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Morane-Saulnier MS.406 Aces

Morane-Saulnier MS.406 Aces Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review July 2014 Title Morane-Saulnier MS.406 Aces
Author Kari Stenman, Christian-Jacques Ehrengardt Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2014 ISBN 9781782003410
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $22.95


France's most important fighter at the start of World War II, obsolescent Morane-Saulnier MS.406s sustained heavy losses during Nazi Germany's Blitzkrieg of France.

Outclassed by faster, more fearsome enemy fighters, the compact little combatant nevertheless sired a handful of French and, later, Finnish aces.  Now Osprey examines their exploits in Morane-Saulnier MS.406 Aces – number 121 in the publisher's popular "Aircraft of the Aces" series.

Noted authors Kari Stenman and Christian-Jacques Ehrengardt tell the tale of the maligned Morane in 96 action-packed pages:

  • Chapter 1 "The Best Fighter In The World"
  • Chapter 2 The Phony War
  • Chapter 3 The Battle Of France
  • Chapter 4 Under Vichy And The RAF
  • Chapter 5 The Winter War
  • Chapter 6 Stalemate War

Enthralling anecdotes season Osprey's study.  Fascinating photos and cool color art motivate your modeling muse.  And helpful lists, appendices and index augment the account.

Nitpicks?  Some.

A couple maps could clarify things.  Did pilot Marcel Soulages really fly just "50 cm [20 in] behind" his "leader's wing" – in "thick fog"?  And why virtually no mention of Swiss Morane derivatives?  They scored successes, too.

I also wish the authors added a photo confirming the camouflage of legendary ace Pierre Le Gloan's MS.406C1 No 183.  The color profile doesn't typify the early "SNCAO/Bouguenais" warpaint of aircraft nos. 1-600.

But, hey, as an MS.406 enthusiast, I utterly relished this ripping read.  And if you seek breaks from commonplace Mustangs and Messerschmitts, you will, too.

Rabidly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!