Latécoère 298 - French Forces | Gallery

Latécoère 298

This is a Latécoère 298 belonging to Escadrille de Torpillage T2 which force landed at Boisjean. So dire was the situation at the end of May that this slow and vulnerable torpedo floatplane was thrown into dive-bombing and strafing the advancing german columns, with predictable results: they were decimated.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


It is interesting to me, that during the interwar years of 1919-1934 Germany was more or less without a real airforce, yet the western powers were at a disadvantage come 1940

The RAF had digressed to a mere flying club, and l’armee de l’air was technologically inferior to the Luftwaffe in every aspect

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the fact that in spring of '40 the Germans attacked with relatively comparable numbers to allied aircraft, a feat which was never achieved in WW1.

Quite true. As a curiosity, in the first day of Blitzkrieg in the West the allies lost 444 planes (79 British, 68 French, 150 Dutch and 147 Belgian), the Germans lost 445 machines. Considering that many of the allies machines were destroyed on the ground this numbers show that the allied pilots were putting quite a fight, despite the inferior training and machines. Cheers

Part of the reasons were economic, Britain was suffering badly from recession and so neglected the military until almost too late, it did not start actually spending money on defence until 1938 and had very little in the way of an Airforce or Army.
The whole infrastructure had to be rebuilt before they could start actually re-arming as well. I do not know too much about French preperations but Britain was lucky it started in 1938.