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Sopwith Camels Over Italy, 1917–1918 (Paperback)

Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives

Aviation WWI British History Photo Books Colour Books Photo Books of WWI

By Norman Franks
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Series: Images of War
Pages: 103
ISBN: 9781526723086
Published: 24th July 2018

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During the First World War, Italy was on the side of their British Allies and their fight was against the Austro-Hungarian Empire, bordering on Austria. In October 1917, the Austro-Hungarians managed to push the Italians back during the battle of Caporetto. With the danger signs obvious, both Britain and France sent reinforcements.

Britain’s Royal Flying Corps sent three squadrons of Sopwith Camel fighters, plus one RE8 reconnaissance squadron, and these Camel squadrons fought gallantly over the plains and mountainous regions of north-east Italy, sharing the air battle with aircraft of the Italian Air Force.

Despite the difference in landscape between France and Italy, the Camel pilots employed the same air-fighting tactics and assisted in ground support missions that proved just as destructive in Italy as they had in France. Accompanied by a large selection of photographs depicting the men and the machines that saw action, this book is a welcome addition to Pen and Sword’s Images of War series.

I learnt a lot in this one as well as enjoyed seeing the new archive photos, and about an aspect of WW1 I admit to knowing little or nothing about beforehand. Perhaps one of the most telling things I discovered are some statistics given in the Introductory chapter were the casualty figures for the region. Allied losses are given as 651,000 killed and nearly 1 million wounded against 404,000 killed and 1.2 million wounded on the Austro-Hungarian side. It provided me with some context for the fighting in the region and in this year of another anniversary, that of the RAF, a bit of RAF history which had escaped me before. Well worth a read this one, for the WW1 military historian as well as aviation history enthusiasts as well as aircraft and figure modellers.

Read the complete review online here

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

Generally however, this is an interesting work on a little-known subject.

Adrian Roberts
 Norman Franks

About Norman Franks

Norman Franks is a respected historian and author. Previous titles for Pen and Sword include, In the Footsteps of the Red Baron (1990) The Fighting Cocks (2010), Fighter Pilots Over Burma (2014), Great War Fighter Aces (2014) and Dowding's Eagles (2015). He lives in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex.

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