Thanks for the post, Scott. I’ve never seen the photo of the C.200 in German markings before (Photo #9).
The reason so many Italian planes wound up in German markings is pretty simple. When the Italians unexpectedly surrendered on September 8, 1943, the Allies thought it was a trap. They moved very cautiously. The Germans, on the other hand, had been expecting a surrender and rapidly occupied half the country (Operation Axis). They seized anything of military importance. If it had wings, it immediately got German markings.
In the end, the Germans were primarily interested in the Macchi C.205 and Fiat G.55 fighters, as well as any and all transport aircraft. JG 77 operated new-manufacture Macchi C.205s (Series III with wing cannons) from September 22 to December 31, 1943. After the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana
was formed upon Mussolini’s rescue by the Germans, the C.205s and G.55s were returned to form the new Italian ANR squadrons that flew defensive missions against allied bombers. They all wore new markings. Regia Aeronautica aircraft had three faces
(ancient Roman symbol of authority: a bundle of rods and an axe handle) on each wing representing God, king and country. ANR fighters only had two - God and country – because they weren’t very happy with the king for having Mussolini removed and arrested.
The Germans also acquired 112 new-manufacture CR.42 biplanes for night harassment and anti-partisan duties. The last combat victory ever claimed by a biplane was a German CR.42 flown by NSGr 7 against a 14th Fighter Group P-38 on February 8, 1945.
They also put the Reggiane Re.2002 back in production for the same role, acquiring approximately 100. A German Reggiane Re.2002 that was shot down by partisans near Limoges, France, was displayed in the town gardens for years. It was later restored and moved inside, and is now on display in the Limoges Museum of the Resistance.
Since Photobucket is playing games, here’s a link to some photos of the Reggiane. It is in its actual markings and is being lifted into the museum.https://get.google.com/albumarchive/110 ... source=pwa