|Josť Fernandez & Patrick Laureau|
|Mushroom Models Publications|
|$62.00 from www.casematepublishing.com|
#9136 ISBN 978-83-63678593
240 pages, hardbound, color profiles and photos, 8.25x11.5 inches
MMP Books has finally released a long-awaited book on French bombers. This has been in their 'to come' section for many years and it was well worth the time spent to get it right.
French bombers don't seem to get a lot of press and that is probably due to their somewhat lack-luster performance during the first year of WWI. France also suffered from industrial issues as just when they needed to speed up development and construction of aircraft, the aviation industry was nationalized. This threw everything into a bit of chaos and it took a while to straighten things out. The French also had real issues with being able to supply parts need to complete aircraft. So often 'new' planes were obsolescent by the time they started reaching units.
The end result of all this was that the French started the war with few modern types, most being fairly slow and under armed types. These planes were easy to fly and liked by their crews, but unable to survive in ares that had any sort of fighter defense.
It isn't to say that the French aero industry was unable to build modern bombers. Indeed, there were several that were just entering service at the start of the war, but there simply were not the numbers needed. Like many European nations, the French went seeking aircraft from other sources. This, for the most part, meant the United States and as such two types, the Martin 167 and Douglas DB-7 were able to be incorporated into the French air force, though not in the numbers required prior to the armistice. Those not delivered where taken on by the RAF.
The book is divided into several major sections. First are the old generation bombers and this includes types such as the Bloch MB.210, Farman F.221 and Amiot 143. The next section includes modern bombers like the LeO 45, Potez 633 and Amiot 351. Two attack aircraft are in the next section, the L-N 411 dive bomber and Breguet Br 693.
It then moves on to foreign types and this includes the DB-7 and Martin 167 along with the Vought V-156. Bomber training types are next with the Leo.20 and Hanriot HD 232 being in this section. Finally, there is a very interesting section on prototypes of various sorts. Many of these were one off aircraft and one type was on the tarmac, getting ready for its first flight when the armistice was signed and the aircraft never flew.
The book is chock full of photographs, color profiles and three view drawings. Each type is provided with a history and its war record (if it had one). This includes its use by other nations. Post war use of some of the types is also included, making this a most comprehensive volume. It is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and I know you will as well. Pick it up, it is that good.
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