Originally shared by Lord Anubis

A Cant. Z. 1007 being engaged by Hawker Hurricanes during November 1940. Eager to support his ally Hitler, Mussolini sent several Italian squadrons to Belgium during 1940, forming the Corpo Aereo Italiano. Equipped with B.R.20 bombers, some Z.1007s, C.R. 42 Falco biplane fighters and some G.50 fighters, the Italians first struck during October.

They bombed Harwich on 24th October, followed by a raid on Deal on the 29th, with a fighter sweep over Canterbury on 1st November. Things came to a head on the 11th November, when in retaliation for RAF attacks on Italian cities, the Italians sent up 10 B.R. 20s escorted by C.R. 42s. 7 of the B.R.20s and four C.R.42s were shot down by Hurricanes of 46, 249 and 257 Squadrons. Despite the losses, fighter sweeps continued until the 28th November. Raids on Felixstowe, Lowestoft, Ipswich and Harwich continued until 7th February 1941, after which all but two squadrons of G.50s returned to Italy. The G.50s returned to Italy in April, having only done patrols along the Belgian coast.

In all, 24 Italian aircraft were lost. No RAF aircraft were shot down by the CAI. The campaign shows how unprepared for war Italy was, sending biplane fighters and ageing bombers against a more modern RAF armed with Hurricanes and Spitfires.

Picture below courtesy of Adak Whidbey​. I strongly suggest following him for more high quality pictures like this one!