bombardiere was the only Italian four-engine heavy bomber used by the Axis powers during World War II. The prototype first flew in 1939 and it entered service in 1941....

 Italian bombers attacked Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 several times from Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

. The most spectacular raids with the bomber P. 108 were flown in October 1942 when several night attacks against Gibraltar were undertaken from Sardinia.
The last raids on Gibraltar were done during the 1943 Allied landing in Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, when those bombers even managed to hit the port of Oran
Oran
Oran is a major city on the northwestern Mediterranean coast of Algeria, and the second largest city of the country.It is the capital of the Oran Province . The city has a population of 759,645 , while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000, making it the second largest...

 successfully.
The only unit of the Regia Aeronautica to fly the Piaggio P.108 was the "274th Long-Range Bombardment Group" which was formed in May 1941 as the first machines came off the assembly lines. Training and acheiving full operation strenghth took far longer than anticipated and the 274th only became operational in June 1942.

Greece and Yugoslavia

In late 1940, the Regia Aeronautica enjoyed complete air superiority during the Greco-Italian War
Greco-Italian War
The Greco-Italian War was a conflict between Italy and Greece which lasted from 28 October 1940 to 23 April 1941. It marked the beginning of the Balkans Campaign of World War II...

. However, this did not stop the Royal Hellenic Army from forcing the Regio Esercito onto the defensive and back into Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

. In early 1941, the tide was turned as the German Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

 launched its invasion of Yugoslavia
Invasion of Yugoslavia
The Invasion of Yugoslavia , also known as the April War , was the Axis Powers' attack on the Kingdom of Yugoslavia which began on 6 April 1941 during World War II...

. From that point on, the role of the Regia Aeronautica in the Balkans Campaign was primarily that of support to the Luftwaffe. This support role continued during the occupation of Greece and the occupation of Yugoslavia that followed.

Eastern Front

In August 1941 the Regia Aeronautica sent an Air Corps of 1,900 personnel to the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

 as an attachment to the "Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia
Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia
During World War II, the Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia was a corps-sized expeditionary unit of the Regio Esercito that fought on the Eastern Front...

" (Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Russia, or CSIR) and then the "Italian Army in Russia
Italian Army in Russia
The Italian Army in Russia was an army-sized unit of the Italian Royal Army which fought on the Eastern Front during World War II...

" (Armata Italiana in Russia, or ARMIR) were known as the "Italian Air Force Expeditionary Corps in Russia" (Corpo Aereo Spedizione in Russia). These squadrons, initially consisting of 22° Gruppo CT with 51 Macchi C.200 fighters and 61° Gruppo with the Caproni Ca 31 bomber, supported the Italian armed forces from 1941 to 1943. They were initially based in the Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and ultimately supported operations in the Stalingrad area. In mid 1942 the more modern Macchi C. 202 was introduced to operations in Russia. The CSIR was subsumed by the ARMIR in 1942 and the ARMIR was disbanded in early 1943 after disaster during the Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943...

. The Air Corps pulled out of operations in January 1943, transferring to Odessa.

From 1944 to 1945, Italian personnel operated from the Baltic
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 area and in the northern part of the Eastern Front under the direct command of the Luftwaffe under the name Air Transport Group 1 (Italian: 1° Gruppo Aerotrasporti "Terracciano" , German: 1° Staffel Transportfliegergruppe 10 (Ital)). This group was part of the National Republican Air Force
Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana
thumb|250px|Wing emblem of the A.N.R. from 1944 to 1945.The National Republican Air Force was the air force of the Italian Social Republic during World War II, closely linked with the German Air Force in northern Italy.-Description:This air force was tasked with defending the industrial areas of...

 of the Italian Social Republic
Italian Social Republic
The Italian Social Republic was a puppet state of Nazi Germany led by the "Duce of the Nation" and "Minister of Foreign Affairs" Benito Mussolini and his Republican Fascist Party. The RSI exercised nominal sovereignty in northern Italy but was largely dependent on the Wehrmacht to maintain control...

.

