on the heels of the reissue of the
Hawk 75 / P-40M book in the Finnish Air Force History series, Kari Stenman
Publishing has reissued the Fiat G.50 / C.R. 714 monograph.
As has been the
case with previous reissues, the quantity and the quality of the photographs is
amazing. The camera in Finland, as I have often noted, seemed to be
Finland bought a
total of 35 Fiat G.50s from Italy before the beginning of the Winter War. Of
the 33 Fiats that finally made it to Finland, there are pictures of no less than
26 individual aircraft! For some of the Fiats, there are also multiple pictures
of individual aircraft showing them in different camouflage and markings and at
various periods in their service life.
With regard to
the camouflage, that alone could make for quite a discussion. Not being able to
read Finnish, I’m not sure if it is discussed fully or not. A recent monograph
Regia Aeronautica fighter camouflage indicated that, at the time Finland
purchased them, the Fiat’s were in a factory scheme of Yellow 3 base color with
Green 3 and Maroon 2 blotches. Yet the Finnish Fiats, for the most part, appear
quite dark, and profiles portray them as being in a brown color base paint
(Yellow 4?) with green splotches. Could the Italians have painted them
according to Finnish specifications? A number of the Fiats did come from
sequential serial groups, so it is possible.
pictures, one can see the progression of camouflage styles; from the sheen of
the Italian scheme to the application of random black patches on the
deteriorating Italian camouflage to the full repaint in the black and
olive-green Finnish “Warpaint”.
It is also
interesting to note that the Finns received eight 1st Series G.50s
with the enclosed cockpit. But, even in the harsh environment of Finland, the
canopies were removed. One can go through the pictures and identify them from
of the shape of the fuselage behind the cockpit. Just because they were 1st
Series G.50s does not men they had a low Finnish serial number.
also has a brief section on the six Caudron-Renault C.R. 714s that entered
Finnish service, so to speak. The French promised the Finns virtually the
entire production run of the C.R. 714, about 80 aircraft. The French clearly
knew the failure that was the C.R. 714, and the Finns quickly learned of their
shortcomings. They handled very poorly in landing and take-off. After one slid
off a runway, the remaining five were either put in storage or used in mechanics
For me, the
highlight of the monograph is two most beautiful, clear and well printed
pictures. One of a Fiat G. 50 and the other of a C.R. 714. They are like
“builder’s photos”, taken for a publicity brochure. Also, look for the very
unique black-out covers on the head lights of a truck.
This volume also
traces the service of each Fiat and each Caudron.
Simply, highly recommended.
selection of pictures and color profiles in this book may be seen on the Kari
Stenman Publishing web site at
for the sample.
All Keri Stenman
Publishing books are available
direct from the publishers,
who now accept credit cards (Visa, Mastercard).
Review Copyright © 2004 by
Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
Page Created 11 November, 2004
Last updated 10 November, 2004
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