Curtiss Hawk H-75 in French Service
Historia sławnego amerykańskiego myśliwca Curtis HAwk H-75 w lotnictwie francuskim. Zakres książki obejmuje uzycie bojowe przed i podczas drugiej wojny światowej, a także w jednostkach szkolnych zaraz po wojnie.
Książka jest doskonale zilustrowana zdjęciami i kolorowymi rysunkami.
Ponad 200 historycznych zdjęć i 32 strony z kolorowymi zdjęciami i sylwetkami ilustrującymi malowania.
200 B&W historical photos 32 colour pages with colour profiles.
Amazon.com customer review 2011-03-24
By Jim Davis (St. Charles, MO USA)
Books in English about aircraft in French service during World War II are not thick underfoot.For many years the best one could do was French Fighters of World War II by John F. Brindley in the old Hylton-Lacey series Men and Machines. This is Mushroom's second book concerning an aircraft in French service (although of American origin). This book is in the Red Series (No. 5112) which emphasizes service history over aircraft nuts and bolts. It's 144 6-1/2" x 9" pages.
The book really delivers on the service history front. It narrates in great detail the acquisition of the aircraft, its introduction into French service, its use by various units, its commendable combat record against the Germans, its post Armistice service with the Vichy regime, and its final postwar use. This is well supported photographically including some period color photos. There is also a nice set of walk around color photos of a museum specimen. The book's last 26 pages is devoted to color profiles of the aircraft in its various markings over its career.
There are a few shortcomings, however. Irritatingly, the manufacturer's designation of the aircraft is given as the H-75A1, H-75A2, etc throughout. Other sources are generally unanimous that it was H75A-1, etc. On all photos the tail nomenclature (the official French designation) is given as H75-C1, the significance of which is not explained. Also never explained are the meaning of the cryptic symbols on the tails of the aircraft (PT, PE, PC, PD) which appear in numerous photos and color profiles. Abbreviations are used for French ranks throughout. Some are self explanatory but some like Cne, S/C, or Adj needed to be given in full at least once. Also irritating, given the level of discussion of the unit badges in the text and the traditions associated with them, is that said badges are not presented separately in larger size in the color profile pages. I'm sure modellers would have been appreciative if they had been. Also, given the depth of discussion of H75 victories, a tables of aces would have been nice.
Two other things were minor annoyances. The word "American" is rendered as "american" in a number of places. There is also the understandable, but regrettable, crude colorized cover photo.
All in all, a book that can recommended but that could have better. One interesting further tidbit was the promotion of a new series on the rear cover entitled French Wings.
Master Modelers no 88 10/2010 2011-03-24
AIR Modeller no 31 2011-03-24
Amazon.co.uk Bestseller list 2011-03-24
by Ray Mehlberger
Date of Review May 2010
MMP (Mushroom Model Publications) is based in the UK. Their books are printed by Stratus in Sandomierz, Poland in the English language.
The Curtiss Hawk H-75 was the export version of the P-36, and was ordered in some quantity by the French Armee de l Air in 1938, to supplement the slow delivery of modern fighters from French manufacturers. When the German forces attacked in May 1940, the Hawks proved to be among the most effective fighters available to the French, and saw considerable action.
This new book from Stratus/MMP describes the acquisition and operations of the H-75 in French service, throughout the war and even post-war as trainers. The last examples being retired in August 1949. The H-75 saw action with the Vichy forces against the British and the Americans in North Africa, and some examples ended up as Luftwaffe trainers.
The book is profusely illustrated with 203 black and white wartime photos. Nine photos are in color: the one on the cover and the other eight are of the walk-around variety of a preserved example. There are 3 other wartime photos that are done in various shades of blue. In the rear of the book are 44 color side profile illustrations. Four of these are for Vichy aircraft and the rest are the French schemes. Two illustrations are 4-views.
There are 2 information lists included also.
The color profiles cover all the marking schemes used by these aircraft in their 10-year service.
The book will prove to be an invaluable reference source for aircraft historians, modelers and enthusiasts. It is 144 pages in length, soft-cover and in Stratus/MMP’s usual 6 ½” x 9” page format for their aircraft books.
On the back cover there are two cover arts for forthcoming books in a new series:
French Wings No. 1, Latecoere 290 & 298
French Wings No. 2, Nieuport Delage NiD 29 & NiD 62 family
Reviewer: Scott Van Aken
Once again, Mushroom Models Publications comes through with another superbly researched and illustrated book on a subject that few have tackled. This time, it is the Curtiss Hawk 75 (P-36 is US service) as flown by the French during WWII and after.
During the build up to WWII the French Air Force realized that local aircraft manufacturing wasn't going to provide it with the aircraft it needed. French manufacturing was slow and horribly inefficient; planes often sitting around for months awaiting simple items like guns or propellers. As a result, they turned primarily to US manufacturers who were able to produce planes in the quantity needed and fairly rapidly. Of course, it meant that the costs would be higher (a Hawk 75 was about twice the cost of a similar French aircraft), but the quality was good and more important, they could be delivered quickly and ready to go.
