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Fire Over the Gestro by Bellumsaur Fire Over the Gestro by Bellumsaur
After completing the Ethiopian riflesaur drawing a week ago now, I had wanted to do more depicting this war between Ethiopia and Sardinia. Unfortunately, I have a billion different ideas floating in my head and I have to figure out what ones to prioritize first, to be finished with them and upload them as soon as possible. So here, we have a dogfight (drakefight as it would be called here) between Sardinian Fiat CR.30/32s and a mishmash of different Ethiopian fighter planes; three Gloster Gamecocks, two Gloster Gauntlets, two Fokker D.XVIIs (powered by the excellent Junkers L5 ITTL, rather than the subpar Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar), and a Nieuport-Delage NiD 62, ongoing over the Gestro River southeast of the village of Megalo in Bale Province. As the Sardinian Army marched towards the Bale and Ahmar ranges that the Ethiopians were hoping to serve as a makeshift defensive line, both countries' air forces battled tooth and nail in the skies for weeks, from September 28 all the way through mid-to-late October. The Sardinians had more heavy bombers to strike logistical and industrial targets and newer and more numerous fighter craft, but the Ethiopians had generally superior attack planes over the Capronis and Macchis their European adversaries had employed in the ground attack role (even if they were generally older vehicles).

It was a closely fought air war and, despite the progress the Regia Aeronautica had made, the IEAF doggedly fought on, supplied with newer aircraft by the Germans, Japanese, Americans, and Swedes as the war dragged on. Its war effort was bolstered by new recruits from the flight school hastily-established at Lideta Airfield and by the arrival of more mercenary to fly for the underdrake Empire, as it battled against the numerically and technologically superior Sardinians. Indeed, the support the Imperial Air Force provided for the ground forces enabled them to push the Sardinians back and chased them across the border, before having their offensive get hampered by counterattacks and aerial support. Led by inspiring CSA nonsaurian and pilot John C. Robinson (whom Emperor Haile Selassie designated as Degiac of the Air Force), the Ethiopians stood their ground and gave the RA a bloody snout despite all the odds in similar circumstances, as noted by some western observers, as the air forces of the Chinese would find several years later against the Japanese.

Have to say, the thing I like most about this is how the Ethiopian aircraft look here, as I noted that the depictions of planes of the IEAF mostly showcased a common silver paint scheme, which I replicated here with the additions of wingtip national colors and a rectangular insignia on the fuselage. I also added specific coloration that was supposed to be the signifiers of a specific squadron, complimenting it by the addition of a shield insignia on some of the planes that's supposed to be the squadron emblem, in lieu of the Royal Air Force. The ground bit was tricky, I had to use the specific Google Map of a section of the river so I could try to replicate the terrain above which these aircraft are fighting.
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August 31
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