Morane-Saulnier MS.406 Aces


Authors: Kari Stenman Christian-Jacques Ehrengardt
Chris Davey

This 96 page paperback book is number 121 in the Aircraft of the Aces Series of books available from Osprey Publishing.

The MS.406 was an important aircraft because not only was it 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 armor 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 this type of aircraft 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.

The Contents of this book are;

  • Introduction
  • The Best Fighter in the World
  • The Phony War
  • The Battle of France
  • Under Vichy and the RAF
  • The Winter War
  • Stalemate War
  • Appendices

This book will appeal especially to the modeler because of the color plates and numerous B&W photographs. The historian will also enjoy this book as you learn the history of this aircraft. Overall the book is well written and enjoyable.

This book is available from Osprey Publishing

Paperback      $22.95

eBook (ePub) $18.36

eBook (PDF)   $18.36