The Hawk 75 was modern in all respects and so quite desirable for foreign forces. Though it wasn't a great high altitude plane, it was quite maneuverable at lower altitudes and a capable fighter. Over 500 of different versions were ordered though not all reached France before it capitulated in June 1940. During the German invasion, many pilots flying for the French Air Force became aces on the Hawk 75. It was probably the most successful type in service at that time. After the surrender, those not in Metropolitan France were flown to North Africa where they continued to fly with the Vichy Air Force. By the time France was liberated in 1944, the Hawk 75 had seen its day and was relegated to training, a task it continued even post war for many years.
In this book, author Lionel Persyn covers the full story of the Hawk 75 as flown by the French. It includes it initial purchase and use in combat against the Germans. Then its use in North Africa and other French colonies against mostly the British is fully researched. This includes it use in Operation Torch in November of 1942. Included in the 144 pages is a full color walkaround of the only extant Hawk 75 in Europe as well as page after page of superb color profiles. Add to it the rare period color photos and a superb choice of other period photos of men and machines and you have a book that is a must have for your shelf.
A book that I very much enjoyed and most highly recommend. I know I've said it before, but MMP books are the best of its type.
Amazon.com customer review (2) 2011-03-24
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed look at a little known fighter, March 10, 2011
By John Matlock "Gunny" (Winnemucca, NV)
In the years before the Second World War France struggled to produce a modern air force. They were hampered by a chaotic bureaucracy and, inefficient small manufacturing companies. When the war started the French had their hopes on their Dewoitine D.520 which was suffering many delays. As a result when the war started the French, like other countries, sent purchasing agents to the United States to buy aircraft that were already in production. Among other planes, the Curtis Model 75 was an adequate late 1930 design roughly the equivalent of the first versions of the Spitfire and the Bf-109 and was sold to at least a dozen other countries as well as being adopted by the US Army Air Force as the P-36.
The Hawk was obsolescent at the actual beginning of the war and useful only as trainers by the end. The Hawk in French service fought the Germans, then many were sent to North Africa where they subsequently fought the British and Americans. After the war the Hawk continued in French service as a trainer until the middle of 1949.
This book is up to the usual standards of the publisher, complete with an amazing set of actual wartime photographs and detailed scale drawings showing the paint schemes used by France.
Reviewed by Mick Evans
The Curtiss Hawk H-75 was the export version of the P-36 and was ordered in some quantity by the French Armee de l Air in 1938 to supplement the slow delivery of modern fighters from French manufacturers. When the German forces attacked in May 1940 the Hawks proved to be among the most effective fighters available to the French and saw considerable action. The H-75 saw action with the Vichy forces against the British and Americans in North Africa and some examples ended up as Luftwaffe trainers.
This new publication from MMP Publications is the latest in their orange book series and describes the design, development and operational use of the Curtiss Hawk H-75 in French Service.
The book contains 144 pages of exceptional detail illustrated with photographs, including rare wartime colour photographs and 44 colour profiles covering all the marking schemes used by these aircraft in their 10 year service. The most striking colour schemes being those worn by the aircraft in service with the Vichy French Forces with their red and yellow striped nose of fin.
The quality of paper, photographs and printing is excellent. These will be of great benefit to the super detailers as there are some very close photographs of the aircraft and cockpit.
In summary, this is a very concise and complete reference for any modeler wanting to build a French Curtiss Hawk H-75.
The Curtiss H-75 was the export version of the P-36, and it were the French who helped Curtiss and the P-36 to become famous in purchasing hundred of them before the war in the aim to fill the gap with new French modern fighters which were ready to go into production. They equipped ones of the best fighter units in May 1940 when the German launched their offensive. It soon proved one of the best fighter the French had to operate during those critical weeks which ended with the fall of France.
For many years, the French Air Force has been neglected by the Publishers outside France, and Mushroom has understood that the French Air Force is able to provide very good topics for the modelers and historians alike. After the Potez 63 family, Mushroom offers this book which describes the acquisition and operations of the H-75 in French service from 1938 till its withdrawal at the end of the 40’s, though the intense activity of the first year of the war and the fight against the Allies in North Africa. As usual the book is profusely illustrated with photographs, including rare colour pictures, and the usual colour profiles.
The book will for sure interest any historian or enthusiast who would like to know more about the French Air Force of that time and can be recommended without hesitation. It must be said that MMP is still continuing to have a great interest in the French Air Force because a new series has been now announced, named ‘French Wings’ for which we can expect a quality like the ‘Polish Wings‘ offers today.
