War Master WMAPF005 French Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 Fighter - Arme de l'Air, 1re Escadrille de Chasse, Nimes, France, 1941 (1:72 Scale)
"A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost."
- Marshal Ferdinand Foch
The M.S.406 was a French Armee de l'Air fighter aircraft built by Morane-Saulnier starting in 1938. Numerically it was France's most important fighter during the opening stages of World War II. The type was generally free of problems but was largely under-powered, under-armed, as compared to the next generations of fighters appearing then. Most critically it was out performed by Messerschmitt Bf 109E's during the crucial early days of the war before France surrendered. Although it was one of the few more modern fighters available in quantity at the time, its shortcomings in performance and light armor resulted in high casualties, despite valiant effort on the part of French pilots. The design held its own in the early stages of the war (the so-called Phony War), when the war opened in earnest in 1940, 400 were lost in combat for only 175 kills in return (as well as more destroyed on the ground).
The aircraft type was initially developed to meet a 1934 specification of the French Government by Morane-Saulnier, which had formerly worked on parasol monoplanes. The first flight was in 1935 as the M.S.405. Seventeen 405 prototypes were made, leading to the production version, the 406. Production began in January of 1939 with deliveries to the French air force beginning in March, although engine shortages hampered production. Later versions of the series and included better armor and more guns, and the aircraft formed the basis of aircraft and variants.
After the fall of France, Germany took possession of a large number of 406's and 410's. The Luftwaffe used a number for training, and sold off a number of others. They saw action in Syria against the RAF, also Finland purchased a number and upgraded them with captured Soviet engines and German cannon, while additional examples were passed off to Italy and Croatia. Both Switzerland and Turkey also operated the type.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale diecast replica of a French Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 fighter that was attached to the Arme de l'Air, 1re Escadrille de Chasse, then deployed to Nimes, France, during 1941. Now in stock!
Wingspan: 5.75 inches
Length: 4.5 inches
Release Date: November 2011
Historical Account: "Companion of the Liberation" - The Ordre de la Liberation was instituted on November 16th, 1940, by General de Gaulle, in the order n 7 signed in Brazzaville. The aim of the Order is to reward people, or military or civilian communities, who will have distinguished themselves in the work of liberating France and her Empire.
There are no criteria relating to age, sex, rank, origin or nationality, nor are there any requirements in the nature of the deeds, apart from their exceptional quality.
The Order has one single rank, awarding the title of Compagnon de la Liberation (Companion of the Liberation). General de Gaulle, founder of the Order, has been the only Grand Matre (Grand Master) of the Order.
The last award was given on January 23rd, 1946.