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Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 28 : French Aces of World War 2

French pilots endured the almost unique experience of fighting both with and against the Allies during World War 2. Possessing perhaps the most obsolescent aircraft of any major air force in Europe at the outbreak of the war, the Armée de l'Air was decimated in the wake of the Blitzkrieg. Never short of targets, a number of fighter units achieved creditable scores flying Curtiss Hawks, Morane MS.406s and Deqoitine D.520s, although they also suffered serious losses at the hands of marauding Bf 109s and Bf 110s. Following the capitulation of France at the end of June 1940, many aces continued to fly with the now Vichy French Squadrons that had fled to North Africa. Many of these pilots subsequently saw action against their former Allies in North Africa - particularly over Syria in 1941 and in opposition to the Anglo-American Torch landings of November 1942, when they took a heavy toll of US Navy and Fleet Air Arm fighters and bombers. Numerous French pilots also escaped to Britain following the surrender, and a handful achieved notable success with the RAF flying Hurricanes, Spitfires and Tempests. In Russia, the formation of the French-manned 'Normandie-Niemen' regiment in 1943 also saw near on 40 pilots achieve ace status flying Yak fighters on the Eastern Front. Text by Barry Ketley with illustrations by Mark Rolfe.

    Contents
  • Prelude to Blitzkrieg
  • Drole de Guerre
  • Into the Torment
  • Blitzkrieg
  • Two Sides with the Same Flag
  • With the RAF
  • In Soviet Skies
  • Aces and Victories
  • Appendices

 

Osprey Aircraft of the Aces


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