A nice little 62 pages publication on Italiy’s premier early war fighter, richly illustrated, bi-language text (Italian-English), only the two pages long modeling notes is only in Italian. There are 1/48 scale 5-view drawing of the VII Serie plane showing also wing airfoils, several 1/72 scale line profiles showing the slight variations of the type from the first prototype to the single C.201 prototype, 5-view colour drawing and several colour profiles. Also some photos from manuals, especially of the cockpit area. The publication explains well why it was so difficult for the Italian air force to accept wholehearthly monoplane fighters and the reason behind the tendency to high speed stall of the first C.200s and how this problem was solved in this otherwise supreme manoeuvrable and well behaving little fighter. When it first flew on Christmas Eve of 1937 it had some very modern features such as a constant speed propeller, flush rivetting all-around, self-sealing fuel tanks and initially a fully-enclosed cockpit. E.g. most RAF fighters got CS propellers only during the early summer of 1940. And in Spitfire flush rivetting was extended to the fuselage only in January 1943. Whether fuselage was flush riveted or not had very marginal effect on plane’s maximum speed but the fact that C.200 had flush riveted fuselage shows that its chief designer Mario Castoldi had used all means available to overcome the handicaps produced by the low-powered engine he had to use.
There is also an account of the operational use of the C.200 Saetta which is fairly inclusive, e.g. the essentials of the rather unknown actions of the Italian fighters in the Soviet Union in 1941 – 1943 are told. The loss of the HMS Zulu on 14 September 1942 is usually attributed to the Luftwaffe, usually to the Ju 87s of III./StG.3 like by Smith and Rohwer and Hummelchen or more generally to the Luftwaffe like by March, but Shores and Massimello and the Wiki article allocate it to C.200 fighter bombers. IMHO the timing and the report of the captain of HMS Zulu indicate that it was more probable that the Luftwaffe hit Zulu even if the fact that the bomb penetrate through the side of the ship into its machinery spaces seems to indicate a low level fighter-bomber attack but German Ju 88s often used glide bombing against ships and so also could produce a hit piercing ship’s side. At least C. 200s sunk MTB 308, ML 352 and ML 353 on that day.
Gavin BAILEY’s The Narrow Margin of Criticality: The Question of the Supply of 100-Octane Fuel in the Battle
of Britain in English Historical Review Vol. CXXIII No. 501.(2008)
Roberto GENTILLI’s The Italian Air Force in Russia in Air Classics Volume 8 Number 12 October 1972.
Jack GREENE’s & Alessandro MASSIGNANI’s The Naval War in the Mediterranean 1940 – 1943 (2011).
William GREEN’s and Gordon SWANBOROUGH’s The Sprightly Saetta in Air International Vol 13 No 6
Edgar J. MARCH’s British Destroyers. A History of Development 1892 - 1953 (1966).
Giovanni MASSIMELLO’s and Giorgio APOSTOLO’s Italian Aces of World War 2. Osprey Aircraft of the Aces •
Eric B. MORGAN’s and Edward SHACKLADY’s Spitfire. The History. Fifth impression (revised)(2000).
J. ROHWER’s and G. HUMMELCHEN’s Chronology of the War at Sea 1939 – 1945. Second, revised and
expanded edition (1992).
Christopher SHORES’ and Giovanni MASSIMELLO’s A History of the Mediterranean Air War 1940-1945
Volume Two (2012).
Peter C. SMITH’s Ju 87 Stuka (1998).