Macchi C202 & C205V Units in Combat

...Combat Aircraft 145, from Osprey Publishing

Title: Macchi C.202/C.205V Units in Combat
Author: Marco Mattiolo
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4728-5068-3

The Combat Aircraft series has got to number 145 and tackles perhaps the best Italian fighters of WW2, and explores the units and the pilots which flew them in combat. A 96-page soft-cover book, packed with a great selection of archive images along with a selection of fine colour profiles by illustrator Richard Caruana, all adding to the main text.
The two aircraft concerned are the C.202 Folgore, which means Thunderbolt, and the C.205V Veltro, which means Greyhound. Both types were fitted with licence built versions of the Daimler-Benz engines, an inline engine rather than the radials seen on so many other Italian aircraft of WW2. The opening chapter gives the background to the development of these 'Ultimate Macchi Fighters', leading into the further chapters covering their operations over Malta and North Africa, with the record of the units and their experiences there. A section on Other Theatres cover them on the Eastern Front, and over the Aegean. Then of course they fought to defend both the island of Sicily as well as the Italian mainland. Another spanner in the works came after the Italian armistice with the allies, and the period beyond that as well as some Foreign Service which continued after the war, including with the Egyptian Air Force. Plenty of personal accounts from pilots talking about their experiences throughout the war, sprinkled throughout the book. There are also plenty of archive photos, along with a section colour artwork with 10 pages of beautiful colour profiles plus another 3 pages of squadron and more personal insignias. These are all individually detailed in an Appendix at the end of the book.
An interesting book to read, and an account of the war with reference to what I think are the most attractive looking Italian fighters of WW2. While there are exceptions, the bulk of their experience was in the Mediterranean theatre. Another fine addition to the Combat Aircraft series I think.
Thanks to Osprey for our review copy.

Robin