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French Fighters of
World War II in action

By Alain Pelletier


Color by Don Greer
Illustrated by Richard Hudson

Squadron/Signal Publications

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Aircraft Number 180
ISBN: 0-89747-4440-6
Media: Soft cover, landscape format, 50 pages plus covers (incl. 2 pages in full colour).
Price: US$8.46 from Squadron.com
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Compact and useful format for modellers; broad coverage of French WWII subjects packed with photos; inexpensive; attractive cover art - front and back.
Disadvantages: No contents or index pages; brief coverage of individual subjects
Recommendation: Recommended to anyone wanting a succinct and inexpensive introduction to French WWII fighter aircraft..


French Fighters of World War Two in Action is available online from Squadron.com

Reviewed by Brett Green


F i r s t   L o o k


By 1938, the French Armee de l'Air recognised the vulnerability of their underequipped and obsolete fighter force in comparison to Germany's growing Jagdwaffe. French plans to upgrade the equipment and organisation of the Armee De l'Air was underway in 1939, but was diverted by the German invasion of Poland and ultimately curtailed following the French defeat in 1940.

French fighters early in the Second World War comprised an interesting mix of promising designs and some less successful concepts. It would have been interesting to follow the evolution of some of the more successful French fighters had they been permitted the same style of evolution under fire that transformed the Spitfire and the Messerschmitt Bf 109 over six years of war.

French Fighters of World War II in Action by Alain Pelletier is slightly different to most other "In Action" books. While most titles in this series describe a single aircraft type, this book covers separate seven families of French fighter aircraft. These are:

  • Morane-Saulnier MS405/406

  • Potez 630/631

  • Bloch 151/152

  • Bloch 155

  • Cauldron-Renault CR 714 Cyclone

  • Dewoitine D.520

  • Arsenal VG 33

Each of the types includes a short section on the development, operations and (where appropriate) variants and foreign service.

The advantage of this approach is the broad coverage of material in a slim 50 page volume, ideal for modellers with an interest in the general subject. The disadvantage is that the information is necessarily brief. Also, the book has no contents or index page, so the reader must flick through the pages to locate information on particular aircraft subjects.

This book otherwise follows Squadron/Signal’s popular “In Action” format with colour cover art by Don Greer, two colour pages as a “centrefold” with ten colour side profiles, helpful line drawings and specifications spread over 50 pages in landscape format. As with the rest of the series, the real backbone of these books are the multitude of photographs packed between the covers. More than 90 wartime images are included in this inexpensive volume.





French Fighters of World War II in Action is a good primer on this subject. Considering the variety and extravagance of some of these French designs and their markings, the subject has barely been covered in the English language.

Recommended to anyone wanting a succinct and inexpensive introduction to French WWII fighter aircraft..

Thanks to Squadron for the review sample.

Review Copyright © 2002 by Brett Green
This Page Created on 14 April, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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