Spitfire V vs C.202 Folgore cover


The inability of the Italians and Germans to invade Malta proved decisive for Allied victory in the Mediterranean during World War II, as the islands provided the Allies with a base from which to project air power. Early Italian efforts to pound the islands into submission were supplemented by major German forces from January 1942 and in a few weeks the situation for the defenders reached a critical stage; in response, in March 1942 the first Spitfires were delivered to Malta. That April the Macchi C.202 was introduced to combat over Malta, the fighter downing its first Spitfire on 2 June. Throughout the summer C.202s fought over Malta escorting tiny formations of Cant Z.1007s, SM.79s and Ju 88s. The fighting subsided in August and September, but grew in strength with the arrival of more C.202s. In October the Regia Aeronautica could muster three Gruppi with a total of 74 C.202s. For ten days the Italians pressed a relentless attack before attrition brought the offensive to a halt. Throughout the bombing campaign the British were able to supply Malta with ever increasing numbers of Spitfires. By the end of June air commanders felt secure enough to pass one of the Spitfire squadrons to Egypt. Here, the Spitfire V would again encounter the C.202 in the long drive to expel the Germans and Italians from North Africa, then Sicily and Italy in 1943. Fully illustrated with specially commissioned artwork, this is the engaging story of the clash between two of World War II's finest piston-engine fighters in the skies over the Mediterranean and North Africa.

Table of Contents

Introduction/ Chronology/ Design and Development/ Technical Specifications/ The Strategic Situation/ The Combatants/ Combat/ Statistics and Analysis/ Aftermath/ Bibliography/ Index

Product details

Published Apr 22 2014
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 80
ISBN 9781782003564
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 40 b/w; 23 col
Dimensions 10 x 7 inches
Series Duel
Short code DUE 60
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Donald Nijboer

Donald Nijboer lives in Toronto, Canada and has wr…


Jim Laurier

Jim Laurier is a native of New England and lives i…


Gareth Hector

Gareth Hector is a digital artist of international…


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