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Europe to Japan: An Italian Triumph

Savoia-Marchetti SM.75 Marsupiale

The whole flight, upon repeated requests of the Japanese, had to be kept secret, but the news came out five days later on Italian newspapers and the Japanese immediately decided to stop any further flights on the route originally followed, requesting the study of a more southern route. This delayed any progress further and the hitherto foreseen flight in August 1942 of the second S.75 RT MM.60543 had to be cancelled.

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Savoia Marchetti SM.75 Marsupiale

Savoia Marchetti SM.75 Marsupiale

At the time of Italy’s 6/40 entry into the war, all Italian-registered SM.75s were placed under military control. The aircraft proved themselves very valuable to the Italian war effort. Germany seized 10 of these aircraft after the Italian armistice in 9/43 and the other surviving aircraft were used by Italian forces on both sides after the armistice.

Savoia Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero

Savoia Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero

In 1940, well over 1/2 of Italy’s 1,000 bombers were SM.79s, which also turned out to be one of the best land based torpedo bombers of the war. The SM.79 was used to bomb Malta and, in the summer of 1942, had one its best successes against Operation Pedestal, the Royal Navy effort to relieve Malta. The SM.79II also saw extensive service in North Africa, the Balkans and the Mediterranean. After the armistice, the series III was built for use by the pro-axis Italian Air Force.

Savoia Marchetti SM.82 Canguro

sm82

Production totaled about 400 aircraft and these were used mainly as transports during Italy’s participation in World War II. About 80 survived the Italian armistice in 9/43 with 50 surviving with the Italian Fascist side and 30 with the co-belligerent side.

Savoia Marchetti SM.84

Savoia Marchetti SM.84

The SM.84 began its operational career with the 41st Bomber Group in 2/41 and several months later it went into service with the 36th Stormo Aerosiluranti. The SM.84 served in the torpedo-bomber role for about a year, until autumn of 1942, when it was reassigned to bomber units.