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Flashes of War

Macchi MC.200 / MC.202 / MC.205/V


by Nicola Malizia


IBN Editore


S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: AERMACCHI - Flashes of War
Macchi MC.200 / MC.202 / MC.205/V
by Nicola Malizia
Published by IBN Editore  
ISBN: 88-7565-030-6
Media and Contents: Hard cover, 256 pages, 8.5 x 12 inches
Price: 42,50 Euro from Aviolibri
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: All Macchi, all the time; extensive collection of photographs; Italian and English text in parallel columns.
Disadvantages:  Quality of photographic reproduction and lack of camouflage discussion.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman

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The author, Nicola Malizia, seeks to cover a lot of ground in this new book.  Not only does he address the three famous Macchi fighters of World War Two, the MC.200, 202 and 205, but he also looks at the role of the Macchi fighters in post-armistice Italy and post-war Italy and Egypt.

The book can be effectively divided into two parts.  The first part is composed of three chapters.  Each chapter undertakes a brief discussion of the development and operational use of each of the Macchi fighters.

The description of the developmental aspects of each of the aircraft is most interesting.  However, the discussion of the operational use is very brief indeed, often simply summed up at the end of the chapter as the aircraft operated over many fronts.

Each aircraft also receives the appropriate amount of data.  The author lists the units that operated each of the aircraft, the production variants and serial numbers and the dimensions, performance and armament.

The second half of book focuses on the post 8 September 1943 armistice period and is divided into five chapters.  In this part of the book the in service use of three aircraft is looked at collectively.

In Chapter IV, the author looks at the Regia Aeronautica on the eve of armistice and the last actions of the Italian pilots before they must choose sides.  The author also briefly notes the fate of the Italian navy.

In Chapters V and VI, the Macchi fighters’ service with the Co-Belligerent Italian Air Force, fighting with the Allies, and the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana (ANR), fighting alongside the Germans, is covered.  The author notes the units of both the Co-Belligerent and ANR that used the Macchi fighters.

There is a brief chapter on the Macchi fighters in post-war Italy.  Brief because there was not much left of the Macchi fighter force.  The Macchi 202 and 205 were replaced by the P-39, Spitfire Mk. IX and P-51, among others.

The final chapter is one of the most interesting of all.  It examines the re-manufacture and sale of Macchi 202 and 205 fighters to the Royal Egyptian Air Force.  The Macchi 202 was remanufactured as a 205.  It seems that both Egypt and Israel approached Italy to obtain fighters.  But because of what appears to be political connections, the Italian government gave the green light to the sale of aircraft to Egypt.

The chapter concludes with a list of the Macchi aircraft sold to Egypt with the Egyptian serial numbers, the Italian M.M. numbers, the type of aircraft, the builder and the Series designation among other information.

Anyone who picks up this volume will surely put off reading the text because it will be the overwhelming number of pictures that will catch one’s attention.  Each chapter has extensive photographs, some new, some seen before, to illustrate the chapter’s subject.  This includes pictures of Macchi fighters in post-war and Egyptian markings

For those who love Italian smoke ring camouflage, there are more than enough pictures.  Each of the Macchi fighters is shown in various styles of smoke ring camouflage; from finely drawn ones to thick, heavily applied smoke rings.

Even thought there are numerous pictures, their reproduction is not up to today’s standards.  Most of them appear to be muddy and lack sharpness.  Given what can be achieved with modern digital photographic reproduction, this book is many years behind the time.

Perhaps I am asking too much, but the other issue on which the book falls short is a discussion of the camouflage applied to the Macchi fighters.  I realize this is covered extensively in the two volume set Colorazioni e Insegne della Regia Aeronautica Caccia & Asdsalto 1940-1943, by Waldis and De Bortoli, from La Bancarella Aeronautica-Torino in Italian and English), and in the excellent volume Camouflage and Markings of the ANR 1945, by D’Amico and Valentini, from Classic Publications.  However, a brief overview in a chapter would have made this book more complete in its overview of the Macchi fighters.

Finally, a note on the text.  While the English translation is quite workman like, there is a bit of quirkiness to it.  There are some factual issues that seem a bit odd.  For example, it would seem that the Hurricane Mk. I and Mk. II came out about the same time and after the fighting at Malta had begun.  Then did the Bf 109F actually come after the G version?  One of my favorite passages seems to indicate that the American liberators of Sicily were also from the Mafia.





For an aircraft enthusiast who wants a good overview of the Macchi fighters and loves pictures, this is a volume that I can recommend to them.  For those who already have the numerous monographs from Ali D’Italia, and other sources, then the detail in this volume will fall short of what is already on your shelves.  However, the pictures may still be of interest.  But the unique aspect of this book is the coverage of the Macchi fighter in the Royal Egyptian Air force.

Thanks to Istituto Bibligrafico Napoleone (I.B.N) for the review copy.

Review Copyright © 2005 by Steven Eisenman
Page Created 10 May, 2005
Last updated 05 October, 2006

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