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French Aircraft: From 1939 to 1942. Vol. 1: From Amiot to Curtiss [Paperback]

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Item description for French Aircraft: From 1939 to 1942. Vol. 1: From Amiot to Curtiss by Dominique Breffort...

For the first time, all of France's military aircraft in the first years of WWII are offered to the international audience. Not only the fighters, but every type of combat aircraft, based on an alphabetical order (in two volumes) according to the maker.

Foreign aircraft under French cockades are also included, such as the famous Curtiss H 75.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   80
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.29" Width: 7.8" Height: 0.31"
Weight:   0.79 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Histoire and Collections
ISBN  2915239231  
ISBN13  9782915239232  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Calendars > Foreign Language
2Books > Subjects > History > Europe > France > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Military > Aviation
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Transportation > Aviation > General
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Transportation > General
6Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Engineering > Aerospace

Reviews - What do customers think about French Aircraft: From 1939 to 1942. Vol. 1: From Amiot to Curtiss?

Good basic primer on French aircraft 1939-42  Jun 8, 2006
This (and Volume 2, of course) together make a good primer for those interested in French aircraft during the initial phase of World War II in Europe. I am not quite sure what the books are supposed to focus on, as they cover several different areas in a general fashion. You get a run down of the main types of French aircraft, arranged roughly alphabetically between the two volumes. Coverage varies from one or two pages to several, with both black and white photos and numerous color profiles. There is a brief developmental and operational history provided for each type of aircraft, as well. If you are looking for a more technical history, this book doesn't go into great depth regarding the development and mechanics of the planes. If you want camoufalge and markings info, you do get excellent color plates, although the application of colors, their usage, structure for markings and insignia, etc., is only touched upon in a general way. Operational history is also brief, so combat accounts are reduced to a couple sentences regarding a major battle or incident for the types. The French to English translation is a bit rough, but readable. For the price, the books are a very good value and worth picking up. I bought them as a modeller, and would have liked more of a description of the camoufalge painting, colors, etc. This is very loosely covered in Vol. 1. No modern paint cross-reference information like FS numbers or even descriptions of colors are provided. Perhaps a third volume will be introduced to cover the Free French Air Force, which used various Allied planes like the P-39, Tempest and P-47.
Finally, some Armee de l'Air reference work!  Mar 21, 2006
A brave attempt to put colour to greyscale photographs. French colour is not easy to interpret but the authors seem to have gone for the standard interpretation basing most schemes on the textbook translation. I for one have no intention to challenge any of the schemes! The Amiot 143 schemes have been done very well and make a refreshing change from the overall 'tete de negre' versions.

The artwork may appear flat and does not reach levels of aviation artists like Richard J. Caruana. The weathering effect can be annoying as it is done on a permanent layer and is repeated on several profiles. Finally, there are occasional schemes where it is too obvious that the only changes are the aircraft number and insignia over the standard template.

This said however, I just loved this publication and recommend it to anyone who has even the slightest interest in French aviation of the late 30's through to the Second World War.

"French Aircraft" Beautifully Illustrated but Poorly Written  Feb 28, 2006
Volumes one and two of "French Aircraft from 1939 to 1942" by Dominique Breffort and Andre Jouineau are some of the few books available today devoted entirely to French World War II aircraft. As such they are a useful addition to the literature available on WW2 military aviation, although both volumes suffers from several significant shortcomings.

Breffort and Jouineau begin their series with an introduction that briefly covers the French air force's history during the pre-war period, before moving on to give a quick description of the air battles that began on the Western Front in 1939 and culminated in the Battle of France in 1940. The authors focus the remainder of their books on individual French aircraft, covering the Amiot 143 to the Curtiss Hawk 75A in volume 1, and the Dewiotine D 500 to the Potez 63 in volume 2. Both volumes conclude with a brief section of "might-have-bens" (more precisely titled "Those That Never Were")--French aircraft that were produced and flown in experimental form but never entered production or service before France's fall.

The books' strengths are that Breffort and Jouineau describe all of the major and most of the minor French combat aircraft, including those (such as the American Curtiss Hawk 75A, Douglas DB-7, and Martin 167-F) not produced in France but nevertheless employed by the French Air Force. The books are also generally well organized, and include lots of high-quality photos and brilliant color prints of each aircraft.

The books suffer from several weaknesses, however. First, the text is translated into English from French, and in several spots the translation is poor. At times this makes it difficult, for example, to discern from the text how many of a particular aircraft were produced or when a given aircraft entered service. Second, the technical specifications for each aircraft are very brief and provide only bare-bones performance, weight, and dimensional information. Thirdly, the space taken up by the sections covering experimental aircraft would probably have been better used covering minor aircraft that entered French service but are for some reason not covered in the main text, such as the Latecoere 298, Vought V-156-F, and Liore-Nieuport LN 401. Finally, it is not clear why the series was produced in two volumes-the two books are thin enough that they probably could have been produced as a single convenient, compact book.

Despite these shortcomings volumes one and two of "French Aircraft from 1939 to 1942" are some of the few concise references on French World War II military aviation, and for those searching for information on this topic they may be worth buying.

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