Tunisian Campaign

By the time of the Tunisian Campaign, the Regia Aeronautica and the Luftwaffe rarely enjoyed parity let alone air superiority in North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

.

Sicilian Campaign and before 8 September 1943

The Regia Aeronautica was put in a defensive role during the Sicilian Campaign
Allied invasion of Sicily
The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major World War II campaign, in which the Allies took Sicily from the Axis . It was a large scale amphibious and airborne operation, followed by six weeks of land combat. It launched the Italian Campaign.Husky began on the night of...

. Italian pilots were constantly fighting against Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 efforts to sink Regia Marina ships. Just before the Allied invasion, a huge Allied bomber offensive struck the airfields in Sicily in an effort to gain further air superiority. This left the Regia Aeronautica very weak, but still alive as aircraft continued to arrive from Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

, southern Italy, and southern France.
The last mission of the Regia Aeronautica before the truce with the allies was the defence during the (USAAF)
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force....

 bombing on Frascati
Frascati
Frascati is a town and comune in the province of Rome in the Lazio region of central Italy. It is located south-east of Rome, on the Alban Hills close to the ancient city of Tusculum. Frascati is closely associated with science, being the location of several international scientific...

—Rome on September 8, 1943.

Post-armistice

After the Italian armistice, the Regia Aeronautica was briefly followed by two new Italian air forces. In southern Italy, the Royalist Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force
Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force
The Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force , or Air Force of the South , was the air force of the Royalist "Badoglio government" in southern Italy during the last years of World War II. The ACI was formed in southern Italy in October 1943 after the Italian Armistice in September...

 (Aviazione Cobelligerante Italiana
Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force
The Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force , or Air Force of the South , was the air force of the Royalist "Badoglio government" in southern Italy during the last years of World War II. The ACI was formed in southern Italy in October 1943 after the Italian Armistice in September...

, or ACI) fought alongside the Allied forces
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

. In northern Italy, the National Republican Air Force
Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana
thumb|250px|Wing emblem of the A.N.R. from 1944 to 1945.The National Republican Air Force was the air force of the Italian Social Republic during World War II, closely linked with the German Air Force in northern Italy.-Description:This air force was tasked with defending the industrial areas of...

 (Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana
Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana
thumb|250px|Wing emblem of the A.N.R. from 1944 to 1945.The National Republican Air Force was the air force of the Italian Social Republic during World War II, closely linked with the German Air Force in northern Italy.-Description:This air force was tasked with defending the industrial areas of...

, or ANR) flew for the Italian Social Republic
Italian Social Republic
The Italian Social Republic was a puppet state of Nazi Germany led by the "Duce of the Nation" and "Minister of Foreign Affairs" Benito Mussolini and his Republican Fascist Party. The RSI exercised nominal sovereignty in northern Italy but was largely dependent on the Wehrmacht to maintain control...

 and the Axis. The first ANR fighter unit was the 101st Gruppo Autonomo Caccia Terrestre, based in Florence.

Aircraft of the Royal and Republican air forces never fought each other. The ACI operated in the Balkans and the ANR operated in northern Italy and the area around the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

.

Losses suffered during the conflict consisted of 3,007 dead or missing, 2,731 wounded and 9,873 prisoners of war. Some 5,201 aircraft were lost, while Italian fighter pilots claimed 4,293 aircraft destroyed, including 1,771 destroyed on the ground.

Regia Aeronautica Aces (World War II)

The Regia Aeronautica tended not to keep statistics on the individual level, instead reporting kills for a certain unit, attributed to their unit commander. However, pilots were able to keep personal log books, so the few that survived through World War II give individual statistics. Here is a list of the aces attributed with ten or more kills.
  • Franco Lucchini
    Franco Lucchini
    Franco Lucchini, MOVM, was an Italian World War II fighter pilot in the Aviazione Legionaria and in the Regia Aeronautica. During World War II he achieved 21 individual air victories, plus 52 shared, to add to the five kills in Spain, during the Civil War.He was born in Rome, son of a railway...

     - 26 kills
  • Adriano Visconti
    Adriano Visconti
    Major Adriano Visconti di Lampugnano was one of Italy's top flying aces of the Second World War, shooting down between 10 to 26 enemy aircraft...

