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Title: The italian air war over Malta : what led to the defeat of the Regia Aeronautica in the siege of 1940-1942
Authors: Falzon, Gianluca Giorgio
Keywords: World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations, Italian
World War, 1939-1945 -- Mediterranean Region
World War, 1939-1945 -- Malta
Italy -- Aeronautica -- History
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: Dedicating my dissertation on the Second World War was an easy choice to make. Military history has been fascinating me since a very young age, and whilst throughout the years I’ve expanded my interest over most historical periods, from antiquity all the way to Modern and Contemporary history, the Second World War has always been one of my most favourite periods. I chose to work specifically on an evaluation of the Regia Aeronautica’s apparent failure in their bombing campaign against British-held Malta simply because in my opinion, it is a question related to Malta in the Second World War which has remained unanswered for a long time. Be it uninformed members of the public, television documentaries, living witnesses of the war and, sometimes, even biased writers, there is a general assumption that the pilots of the Italian Air Force didn’t have the guts to fly to Malta without recklessly dropping their aircraft’s bombs at the first sign of trouble. This failure to delve into sufficient detail, to the extent which is today enjoyed by counterparts such as the Royal Air Force and the German Luftwaffe is what motivated me to choose such a topic. I am confident that this thesis dispels this ridiculous lack of critical thought on the subject. The evaluation indeed converges on the conclusion that what made the Regia Aeronautica so ineffective was a combination of obsolete aeronautical technology, poor or incomplete pilot training, logistical difficulties, lack of raw materials, issues with mass production and the hard headed attitude of the Italian top brass. My work on this dissertation has made me even more aware of how a historian should analyse any particular subject critically. There are always two sides to a coin, and no piece of writing should be interpreted as the definite truth, especially when it is not supported by other sources. Surprisingly, there is no huge shortage of secondary sources which mention the Regia Aeronautica and its drawbacks, although these sources are not as accessible to the public as much as the mass media, which transmits plenty of documentaries on the branches of service of other countries. I would like to take this opportunity to thank first and foremost my tutor, Prof. Dominic Fenech, for his role in helping me choose a suitable title and refine this dissertation. I would also like to thank my mother, father and sister for supporting me throughout my years of studies and also Dr. Joseph F. Grima for his help in locating some useful sources.
Description: B.A.(HONS)HISTORY
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2016
Dissertations - FacArtHis - 2016

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