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France Br.691-695 D.510 D.520 LeO.451 MB.152 MS.406 Photos & Drawings

France Aviation of World War II

When the Second World War broke out in 1939, the French Air Force had only 826 fighter planes, and only had 250 bombers including Farman F222 and the Bloch 131. By May of 1940, the French Air Force had 740 modern fighters and 140 effective bombers. The Royal Air Force reluctantly supplied 350 aircraft but these were nearly all fairly old, as the latest Hawker Hurricane and the Supermarine Spitfire were needed to defend Britain. It is estimated that the French lost 757 aircraft during the Western Offensive. Ironically, French production increased dramatically during the campaign, and France bears the distinction of being the only country to have more aircraft in the end than it started with while fighting a losing campaign.