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Finnish Fighter Colours 1939-1945 (Vol 1)

Finnish Fighter Colours 1939-1945 (Vol 1) Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review August 2014 Title Finnish Fighter Colours 1939-1945 (Vol 1)
Author Kari Stenman, Karolina Holda Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Published 2014 ISBN 9788363678074
Format 136 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $69.00


When the Winter War erupted in November 1939, Finland mustered just 41 "modern" interceptors – Fokker D.XXIs – against hundreds of Soviet aerial aggressors.

The dauntless defenders quickly concluded contracts for fighters from England, Italy, France and the United States.  And those warplanes comprise the contents of Finnish Fighter Colours 1939-1945 – the first of a terrific, two-part study from MMP and also available in North America from Casemate:

  • Bristol Bulldog II, IVa
  • Fokker D.XXI
  • Gloster Gladiator II
  • FIAT G.50
  • Morane-Saulnier MS 406
  • Brewster Model 239

Coverage of each aircraft divides into two parts: service summary in the "Winter" and "Continuation" conflicts – and camouflage & markings notes with selected aircraft examples.

The lavishly illustrated chapters include photos – many previously unpublished – and extended captions.  Charts recap individual aircraft serials, service and fates.  And detailed comments and reference shots accompany all artwork.

Speaking of which: Karolina Holda's color profiles are simply superb.  Hers remain some of the finest, most accurate I've ever seen.  Now I know why she shares authorship with the legendary Kari Stenman.

Accounts also run rampant with fascinating facts.  A "totally obsolete" Bristol Bulldog scored the "first aerial victory ever over Finland".  Finland's first ace downed six Soviet bombers in just four minutes.  And Finland's formula for temporary winter whitewash merely comprised a washable mix of chalk and glue!

Three appendices on Finland's national insigne, "numbers & letters," and camouflage colors – the last with Federal Standard matches for the country's distinctive Sotamaalaus ["Warpaint"] – conclude contents.

MMP has polished its deservedly resplendent reputation with gems like these.  East-Front Axis aircraft enthusiast?  Grab this book – now.  I eagerly – and impatiently – await its sequel.

Roundly recommended!

With thanks to MMP for the review copy.