Steven Peterson's Reviews > 53° Stormo

53° Stormo by Marco Mattioli
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Jan 22, 11


This is a book in the Osprey series "Aviation Elite Units." The focus here? An Italian Air Force wing (in Italian, Stormo). A stormo was based, at the lowest level, was the squadron (about 9 planes); two to three squadrons (squadriglie in Italian) made up a group (Gruppo). Two or more gruppi comprised a Stormo.

the 53 Stormo was constituted in the 1930s, comprised of biplanes (pictures on pages 6-8 well illustrate). There are also nice renderings of aircraft flown by the Stormo over time on pages 68-77 (including some German-made fighters).

By the outbreak of World War II, this air wing began to be supplied with a monoplane, CR.42. The first actions were in France and the Balkans. Later service began in the latter part of 1940, when the stormo deployed to Africa. Here, they engaged with elements of the British Air Force, with mixed success. The Stormo was deactivateds in earlry 1941 and was reformed in early 1942. The new theater of war? The central Mediterranean, including Sicily. Losses ended up being heavy.

Its active involvement ended with the Italian surrender.

A useful unit history, nicely detailed and introducing the reader to many of the pilots and their leaders.
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