Morane Saulnier Ms 406

Unit Card:


Cost 12
Speed A
Def 4/4
AI 7/5/-
AV 4/3/-

Set - Rarity - Number

Early War - Rare - 8/50

Historical Background:

In the late 1930s, a war with Germany was clearly looming, and the Armée de l'Air placed an order for 1,000 airframes in March 1938. Morane-Saulnier was unable to produce anywhere near this number at their own factory, so a second line was set up at the nationalized factories of SNCAO at St. Nazaire converted to produce the type. Production began in late 1938, and the first production example flew on 29 January 1939. Deliveries were hampered more by the slow deliveries of the engines than by lack of airframes.

By April 1939, the production lines were delivering six aircraft a day, and when the war opened on 3 September 1939, production was at 11 a day with 535 in service. Production of the M.S.406 ended in March 1940, after the original order for 1,000 had been delivered to the Armée de l'Air, and a further 77 for foreign users (30 for Finland and 45 for Turkey). Additional orders for Lithuania and Poland were canceled with the outbreak of the war.

The MS 406 equipped 16 Groupes de Chasse and three Escadrilles in France and overseas, and 12 of the Groupes saw action against the Luftwaffe. The aircraft was very manoeuvrable and could withstand heavy battle damage, but was outclassed by the Bf 109 and losses were heavy (150 aircraft lost in action and 250-300 lost through other causes). After the armistice, only one Vichy unit, GC. 1/7, was equipped with the MS. 406.


When this unit came out, it was a welcome adition to the French army as it finally gave them some air cover. With the new airplane introduced with Axis and Allies Air Force Miniature, this unit is still relevant. However, compared to similar 1940 German planes (namely the Messerschmitt Bf109E), you will always have to fight an uphill battle. Luck needs to be on your side as the german fighter has a better attack value. The other option is to take a D.520 Ace, a vastly superior plane at 17 points if you can afford it.

Plastic Figure Notes:

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