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Appendix 28: Summary of Operations against the United Kingdom by the Italian Air Force, October 1940–April 1941

(Compiled from German and Italian sources)

Bombing Operations

Date Aircraft Despatched Targets Remarks
Bombers Fighters
October 25 (night) 16 Harwich One aircraft crashed on take-off; two crews forced by fuel shortage to abandon aircraft on return flight.
October 29 (day) 15 73 Ramsgate A.A. fire slightly damaged many aircraft.
November 5 8 Harwich
November 11 (day) 10 40 Harwich Three bombers and three fighters shot down by defences; ten fighters slightly damaged by forced landings. Pilots claimed at least nine British fighters destroyed.
November 17 (night) 6 Harwich
November 20 (night) 12 Harwich, Ipswich
November 29 (night) 9 Ipswich, Lowestoft, Yarmouth
December 14 (night) 11 Harwich
December 21 (night) 6 Harwich
December 22 (night) 4 Harwich
January 2 (night) 5 Ipswich
Totals 102 113 Bomb Tonnages Day 9.4, Night 44.9

Fighter Operations

Between October 1940, and January 1941, Italian fighters based in Belgium flew 454 offensive and 480 defensive sorties (including 113 offensive sorties detailed in the foregoing table). Thereafter until April 1941 two squadrons remaining in Belgium flew a further 662 sorties, all defensive. Apart from the action over Harwich on November 11th the only fully authenticated encounter between British and Italian fighters occurred on the 23rd of that month, when 29 Italian fighters making an offensive sweep were engaged near the South Foreland and lost two aircraft. Pilots concerned claimed the destruction of at least five British fighters.

Statistical Summary

Operational Casualties
Sorties Bombers Fighters Personnel
Bombers Fighters Reconnaissance (Destroyed) Killed or Missing
Offensive Operations:
Day 25 454 5 3 5 20
Night 77
Abortive 35
Defensive Operations:
Day 1,142
Totals 137 1,596 5 3 5 20

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