Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Bomber Units Book Review
|Date of Review||January 2018||Title||Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Bomber Units|
|Author||Marco Mattioli||Publisher||Osprey Publishing|
|Format||96 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$23.00|
The Savoia-Marchetti S.79 arguably remains Fascist Italy's most famous bomber. Now Marco Mattioli supplements his superb Osprey study of Sparviero torpedo-bombers with Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Bomber Units – number 122 in the publisher's perennially popular "Combat Aircraft" range.
Format follows Osprey's proven prescription. After an introductory chapter on design and development, contents swiftly segue to five geographically oriented sections:
- Spanish Civil War Service
- World War II Employment Against French & Balkan Adversaries
- WWII Mediterranean Operations
- WWII North African Use
- WWII East African Actions
In each, author Mattioli methodically chronicles – theater-by-theater, year-by-year, unit-by-unit – Sparvieri in bomber roles. The story even spans postwar Lebanese use!
Prepare for plenty of absorbing anecdotes and fascinating facts. Did you know that the S.79 – specifically prototype I-MAGO – first saw combat during the second Italo-Ethiopian War in 1936? And did you know that one-leg CR.42 pilot Maggiore Ernesto Botto scored Italy's first confirmed aerial victory of World War II?
Neither did I.
Considering Italeri's 1:72 S.79? Tackling Airfix's ancient effort? Or Classic Airframes' 1:48 rarity? Richard Caruana's splendid color profiles will certainly motivate your modeling muse. But I wish Osprey also provided starboard and plan views of early S.79 "banded" camouflage – as well as top views for profiles 13 and 16.
That's important, because this otherwise excellent effort contains no bibliography – and no annotations. So you're on your own for further study.
Still, Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Bomber Units superbly surveys this oft-neglected facet of World War II air combat. I loved it.
My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!