Book Review
Italian Aces of WWI
Osprey Aircraft and Aces #89
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by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]


The Italian aces of World War One have gone down in history as the irrefutable masters of the skies in the battle against their Austro-Hungarian enemies. In this often forgotten theatre of warfare these remarkable pilots gave the Italian forces an undisputed air superiority and left an enduring legacy as extraordinary men. Having interviewed the descendants of almost every Italian ace from the Great War, Paolo Varriale uncovers these fighters’ incredible and sometimes tragic histories. Years of painstaking research has culminated in this truly groundbreaking study which brings to life the exploits of such famous aces as Baracca, Ruffo and Piccio, and the lesser known Riva, Sabelli and Nardini. Letters, diaries and unpublished photographs shed light on previously unknown personal and unit insignia, exposing many myths and making this a commanding addition to the aviation history of World War One.


Italian Fighters
Victory Claims
The Aces

August 2009; 104 pages included not 96 pages the website mentions.

The Author

Paolo Varriale is the Curator of the Baracca Museum and a World War I consultant to the Italian Air Force Historical Office, which has published his tomes on Italian World War 1 aviation units and aces. A staff writer of the online aerospace journal Dedalo News (www.dedalonews.it), he is widely published in Italian and foreign aviation magazines. A life-long enthusiast of vintage aircraft, he served for many years on the Board of Directors of GAVS (Italian historical aircraft preservation association), and has participated in the restoration of various aircraft.


While others previously have attempted to bring to life the history of these brave men I have to say that this is one of the most complete monographs on the subject. It brings together facts that it has normally taken many volumes of historical journals that are long since out of print and even newer material that had not been generally available until now.

When contacting manufacturers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE
Highs: Great collection of solid information new and old.
Lows: This is obviously a edited manuscript and should be published as an unabriged version
Verdict: I purchased this book and can heartily recommend it to all who have an interest in Italian aviation in WWI.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN: 978-1-84603-426-8
  Suggested Retail: $22.95
  Related Link: Website
  PUBLISHED: Sep 30, 2010

About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


The Ferrari Emblem Cheers Nick
SEP 30, 2010 - 02:00 AM
Nice little review Stephen . Also nice to see an excellent variety of profiles , but I expect nothing but the best from Osprey . Will be adding this one ti the ref's . Thanks for sharing Stephen
SEP 30, 2010 - 02:02 AM
Looks very interesting, thanks for discovering this. Does anyone make decals in 1/32nd for Italy in WW I? Could be a nice Nieuport 17 build.
SEP 30, 2010 - 04:24 AM
I love the fact that we now know the serial to Baracca's early Bleriot Spad XIII.
SEP 30, 2010 - 09:29 AM
I didn't know that Italians had so many aces...
SEP 30, 2010 - 09:40 AM
Thanks for the review Stephen – I think I'll have to add this one to my library. I really fancy a Baracca SPAD VII/XIII standing next to my Austrian Albatros All the best Mikael
SEP 30, 2010 - 10:12 PM
Hi Bill – Spada decals used to do some Italian Nieuports in 1:32 – I think Baraccas, and a few more for the type 17... Misterkit USA took over the Spada line a couple of years back here's a link MisterkitUSA The site doesn't work that well, at least not in my browsers – but It might be worth your while to get in touch with them and see what they can do. As far as I know they still produce them. (Although I've never ordered any myself). Best Regards Mikael
SEP 30, 2010 - 10:21 PM
Mikael, I know Mike and I'll email him. Bill
OCT 01, 2010 - 08:57 AM

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