This book covers the Fiat G.55 from WWII to its post war service. At first glance the book is reminiscent of the Ali d’Italia series being roughly the same size and length but with the entire printed portion in English.
The first 62 pages of this book covers the development and use in combat of the G.55 by both the regia Aeronautica, ANR and the Luftwaffe. An interesting story of the one G.55 to appear in British markings is also covered. This aircraft was flown by a defector who also was transporting an escaping OSS agent out.
One of the best sections in my opinion covers the post war use of the G.55. The post war Italian AF as well as those of Syria, Egypt and Argentina all used the G.55 and this is the first English language volume I have seen that has detailed this service. For the modeler this provides many interesting schemes to go along with those of its WWII service.
There is also coverage of the camouflage schemes used by each user, the different variants to include the G.55N torpedo plane, G.56 which is a G.55 with a more powerful DB engine and the G.59 trainer.
The book concludes with the story of the single surviving G.55 at the Museo Vigna di Valle. This aircraft was converted back to G.55 configuration from a Fiat G.59 through an exceedingly long process.
A testament to the quality of the G.55 is that per the book, Italian pilots were reluctant to trade their G.55s for Bf-109Gs and German pilots that flew the G.55 much preferred the Centauro to their own country’s Bf-109G and Fw 190 for intercepting Allied bombers at altitudes above 23,000 feet.
This is a book with informative text. All photos are in B&W but the modeler will find many interesting markings to give them inspiration. I can recommend this to anyone with an interest in WWII, WWII aviation, Italian aircraft of WWI as well as the modeler, all will find something of interest in these pages.
My thanks to Casemate for the review sample and to IPMS for the opportunity!