French Bombers of WW2...

... from MMP Books

Title:  French Bombers of WW2

Author: Jose Fernandez, Patrick Laureau

Publisher:  MMP

ISBN:  978-83-63678-59-3

A new hardback book in their White series, 288 pages filled with fascination. I think if we think about German, British or US bmbers, then most aviation enthusiasts would immediately conjure up images of Heinkel 111 in the Blitz, of the Fairy Battles attacking the Meuse crossings and the Lancasters of the Dambusters or the B-17 Flying Fortress of the US 8th Air Force. But what if we said think of French bombers of WW2? I suspect many aircraft enthusiasts would struggle to think of their bombers.  Fighters maybe but the priorities of the French government in the years leading up to WW2 did not do much to update and develop their bomber force. By the time the Blitzkrieg hit France in May 1940 they were little used, largely for fear of inviting German reprisals against French cities.

With this new book the authors have done a marvellous job of researching and presenting a wealth of detail on the French bomber force. There are a wide variety of types, mostly twin engine, and equally a mix of odd looking obsolete designs as well as more modern, streamlined airframes. Most were French built but they have also included a number of foreign designs which were purchased by the French government. So, we see the likes of the Glenn Martin 167 (Maryland in the RAF) and the Douglas DB-7 (Boston in the RAF). Much of the interest for me though comes in the likes of the Bloch MB.200, the Farman F.221, Potez 540 and Amiot 143 along with many others.

For each one we are presented with development and service histories and when they were used and by who. There are a host of archive images along with 3-view line drawings and excellent colour profiles. Add the more modern designs, experimental aircraft which included 4-engined types and even torpedo bombers this is a delightful and well presented book on a subject that has had little attention paid to them in English language publications up to now.  Well done to the authors for the effort they have clearly put into the book, and to MMP for publishing such an interesting topic. Recommended unreservedly.

Thanks to MMP Books, who kindly provided my review copy.