     - 26 kills
  • Teresio Martinoli - 23 kills
  • Leonardo Ferrulli
    Leonardo Ferrulli
    Leonardo Ferrulli was an ace of the Regia Aeronautica, and a recipient of the Medaglia d'Oro al Valor Militare...

     - 22 kills
  • Franco Bordoni-Bisleri
    Franco Bordoni
    Franco Bordoni-Bisleri was an Italian aviator and racing car driver. He is one of the top-scoring ace of Regia Aeronautica, with 19 air victories. His nickname was "Robur" that was painted on most of his aircraft and racing cars.-Early life:Bordoni was born in Milan...

     - 19 kills
  • Luigi Gorrini
    Luigi Gorrini
    Luigi Gorrini, MOVM, is a former Italian World War II fighter pilot in the Regia Aeronautica and in the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana....

     - 19 kills
  • Mario Visintini
    Mario Visintini
    Mario Visintini, MOVM, , was the first Regia Aeronautica World War II ace. He was the top scoring pilot of all belligerent air forces in Eastern Africa and the top biplane fighter ace of World War 2....

     - 17 kills
  • Ugo Drago - 17 kills
  • Mario Bellagambi - 14 kills
  • Luigi Baron - 14 kills
  • Luigi Gianella - 12 kills
  • Attilio Sanson - 12 kills
  • Willy Malagola - 11 Kills
  • Carlo Magnaghi - 11 kills
  • Angelo Mastroagostino - 11 kills
  • Giorgio Solaroli di Briona - 11 kills
  • Mario Veronesi - 11 kills
  • Fernando Malvezzi - 10 kills
  • Giulio Reiner - 10 kills
  • Giuseppe Robetto - 10 kills
  • Carlo Maurizio Ruspoli di Poggio Suasa - 10 kills
  • Massimo Salvatore - 10 kills
  • Claudio Solaro - 10 kills
  • Ennio Tarantola - 10 kills
  • Giulio Torresi - 10 kills

Fighters and fighter-bombers

  • Ambrosini SAI.207
  • Fiat CR.20
    Fiat CR.20
    |-See also:-References:* Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters. New York:Smithmark, 1994. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8....

  • Fiat CR.32
    Fiat CR.32
    The Fiat CR.32 was an Italian biplane fighter used in the Spanish Civil War and World War II. This nimble little Fiat was compact, robust and highly manoeuvrable and gave impressive displays all over Europe in the hands of the Pattuglie Acrobatiche. The CR.32 fought in North and East Africa, in...

  • Fiat CR.42
    Fiat CR.42
    The Fiat CR.42 Falco was a single-seat sesquiplane fighter which served primarily in Italy's Regia Aeronautica before and during World War II. The aircraft was produced by the Turin firm, and entered service, in smaller numbers, with the air forces of Belgium, Sweden and Hungary...

     Falco
  • Fiat G.50
    Fiat G.50
    The Fiat G.50 Freccia was a World War II Italian fighter aircraft. First flown in February 1937, the G.50 was Italy’s first single-seat, all-metal monoplane with an enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear to go into production...

     Freccia
  • Fiat G.55
    Fiat G.55
    The Fiat G.55 Centauro was a single-engine single-seat World War II fighter aircraft used by the Regia Aeronautica and the A.N.R. in 1943-1945. It was designed and built in Turin by Fiat. The Fiat G.55 was probably the best type produced in Italy during World War II, but it did not enter...

     Centauro
  • Macchi C.200
    Macchi C.200
    The Macchi C.200 Saetta was a World War II fighter aircraft built by Aeronautica Macchi in Italy, and used in various forms throughout the Regia Aeronautica . The MC.200 had excellent manoeuvrability and general flying characteristics left little to be desired...

     Saetta
  • Macchi C.202 Folgore
  • Macchi C.205
    Macchi C.205
    The Macchi C.205 Veltro was an Italian World War II fighter aircraft built by the Aeronautica Macchi. Along with the Reggiane Re.2005 and Fiat G.55, the Macchi C.205 was one of the three "Serie 5" Italian fighters built around the powerful Daimler-Benz DB 605 engine...

