Dewoitine D 520 Book Review
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||June 2005||Title||Dewoitine D 520|
|Author||Bartomiej Belcarz||Publisher||Mushroom Model Publications|
|Format||128 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$22.95|
Mushroom Model Publications began with a magazine that is devoted to aircraft modelers. Later, they branched out into individual books on particular aircraft. These books are printed in Poland (I am told to save money) and are all in English.
The book is in 6 ½” x 9 ½” soft-cover format and about a ¼ of a inch thick. It contains 50 black and white wartime photos, 88 color photos of D-520’s that have been restored (most of which are walk around…detail shots), 13 line drawing profiles in 1/72 nd scale (3 of which are 2-views and one is of a D-520 on floats), 27 illustrations out of a tech manual and 44 color profiles. Three of the color profiles are 3-views and one is a 2-view. Colors schemes are given for 14 aircraft in French markings, before the surrender to Germany. There are 10 schemes for Vichy French marked aircraft (including a proposed marking that was never put into use). Four markings are given for Free French aircraft. Six schemes are for aircraft in German markings. Four schemes are for aircraft used by Bulgaria and five aircraft used by Italy. These are some great alternate markings that modelers could possibly put on their D-520’s
The book covers the technical and operational history of what was the best French fighter of WWII. The D-520 was an elegant aircraft. It was never in sufficient numbers, and it was thrown into battle before its pilots could be fully trained on the type. The D-520 was unable to turn the tide against the German invaders in 1940.
After the armistice, the quality of the aircraft attracted the attention of the Luftwaffe, who put it back into production and used it as a trainer, and also supplied the Italian and Bulgarian Air Forces with some. It was also the premier fighter of the Vichy French air arm. After the liberation of France, the D-520 was available in sufficient numbers to re-equip some French units fighting on the Allied side, and indeed served with the post-war French Air Force as a trainer until as late as 1953.
This is essential reading for aircraft modelers and armchair WWII aviation enthusiasts.