FERRARA, Orazio. La Regia Aeronautica nella Campagna del Somaliland (3 – 19 Agosto 1940). Roma : IBN, 2016. 188 pp.
It should be noted that, unlike some books of this publisher, it is only in Italian and not a bilingual English – Italian version.
For the rest, I am very critical about the result. Half of the photographs do not directly concern the subject (the conquest of British Somalia by the Italians), but more RAF and SAAF in Sudan and Kenya with particularly questionable legends. To put it simply, all South African airplanes and pilots are “avieri inglesi” or “con i colori inglesi” (a somewhat problematic, for example, for Ju.86 of No.12 (SAAF) Squadron). Another example is the photo of Lieutenant Adrian M. Colenbrander in front of a Gloster Gladiator of the No.2 (SAAF) Squadron based in Wajir (Kenya) with a legend: “Somaliland, relax di piloti inglesi”. It is also rather embarrassing to see the South African Prime Minister Jan Smuts reported as an English official … when one knows his political impact in the conduct of ICB operations. I do not continue, because almost all the photographs present big problems of legends. More seriously, they seem to have been copied and pasted from the Tinus le Roux website, seeking South African people who do a very impressive job of collecting testimonials (photo, notebooks and theft) and South African pilots still living or their families. Carrying out such a copy – paste, without any authorization is very limit, not to say more.
Otherwise, there are at least some photographs relating to the Regia Aeroanutica.
There are still many errors in the order of battle of the RAF, notably No.2 (SAAF) Squadron with Hartbees (positive point, the author uses the most consistent term to name this device, probably a copy- Paste from the right book or website).
Regarding the Somaliland Campaign Operations Summary on a day-by-day basis … again, the result is very mixed. The author deals with a number of air operations that have absolutely nothing to do with the subject (the title is for British Somalia and not East Africa). For example, the Wellesley bombing of Massawa or an air collision between two South African Hawker Fury in Kenya). However, the text provides some details on the action of the Regia Aeronautica in relation to the more classical work of Shores. There are also excerpts from the “Bulletin of the Comando Supremo italiano”. It is unfortunate that this information is somewhat drowned in other contractors of air operations specific to Sudan / Eritrea and Kenya.
In the final, the book is not inherently bad, as it brings some supplements concerning pilot names, aircraft identification and other details on the activity of the Regia Aeroanutica. Unfortunately, it also includes several very big defects especially the photos very badly legend, as well as several errors that seem to show a lack of knowledge on the subject. In addition, the author seems to have a very limited practice in retrieving information (see copy and paste) from other authors / researchers without asking for any authorization. It is regrettable, to say the least, to note such behavior in relation to the research work carried out by enthusiasts. For this simple reason, it is very difficult to advise this book. Personally, I absolutely do not encourage him to buy.