     Veltro
  • Reggiane Re.2000
    Reggiane Re.2000
    The Caproni-Reggiane Re.2000 Falco I was an Italian all metal, low-wing, monoplane with a Curtiss-style retractable undercarriage, used in the first part of World War II. This lightly built and highly manoeuvrable interceptor/fighter, similar to the Seversky P-35, flew for the first time in 1939...

     Falco I
  • Reggiane Re.2001
    Reggiane Re.2001
    The Reggiane Re.2001 Falco II was an Italian fighter aircraft, serving in the Regia Aeronautica during World War II. A contemporary of the renowned Macchi C.202, the production of this type was to be limited to only 252, but it was a flexible design that proved to be able to undertake a number of...

     Falco II
  • Reggiane Re.2002
    Reggiane Re.2002
    |-See also:-Bibliography:* Angelucci, Enzo and Matricardi, Paolo. Combat Aircraft of World War II: 1942-1943. New York: Military Press, 1988. ISBN 0-517-66578-6....

     Ariete
  • Reggiane Re.2005
    Reggiane Re.2005
    The Reggiane Re.2005 was an Italian monoplane fighter/fighter-bomber produced for the Regia Aeronautica during the later years of World War II. It is considered by many to be "the most beautiful plane of the Second World War". Along with the Macchi C.202/C.205 and Fiat G.55, the Reggiane Re.2005...

     Sagittario
  • Caproni-Vizzola F.5
    Caproni-Vizzola F.5
    |-References:*Green, William, and Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Every Fighter Aircraft Built and Flown. New York: SMITHMARK Publishers, 1994. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8....


Heavy fighters and fighter-bombers

  • Breda 65
  • Breda 88 Lince
  • Savoia-Marchetti SM.85
    Savoia-Marchetti SM.85
    The Savoia-Marchetti SM.85 was an Italian monoplane dive bomber and ground-attack aircraft that served in small numbers in the Regia Aeronautica at the beginning of World War II...

  • Fiat CR.25
    Fiat CR.25
    |-See also:-External links:*...

  • CANSA FC.20
  • IMAM Ro.57
    IMAM Ro.57
    |-See also:-References:*Lembo, Daniele Officine Ferroviarie Meridionali IMAM, Aerei nella Storia magazine n.34 Nov 2003, Delta editions, Parma. -External links:* * *...


Bombers

  • Savoia-Marchetti SM.79
    Savoia-Marchetti SM.79
    The Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero was a three-engined Italian medium bomber with a wood and metal structure. Originally designed as a fast passenger aircraft, this low-wing monoplane, in the years 1937–39, set 26 world records that qualified it for some time as the fastest medium bomber in the...

     Sparviero
  • Savoia-Marchetti SM.81
    Savoia-Marchetti SM.81
    The Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 Pipistrello was a three-engine bomber/transport aircraft serving in the Italian Regia Aeronautica during World War II...

     Pipistrello
  • Savoia-Marchetti SM.82
    Savoia-Marchetti SM.82
    The Savoia-Marchetti SM.82 was an Italian bomber and transport aircraft of World War II. It was a cantilever, mid-wing monoplane trimotor with a retractable, tailwheel undercarriage...

     Canguro
  • Savoia-Marchetti SM.84
    Savoia-Marchetti SM.84
    The Savoia-Marchetti SM.84 was an Italian bomber aircraft of World War II. It was designed by Savoia-Marchetti as a replacement for its successful SM.79, and shared its three-engine layout...

  • Fiat Br.20
    Fiat BR.20
    The Fiat BR.20 Cicogna was a low-wing twin-engine medium bomber produced from mid-1930s until the end of World War II by the Turin firm. When it entered service in 1936 it was the first all-metal Italian bomber and it was regarded as one of the most modern medium bomber of the world...

