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Review: Vichy Air Force at War

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  • Andy H
    replied
    Hi

    Yes they do have a poor reputation and most of it seems fully justified. The real downer for me, is that they have brought some really interesting & obscure military history topics to a broader audience, but have failed in almost every other facet to build upon it. This book is but symptomatic of that failure.

    Regards

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  • CarpeDiem
    replied
    I unfortunately bought this book too when it first came out since there was so little in English on the subject. And I share your disappointment and dissatisfaction.
    Doing some further research on the authors, it seems they've acquired a less than savoury reputation.
    http://phpbb88.com/phpbb/viewtopic.p...mforum=milhist
    http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtop...?f=19&t=184185

    Leave a comment:


  • Andy H
    started a topic Review: Vichy Air Force at War

    Review: Vichy Air Force at War

    Vichy Air Force at War (The French Air Force that fought the Allies in WW2) by J.Sutherland & D.Canwell.
    Published by Pen & Sword. ISBN 9781848843363
    I had limited knowledge of the activities of the Vichy Air Force during WW2 and sadly I canít say that Iím that more knowledgeable now after reading it! One cannot help thinking that the authors undertook the most rudimentary primary research and seemed to rely on a rather limited array of secondary published material. If this was not damning enough the lack of any French publications within the Bibliography seals the case for me!

    Every chapter, all 9 of them, promises riches within but sadly were left with just promises, half filled or totally missing. Many of the chapters deal with the broadly well known instances where the Vichy Force came into contact with their Allied counterparts, but were left bereft of any thing outside of these narrow confines. Some words on the broader structure, command & control along with the daily running/patrols wouldnít have gone amiss. Sadly without, were left with a book about specific battles with no thread really holding the various tales together or a meaningful context.

    The book has a reasonable selection of photographs but sadly not all were really relevant or warranted given the books subject matter. I donít know if this was because there is a paucity of Vichy Air Force photographs or because of the authors lack of primary research.

    The best part of the book is the Appendices, some 5 in total. The first is a OoB of the French Air Force prior to the German Mayí40 invasion, which is followed by a OoB for the Vichy Air Force come Septemberí40. Appendix 3 lists the Victory credits for the Vichy pilots, whilst Appendix 4 covers the activities in Indochina (inc the French-Thai war of 1940). The final appendix gives us a brief glimpse of the still born French Naval Arm.

    Without the various appendices I would give this book 1 star equating to very poor. However it will get a heady 2 stars from me, equalling poor simply because of their inclusion.

    2 stars
    Attached Files

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