Friday, 18 December 2015

Les Avions Francais Aux Couleurs Allemandes, Volume 1

Philippe Ricco, Horse-Série Avions #40, Edition Lela Presse, Le Vigen, France, 2015, ISSN 1253-5354. Illustrated, softcover, published in French.

Cover image © by Edition Lela Presse, 2015.

Latest in a long-standing series of notewothy aviation publications by Lela Presse, this beautiful softcover publication provides a dedicated look at aircraft of French provenance in German service following the German invasion of France in 1940. Philippe Ricco's Les Avions Francais Aux Couleurs Allemandes [French aircraft in German colours] is a magazine-type publication of standard A4 size, featuring 112 pages and 250 photos (some in colour), and it includes 30 well-rendered colour profiles. Moreover, this is actually the first installment of what is intended to be a multi-part study, and it covers aircraft produced by Amiot, Arsenal, Bloch, Breguet, CAMS, Caudron, and Delanne.

Ricco's work focuses mainly on photographic coverage; only brief sections of text are included. The paper quality and photo reproduction are quite excellent, and each image is accompanied by a detailed caption. Where available, the individual aircraft type entries include lists of known codes, units, and other information. The wealth of images collected for this publication is remarkable, and while a certain number of photos have been published before, Les Avions Francais Aux Couleurs Allemandes serves as a competent and complete one-stop compilation.

As has been pointed out on this blog before, and as any serious student of our topic of choice will agree, a publication featuring exceptional content should really serve to render any potential language barriers irrelevant. And many of the photos contained in Les Avions Francais Aux Couleurs Allemandes are indeed exceptional. In addition to numerous very clear shots, there are also many noteworthy camouflage schemes and several interesting detail views. Uncredited (captioned simply as deux officiers allemands), on page 27, top, is what appears to be Luftwaffe Generalfeldmarschall [field marshall] Hugo Sperrle, in front of a Bloch 200.

Volume 2 of this excellent new series will apparently cover aircraft by Dewoitine to Stark, and the publishers also promise to include any corrections/amendments provided by the readers of the previous volume. Very commendable, and very recommended.

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