     Cicogna
  • CANT Z.1007
    CANT Z.1007
    The Cant Z.1007 Alcione was a three-engined medium bomber, with wooden structure. Designed by ingegner Filippo Zappata, the "father" of the CANT...

     Alcione
  • CANT Z.1018
    CANT Z.1018
    The CRDA CANT Z.1018 Leone was an Italian medium bomber of the 1940s.-Design and development:In 1939, the Regia Aeronautica initiated its R Plan, or 3,000 airplanes, a campaign to quickly increase its strength with modern aircraft...

     Leone
  • Caproni Ca.101
    Caproni Ca.101
    |-See also:-References:* Lembo, Daniele, Ca.101/102, Aerei Nella Storia magazine, Westward editions, n.42 pagg.23-29.-External links:* * Illustration...

  • Caproni Ca.135
    Caproni Ca.135
    The Caproni Ca.135 was an Italian medium bomber designed in Bergamo in Italy by Cesare Pallavicino. It flew for the first time in 1935, and entered service with the Peruvian Air Force in 1937, and with the Regia Aeronautica in January 1938.-Origins:General Valle initiated the "R-plan" - a program...

  • Piaggio P.32
    Piaggio P.32
    |-See also:-References:* Vigna, Achille, il Piaggio P.32, Storia Militare magazine n.100 Nov. 1997...

  • Piaggio P.108
    Piaggio P.108
    The Piaggio P.108 Bombardiere was the only Italian four-engine heavy bomber used by the Axis powers during World War II. The prototype first flew in 1939 and it entered service in 1941....


Recon and/or Transport

  • Caproni Ca.111
    Caproni Ca.111
    The Caproni Ca.111 was a long-range reconnaissance aircraft and light bomber produced in Italy during the 1930s. It was a derivative of the Ca.101.-Design and development:...

  • Caproni Ca.133
    Caproni Ca.133
    |-See also:-References:*Ca.133 reconnaissance table, Storia militare magazine n.83. *Mondey, David. The Hamlyn Concise Guide to Axis Aircraft of World War II. London: Bounty Books, 2006. ISBN 0-753714-60-4....

  • Caproni 309/310/311/313/314
  • IMAM Ro 37
  • IMAM Ro 43/44
  • CANT Z.501
    CANT Z.501
    The CANT Z.501 Gabbiano was a single engine flying boat that served with the Italian Regia Aeronautica during World War II. It had a crew of four or five and was used mainly for reconnaissance. Initially a successful aircraft, it was obsolete by 1940, but was still used throughout World War II,...

     Gabbiano
  • CANT Z.506
    CANT Z.506
    The CANT Z.506 Airone was a triple-engine floatplane produced by CANT from 1935. It served as a transport and postal aircraft with the Italian airline "Ala Littoria"...

     Airone
  • Fiat RS 14
  • S.M. 73/74/75/83
  • Fiat G. 12

Training and Auxiliary roles


Prototypes

  • Ambrosini
    Ambrosini (aircraft manufacturer)
    SAI Ambrosini was an Italian aircraft manufacturer established in Passignano sul Trasimeno, Italy in 1922 as the Società Aeronautica Italiana. It became SAI Ambrosini when it was acquired by the Ambrosini group in 1934. Prior to World War II, the firm built a number of light touring and racing...

    • Ambrosini S.A.I.403 Dardo
  • Breda
    Breda
    Breda is a municipality and a city in the southern part of the Netherlands. The name Breda derived from brede Aa and refers to the confluence of the rivers Mark and Aa. As a fortified city, the city was of strategic military and political significance...

    • Breda Bz.303 Leone II
    • Breda Ba.201
    • Breda Bz.301 Leone III
  • C.A.N.S.A.
    • C.A.N.S.A. F.C. 20bis
  • Caproni
    Caproni
    thumb|right|300px|[[Caproni Ca.316]] seaplane at its moorings.Caproni was an Italian aircraft manufacturer founded in 1908 by Giovanni Battista "Gianni" Caproni....