By Matt Bittner
The primary user of the Curtiss P-36 – known by other countries as the Hawk 75 – was actually France. Finland used some, as did the British, but most of the aircraft those two countries used were originally either French to begin with, or were slated to be sent to France before World War 2 broke out. Since France was the leading user of the Hawk 75, a book primarily on French use was inevitable.
The Mushroom Model Publications (MMP) book on the Hawk 75 is broken out into the following sections:
Purchasing the Curtiss H-75 in the USA, dealing with how France purchased the aircraft and how they were delivered
Curtiss H-75 Units and their Badges, which I think could have included a color chart detailing the units with their badges
The Phoney War, which provides quite detailed information on the different actions taken prior to the Battle of France
The Battle of France, detailing the use of the aircraft during this battle and the subsequent fall of France
Under the Vichy Government, going into the use by French pilots as they flew from Africa
End of Career
Czech Pilots, which lists all the Czech pilots that flew under the French flag while flying the H-75 GC I/4 in colour during the winter of 1939-1940
Curtiss Hawk H-75 in colour, which is the section for the color plates
Speaking of color plates, they're very well done and show the aircraft to good advantage. If you're a modeler it's important to know that even though the colors were standard for painting French Hawk 75s, the layout of those colors was not. Each aircraft is unique in its camouflage application, so a study of color plates and/or photographs is mandatory when deciding which Hawk 75 to build. It is this reason that it's disappointing only two of the 44 color plates are four-views.
There are also color photos. Some were taken during the war so will prove valuable to color students. The other color photos are of the "walk-around" variety, taken of a preserved example. To top it all off are cockpit photos – plenty to keep the super-detailer modeler happy.
Unfortunately there are grammatical errors within the text. I understand the author's primary language is not English, but a book being published in any language should be edited with that language in mind. Not only are there not-used-often words, but there are also sections of text that just do not make sense. There are also errors with some of the photo's captions. For example, a caption will talk about a specific aircraft and list its "serial number" as well as the "aircraft number" within the squadron. But looking at the photo you can tell the caption is wrong in regards to one or the other numbers. Sure, a small error, but one that should have been caught during editing. Thankfully there is only one error in the color plates – again, in regards to the "serial" and/or aircraft number listed in the caption that doesn't match what's being shown in the color plate.
The author's name looked familiar. Sure enough, he's part of the "triumvirate" that wrote the Osprey book "P-36 Hawk Aces of World War 2". If you guessed correctly, you would have said the section Mr. Persyn wrote in the Osprey book was on French use of the P-36/Hawk 75. So, another thing you may be asking yourself: if I already have the Osprey book, do I need the MMP book? That depends. If you're either a serious student of the Curtiss P-36/Hawk 75, or a serious student of French aviation, then the obvious answer is "yes!" There is a lot more detail on French use in the MMP book, since the Osprey book only has 26 pages of French use. Couple that with the period color photos, the walk-around color photos, and the photos of the cockpit, then it's also a definite "Yes!". If you only have a passing interest in French use of the Hawk 75 and you already own the Osprey book, then you probably have all you would want.
Don't get me wrong. Even with the problems I brought up in this review, it's an excellent book, one worth tracking down if you like the subject matter.
Reviewed By Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
The Curtiss Hawk H-75 was purchased by the French Air Force as the war clouds begun to loom over Europe in 1938. By the time of the conflict five fighter groups were equipped with H-75 in front line service with the French Armée de l'Air.
This book is profusely illustrated with black and white period photos plus a handful of color pictures, most of them of a restored aircraft. There are 44 beautiful color profiles of the H-75 in all the different liveries they wore while in French service.
The narrative of the book is easy to read and describe the combat service of the French Hawks, against the Germans during the 1940, the skirmishes against the Royal Air Force in Africa during the Vichy-period; and finally against the US Navy Wildcats in 1942.
Interestingly enough, the book mentions a RAF report which claims the H-75 to be more maneuverable than the Spitfire. That might explain why the H-75 fared very well against the Luftwaffe during the summer of 1940. They claimed over 234 victories, against about 67 losses combined between flak and air-combat.
This book is very highly recommended to modelers and aviation enthusiasts alike. The period pictures combined with the color profiles are a very valuable resource for the modeler.
MiniReplika 66 2010-06-11
Other titlesfrom series
An Ordinary Day in 1945See more
British WWI Aircraft in the Polish Air ForceSee more
German Air Projects Vol. 3 BombersSee more
Barbarossa VictimsSee more
Japanese Submarine AircraftSee more
Fighters over France and the Low CountriesSee more
German Air Projects 1935-1945 vol. ISee more
Ju 87 in Foreign ServiceSee more
Rotorcraft of The III ReichSee more
German Air Projects 1935-1945 vol. IISee more
Allied Rotorcraft of the WW2 period.See more
Curtiss Hawk H-75 in French ServiceSee more
Victory Air DisplaysSee more
German Air Projects 1935-1945 vol 4See more