Revolución Libertadora, Volume 2 - The 1955 Coup that Overthrew President Perón
Illustrator: Luca Canossa, Tom Cooper, Antonio Luis Sapienza, Goran Sudar, and Ivan Zaja
Revolución Libertadora, Volume 2 - The 1955 Coup that Overthrew President Perón picks up where the previous book, Revolución Libertadora, Volume 1: The 1955 Coup D’état in Argentina, abruptly left off (see the previous review here for details). Author Antonio Luis Sapienza writes in the Introduction -
“In the first volume, the background of the Liberating Revolution has been covered, including a biography of Perón, going through the air attacks of June 1955 and culminating with the description of the Armed Forces of Argentina that prepared for the final blow, which occurred in September of that year. This volume covers the intense preparations for the coup of September 1955 and then the conflict itself, described day by day in detail. Once the triumph of the so-called Liberating Revolution was consummated, the long-awaited exile of former President Perón is described, first in Paraguay and then in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and finally Spain. The story ends with his return to Argentina and his third and last presidency, with his death in the exercise of his functions.”
The book is replete with photographs of the major leaders, the military equipment used, the typical beautiful color profile section, maps, and tables composing the following five chapters:
- The Intense Preparations in the Previous Weeks
- The September Coup d’Etat, day by day
- The Aftermath
- Asylum and Exile of former President Gloster Meteor
- The Return of Perón and the Grand Finale?
The author is very detailed and there are a lot of facts and history crammed into 72 pages. While this book cannot really stand up on its own, it is the companion book to the first volume (the author’s attention to detail would be a great single book, but the page count might be too large for the @War series). The book literally starts at a rapid pace, and page one could be page 73 if this was one book.
The day-by-day, blow-by-blow, format is concise and detailed. It reflected the horror of a military and civilian population split between pro and anti-Perón forces, with the split often within the same units. The revolutionary forces marked their aircraft with the title MR (Movimiento Revolucionario) and Cristo Venice markings applied in red paint. The coup was short and fast, and the military junta created wanted the fighting to stop quickly with the exile of President Perón so the country wouldn’t be dragged into a long and costly civil war.
Modelers and historians will enjoy this book with color illustrations of Fábrica Militar de Aviones (FMA) I.Ae.DL-22 Dele Dele, FMA I.Ae.24 Calqin, Avro Lancaster, Gloster Meteor, Douglas C-47, Douglas C-54A Skymaster, Martin PBMS Mariner, Grumman J2F Duck, North American AT-6 and SNJ3/4 Texan, Paraguayan Air Force PBY5A Catalina and DC-3, ARA 9 de Julio (previously the USS Boise, CL-47 Brooklyn class light cruiser), the Buenos Aires destroyer (built in Great Britain for the Argentine Navy). Photos of military ground, air and sea power abound throughout the book including M4 Shermans, Fireflies, Avro Lincoln, Sikorsky S-55, and naval craft from large to small. Of particular interest are the revolutionary markings applied to the aircraft.
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.
This book, while hard to follow if not immediately read after the first volume, contains an amazing amount of history. From the strong post-World War II ties with the defeated Germans, through the democratic experiment, military rule, and Perón’s remarkable three terms as President, and his third wife taking over the presidency after his death. The interaction between Latin American countries, the Argentinian coups that continued after Perón’s exile, and Perón’s revisionist history are well documented. This is a good book on a lesser-known subject.
Profuse thanks to Casemate (https://www.casematepublishers.com) and IPMS-USA for providing the review sample.