    • Caproni F6M
    • Caproni F6Z
    • Caproni Ca.331
      Caproni Ca.331
      The Caproni Ca.331 Raffica was an Italian aircraft built by Caproni in the early 1940s. The three examples built served as prototypes for two versions of the aircraft, the Ca.331 O.A. tactical reconnaissance aircraft/light bomber and the Ca.331 C.N. night fighter.Raffica is Italian for "Gust of...

       Raffica
    • Caproni CA.380 Corsaro
    • Caproni Campini N.1
  • CRDA

  • IMAM
    Imam
    An imam is an Islamic leadership position, often the worship leader of a mosque and the Muslim community. Similar to spiritual leaders, the imam is the one who leads Islamic worship services. More often, the community turns to the mosque imam if they have a religious question...

    • IMAM-Romeo Ro-58
  • Piaggio
    Piaggio
    Piaggio based in Pontedera, Italy encompasses seven brands of scooters, motorcycles and compact commercial vehicles. As the fourth largest producer of scooters and motorcycles in the world, Piaggio produces more than 600,000 vehicles annually, with five research and development centers, more than...

    • Piaggio P.111
      Piaggio P.111
      -References:*-External links:*...

    • Piaggio P.119
      Piaggio P.119
      |-See also:-References:*Gigli-Cervi, Alessandro; I caccia con motore centrale Aerei nella Storia magazine, Westward editions, Parma, n. Feb 2000-External links:* *...

  • Reggiane
    Reggiane
    Officine Meccaniche Reggiane SpA was an Italian aircraft manufacturer, owned by Caproni and situated in Reggio Emilia, a city of what today is the Emilia-Romagna region...

    • Reggiane Ca. 405C
  • Savoia-Marchetti
    Savoia-Marchetti
    -History:The original company was founded in 1915 as SIAI . After World War I gained the name Savoia, when it acquired the Società Anonima Costruzioni Aeronautiche Savoia, an Italian aircraft company founded by Umberto Savoia in 1915.The name Marchetti was added when chief designer Alessandro...

    • Savoia Marchetti SM.91
    • Savoia Marchetti SM.92

Notable Members of the Règia Aeronautica

  • Italo Balbo
    Italo Balbo
    Italo Balbo was an Italian Blackshirt leader who served as Italy's Marshal of the Air Force , Governor-General of Libya, Commander-in-Chief of Italian North Africa , and the "heir apparent" to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.After serving in...

  • Francesco Baracca
    Francesco Baracca
    Count Francesco Baracca was Italy's top fighter ace of World War I. He was credited with 34 aerial victories.-Before World War I:...

     (precursor)
  • Ettore Muti
    Ettore Muti
    Ettore Muti was an Italian aviator and Fascist politician. He was Party Secretary of the National Fascist Party from October 1939 until shortly after the entry of Italy into World War II on June 10, 1940.-World War I and Fiume:Born in Ravenna, Romagna, Muti was banned from any school in the...

  • Pier Ruggero Piccio
    Pier Ruggero Piccio
    Lieutenant General Count Pier Ruggero Piccio , Order of the Crown of Italy, Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, Medal of Military Valor, was an Italian aviator and the founding Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force...

    , founding Chief of Staff
  • Umberto Nobile
    Umberto Nobile
    Umberto Nobile was an Italian aeronautical engineer and Arctic explorer. Nobile was a developer and promoter of semi-rigid airships during the Golden Age of Aviation between the two World Wars...

  • Vittorio Revetra

The end of the Regia Aeronautica

The Regia Aeronautica was succeeded by Aeronautica Militare when Italy became a republic on 2 June 1946.

See also

  • Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana
    Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana
    thumb|250px|Wing emblem of the A.N.R. from 1944 to 1945.The National Republican Air Force was the air force of the Italian Social Republic during World War II, closely linked with the German Air Force in northern Italy.-Description:This air force was tasked with defending the industrial areas of...

  • Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force
    Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force
    The Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force , or Air Force of the South , was the air force of the Royalist "Badoglio government" in southern Italy during the last years of World War II. The ACI was formed in southern Italy in October 1943 after the Italian Armistice in September...

  • List of Italian Air Force Trainers (WW2)
  • Servizi Aerei Speciali

External links

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