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Polish Fighter Colours 1939-1947: Volume 1

Polish Fighter Colours 1939-1947: Volume 1 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review February 2017 Title Polish Fighter Colours 1939-1947: Volume 1
Author Bartlomiej Belcarz, Robert Gretzyngier, Tomasz J. Kopanski, Wojtek Matusiak, Marek Rogusz, Wojciech Zmyslony Publisher Mushroom Model Publications
Published 2016 ISBN 9788363678623
Format 280 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $69.00


Let's cut to the chase: anyone interested in World War II Polish airpower should buy, beg or borrow this ripping read.

Polish airmen were the first to face the fury of Nazi aggression in World War II. Now MMP deftly details the heraldry and warpaint of their mounts in volume 1 of Polish Fighter Colours 1939-1947 – part of the publisher's excellent "White (Rainbow) Series".

Expertly authored by a respected team of Polish researchers, coverage chronologically courses through four phases:

  • The Interwar Period
  • The September 1939 Campaign
  • The Battle of France
  • The Battle of Britain

Aircraft covered include:

  • PWS-10
  • PZL P.7a
  • PZL P.11a and P.11c
  • Morane Saulnier MS 406C-1
  • Bloch MB.151 and MB.152
  • Caudron-Renault CR.714
  • Curtiss Hawk 75A
  • Dewoitine D.520
  • Koolhoven FK.58
  • Dewoitine D.501 and 510
  • Hawker Hurricane I, II and IV
  • Supermarine Spitfire I, II and V

Contents commence with an outstanding introduction to Polish military aviation – its origins, history, nomenclature, force structure and camouflage. Reflecting latest research, MMP's warpaint notes proved especially illuminating. How about that rare Nobiles Company paint chip chart?

Individual aircraft subjects sport a superb color profile, camouflage and markings notes, reference shots, and service notes. Where additional photos exist, color plates also include plan, opposite side and scrap views.

Speaking of which: Karolina Holda's outstanding color profiles remain some of the finest, most accurate I've ever seen. She faithfully captures every visible color break and marking nuance. Just savor her amazing reconstruction of FK.58 No.11's "Mermaid of Warsaw"!

Text hints at some intriguing things, too – but occasionally leaves readers twisting in the proverbial wind.

Why no photo of the "wavy colour division line" between top and bottom camouflage on that rare PZL.50/II "abandoned in the prototype hanger of PZL in September 1939"? Someone surely has a shot. What "serious problems" did Turkey face with its ex-Polish Morane Saulnier MS.406s? And why did the legendary Jan Zumbach say, "'everyone was pop-eyed at how good the machines [FK.58s] were'"? My kingdom for the reason!

But I quibble.

MMP has forged deservedly resplendent repute for gems like these. Grab this brilliant book – now. I eagerly – indeed, impatiently – await its sequel.

Rabidly recommended!

I want to thank Casemate for this review sample.