ITALY: AIR POWER, 1919-1945

Selected References at Air University Library

November 2001

Compiled by Bibliography Branch
Air University Library
Maxwell AFB, AL


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All sites last accessed November 2, 2001.

Internet Resources

Grolier Inc. World War II Main Article.
See especially: Between the Wars, Developments in Air Warfare.

HistoryNet. Article: "Italy's Breda Ba.65 was not the best ground-attack plane to see action in World War II--it may well have been the worst," by Jon Guttman.


Adams, Henry. Italy at War. Alexandria, VA, Time-Life Books, 1982. 207 p.
   Cracks in the Grand Facade, pp 52-69. Describes the weaknesses of each of Italy's armed services.
     Flaws of a Proud Air Force, pp 70-89.

Book call no.: 940.5345 A213i

Calculations: Net Assessment and the Coming of World War II., edited by Williamson Murray and Alan R. Millett. New York, Free Press, 1992. 354 p.
    The Impatient Cat: Assessments of Military Power in Fascist Italy, 1936-1940, by Brian R. Sullivan, pp 97-135.
Book call no.: 355.0330043 C144

The Conduct of the Air War in the Second World War., edited by Horst Boog. New York, Berg, 1992. 763 p.
    Air Army and Aircraft Industry in Italy, 1936-1943, by Lucio Ceva and Andrea Curami, pp 85-107.
Book call no.: 940.544 I61c

Military Effectiveness. Volume II: The Interwar Period., edited by Allan R. Millett and Williamson Murray. Boston, Allen & Unwin, 1988. 281 p.
    The Italian Armed Forces, 1918-40, by Brian R. Sullivan, pages 169-217.
Book call no.: 355.00904 M644 v.2

Military Planning and the Origins of the Second World War in Europe, edited by B. J. C. McKercher and Roch Legault.  Westport, CT, Praeger, 2001.  212 p.
      Reluctant Neutral: Italy and the Strategic Balance in 1939, by Alan Cassells, pp 37-58.
Book call no.: 940.53  M644

Morrow, John H. Jr. The Great War in the Air: Military Aviation From 1909 to 1921. Washington, DC, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993. 458 p.
    Examines the rise and decline of military aviation from 1909-1921 in the major combatant powers. See index under Italy.
Book call no.: 940.44 M883g

Overy, Richard and Wheatcroft Andrew. The Road to War. London, Macmillan, 1989. 364 p.
    "...each of the nations eventually involved [in WWII] had complex motives for their policy in the years between the wars...The aim of this book is to retell the story of the twenty years between the wars without benefit of hindsight." Chapter 4 discusses Italy, pp 143-182.
Book call no.: 940.5311 O92r

The Paths of Heaven: The Evolution of Airpower Theory., School of Advanced Airpower Studies and edited by Philip S. Meilinger. Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, Air University Press, 1997. 650 p.
    Chapter 5: Airpower Thought in Continental Europe between the Wars, by James S. Corum, pp 151-181. Italy, pp 159-162.
Book call no.: 358.4 P297

Sullivan, Brian R. A Thirst for Glory : Mussolini, the Italian Military and the Fascist Regime, 1922-1936. Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1984.
Book call no.: 945.091 S949t

Watt, Donald Cameron. Too Serious a Business: European Armed Forces and the Approach to the Second World War. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1975. 200 p.
    See index under France and Italy.
Book call no.: 940.5311 W344t


Apostolo, Giorgio. The Birth of Italian Aviation. Air Power Historian 9:184-188 July 1962.

Bignozzi, Giorgio. Italy's Punch. Royal Air Force Flying Review 17:19-21+ September 1962.
    Brief review of Italian Air Force's history.

Gentilli, Roberto. The Italian Air Force in Russia. Air Classics 8:20-27 October 1972.
    Mussolini's uninvited campaign against the Russians not only cost Italy 100,000 lives, but any chance they had of winning at El Alamein.

Gooch, John. Clausewitz Disregarded: Italian Military Thought and Doctrine, 1815-1943. Journal of Strategic Studies 9:303-324 June-September 1986.

Gooch, John. Italian Military Competence. Journal of Strategic Studies 5:259-265 June 1982.

Gruberg, V. L. Italy's Air Power. Flight 44:193-196 August 19, 1943.
    WW II-era article discusses the deficiences of the Regia Aeronautica.

Harvey, A. D. Bombing and the Air War on the Italian Front, 1915-1918.  Air Power History 47:34-39  Fall 2000.
    Argues that the Italians' aerial bombing in their 1915-1918 war against Austria-Hungary had greater influence on the way air warfare theory developed than has been credited.

The Italian Air Force: An Official History. Aerospace Historian 20:178-185 December 1973.

The Italian Air Force: Fifty Years of Devoted Service. Italy: Documents and Notes 22, no. 3:215-230 May-June 1973.

Lopasic, Alexander. Italian Military Performance in the Second World War: Some Considerations. Journal of Strategic Studies 5:270-275 June 1982.

Sadkovich, James J. The Development of the Italian Air Force Prior to World War II. Military Affairs 51:128-136 July 1987.

Segre, Claudio G. Douhet in Italy: Prophet without Honor? Aerospace Historian 26:69-80 Summer/June 1979.
    Article examines the questions: what was Douhet's reception in his native Italy? How were the doctrines of this pioneer theorist of air power and strategic bombing regarded by his military and civilian colleagues during the "long armistice" of the interwar years when Italy ranked as a major world power? To what extent did the pre-World War II Regia Aeronatica adopt Douhetian policies

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