About this Product
The MS.406 was an important aircraft not only because it was built in larger numbers than any other French fighter of the period, but also because it was the first modern fighter in the Armée de l'Air inventory. Although comparable to the British Hurricane and early models of the German Bf 109, it was outclassed when flown against the more powerful, and faster, Bf 109E. With little or no protection (no armour or self-sealing tanks), the MS.406 sustained heavy losses during the Battle of France. Too lightly armed, and fitted with unreliable weaponry, the French fighter struggled to down German bombers. It therefore comes as no surprise that only a dozen French pilots became fully fledged aces on the type during this period, despite the aircraft being present in significant numbers. However a score of pilots, who bagged their very first kills at the controls of the MS.406, fought on after the fall of France, flying Dewoitine D.520s, Spitfires and even Soviet Yak-3s to attain ace status against both Allied and Axis opponents.
Kari Stenman is the world's leading authority on the Finnish Air Force during World War 2, and has written or co-authored many books on the units and aircraft of this most interesting service. He has previously co-authored volumes for Osprey on Finnish Aces in the renowned Aircraft of the Aces series and on their leading fighter unit LeLv 24 for the Aviation Elite series. Christian-Jacques Ehrengardt has been the editor of leading French aerospace publication Aero Journal for a number of years. He had also written many books on French fighter aircraft and units in World War 2. This will be his first book for Osprey.Chris Davey has illustrated more than 30 titles for Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces, Combat Aircraft and Elite Units series since 1994. Based in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, and one of the last traditional airbrush artists in the business, he has become the artist of choice for both World War 2 fighter types.
Battle of France
APPENDICES - French Aces who made claims with the MS.406 - Finnish MS.406 Aces - Finnish Aces who made some claims with the MS.406 them - Colour Plates captions