French Aviation During the First World War

AUTHOR: Vital Ferry
PUBLISHER: Historie & Collections
PRICE: $49.95
NOTES: 176 Pages, Softbound, over 500 illustrations.


The book offers a fairly comprehensive overview of the French military aviation arm's operations in western Europe (no coverage of operations outside of continental Europe is included) during World War I.

The bulk of the book is arranged chronologically with chapters titled by calendar year. Within each chapter are brief synopses and maps of major battles fought that year , numerous personal anecdotes from individuals involved in the aerial operations associated with the battles, photos of personnel and equipment that participated in the operations, and color profiles of aircraft that saw most of their wartime utilization in the year the chapter covers. Interspersed throughout the book are reproductions of aviation themed period postcards, posters, cartoons, and artwork. Twenty two pages of the book features brief chapters dedicated to each of the following aircraft manufacturers: Breguet, Caproni, Caudron, Dorand, Farman, Letord, Morane, Nieuport, Salson, Sopwith, Spad, and Voisin. Three of the last four chapters of the book are photo essays of aces, lesser known aircrew, and random views of ground crew, ground equipment, and airfields. Two pages are given over to an assessment of France's participation in the air war including a cataloging of the human cost

The following aircraft are featured in the color profiles:

Morane Saunier N
Nieuport 11
Caudron G.4
Nieuport 17
Breguet 14
Salmson 2A2
Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter
Spad VII
Salmson Moineau

The English language edition of the book is a translation from the original French, but it is one of the best translations that I have tead. The book is a visual feast. Every page is jammed with images and I don't recall having seen many of the photos before. The text is interesting and and I was unaware of much of the information prior to reading the book. Recommended to any and all interested in WWI aviation.

Rob Hart

October 2021

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