Published on
February 14, 2023
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Antonio Luis Sapienza Fracchia
Other Publication Information
Paperback (11.75” x 8.25”) 72 pages with 178 black and white photographs, 8 color photos, 21 color profiles, 1 color illustration, 5 maps and 9 tables.
MSRP
$29.95
Company: Helion & Company - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site

“On Thursday, 15 June 1955, thousands of people as usual were on the streets of downtown Buenos Aires. Some curious citizens had heard something about an air parade, and they were in the Plaza de Mayo looking up at the sky. At around 12:40 p.m., some Naval Aviation North American AT-6, PBY-5A Catalina and Beechcraft AT-11 planes appeared on the horizon, But they were not there for a parade; they were there to simply bomb Government House in an attempted coup against Juan Domingo Perón. This raid left behind more than 300 dead, 600 wounded and dead everywhere. The Army units that should have been mobilized to support the uprising never did. The coup attempt was aborted within a few hours. But unlike the bombing of the city of Guernica in 1937, the planes that bombed and the pilots who flew them were national forces. Perón would be finally overthrown three months later by the so-called Liberating Revolution.”

The preceding quote is from the foreword by Esteban Raczynski, an Argentinian historian, and contains the summary of this book. Everything else is supporting and well-researched details. This also set the stage for the Revolución Libertadora (The Liberating Revolution), the name given by the victors of the coup as the Peronist supporters called it the Revolución Fusiladora (Fusilier Revolution, named for the military and civilians shot on order of the new President).

In the words of author Antonio Luis Sapienza Fracchia, “Although numerous books and articles have been written about this event in Spanish, this concise story is perhaps one of the first in the English language that covers all the events of 1955.” If this book is concise, then the author definitely did his research as it is crammed full of details and ends abruptly where the second volume (Revolución Libertadora Volume 2 - The 1955 Coup that Overthrew President Perón will pick up when it is available in April 2023.

The book is presented logically, complete with photographs of the major leaders and operations, maps, tables and even a color profile section, composing the following nine chapters:

 

  • Background
  • Juan Domingo Perón
  • The Failed Coup of General Benjamín Menéndez
  • The Failed Coup of 1952, General Elections and the Death of the First Lady
  • A Terrorist Attack and the Plan to Bomb Plaza de Mayo
  • Confrontation with the Catholic Church
  • Another Plot to Kill Perón and the Naval Conspiracy
  • The Bombing Raid on the Plaza de Mayo
  • Forces of the Coup
  • Appendices
  • Argentine Navy ships in the mid-19502
  • Argentine Armed Forces Ranks (Officers)
  • Argentine Armed Forces Ranks (NCOs)
  • Argentine Armed Forces (Enlisted)

Author Antonio Luis Sapienza Fracchia was born in Asunción, Paraguay on 14 May 1960 and earned degrees from the Catholic University of Asunción, Tulane University (New Orleans, LA) and San Diego State University (CA). A noted aviation historian, he became a founding member of the Instituto Paraguayo de Historia Aeronáutica “Silvio Pettirossi” and has written over 500 related articles, receiving five decorations for his academic merits, and has published eleven books, including eight for Latin America@War series.

Modelers and historians will enjoy this book with color illustrations of AT-6 Texan, AT-11 Kansan, C-47, C-54 Skymaster, PBY-5 Catalina, Gloster Meteor, Fábrica Militar de Aviones (FMA) IAe.33 Pulqui II (based on the Focke Wulf Ta.183), FMA IAe.24 Calqin (indigenous design comparable to the Mosquito), Fiat G.55A Centauro, Fiat G.46-2 trainer, Avro Lancaster, Avro Lincoln, and for armored vehicles, the M3 halftrack, M4A4 Sherman, and T-16 Universal Carriers. Black and white photographs show these vehicles, aircraft, ships, weapons, maneuvers, key figures, and the aftermath of the Plaza de Mayo attack. Also of interest is page 44 in Chapter 9 (Forces of the Coup) with information and photos of notable World War II German Luftwaffe personalities: Walter Baumbach, Hans-Ulrich Rudel, Adolf Galland, Otto Behrens, and Kurt Tank

Profuse thanks to Casemate and IPMS-USA for providing the review sample.

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