Vichy Air Force at War: The French Air Force That Fought the Allies in World War IIHardback
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- Publisher: Pen & Sword Aviation
- Format: Hardback | 256 pages
- Dimensions: 156mm x 234mm x 30mm | 499g
- Publication date: 24 March 2011
- Publication City/Country: South Yorkshire
- ISBN 10: 1848843364
- ISBN 13: 9781848843363
- Illustrations note: 60 mono in plates
- Sales rank: 279,833
At the beginning of World War II the French faced the German invasion with 4,360 modern combat aircraft and 790 new machines currently arriving from French and American factories each month. When the phony war finally ended, some 119 of 210 squadrons were ready for action on the north-eastern front. The others were reequipping or stationed in the French colonies. Of the 119 squadrons France could bring into action only one-fourth of the aircraft were battle-ready.With France overrun by June 1940, what remained of the French air force was either concentrated in the unoccupied zone or had been hastily redeployed to the colonies. Nonetheless, in retaliation for the British attack on the French fleet in Oran, French bombers, based in French Morocco, carried out retaliatory air raids over Gibraltar. The Armee de l'Air de Vichy was born and would fight to the best of its ability against the Free French's allies in theatres as distant as north-west Africa, Syria, Lebanon, Madagascar and the Far East. Not only would they take to the skies against the British and later the Americans, they would also willingly take part in aerial duels against Free French pilots.Only a handful of books have been written on French aircraft, but never has there been a complete history of the operations of the Vichy Air Force and its fratricidal war. This title literally spans the globe, examining forgotten air combats. It is also important to note that many of the Vichy pilots that survived the air combats later volunteered to join the Free French and would fight with great courage and distinction alongside the very pilots that they had been trying to kill.rnrnThis book describes all major theatres of combat, examines the aircraft flown and lengthy appendices cover operational units, victory credits and the Aeronautique Navale.
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By james fletcher 18 Nov 2012
I was surprised to see that in the same year they wrote about cooking, Gilbert and Sullivan, fishing, war games and farming Sutherland and Canwell attempted the Vichy French Air Force. It's obvious from the gaffes in dates, aircraft types and even the French language that they know next to nothing about it. However I do note that they regurgitate a lot from old 1950s and 60s books, some almost verbatin and one or two pages at a time! I hadn't seen a few of the photos before but most were unusually grey, almost as if they had been scanned or photocopied from faded books or newspapers.
I see from other websites that they are hardly the accomplished military historians they claim.
By john foley 10 Sep 2011
Sorry to be negative, but an inauthentic book. It depends on some old books (only one in French) by way of research. The photos are murky and look like they were taken from other photos in books (maybe with a scanner) instead of from originals.
There are long sections taken verbatim from other writers. In fact, a third-rate scissors-and-paste job. I wonder if it's all allowed under Copyright Law. I have doubts!
The authors have written on literally dozens of diverse subjects at an incredible rate. I'd estimate at least one full book a month. Recently most are Pen and Sword and I wonder what is going on. It looks like a rip-off in at least two senses.
It's a pity this book came out, because someone else might have done a better job and now the rug has been pulled from under them.