Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Book for Review: Supermarine Spitfire

The Society has received 'Supermarine Spitfire' for review.  The publishers (Ian Allen) have sent the accompanying information. 

"It was in London during 2012 that Britain dazzling the world with Olympic and Paralympic achievements.

"But it was in the skies above London that within living memory Britain stood alone and saved that same world from a future in which tyranny and unsurpassed brutality would reign supreme. This fact is recounted in two books by Dr Alfred Price which reflect Britain’s proudest moment, the Battle of Britain, and the Spitfire, the plane that stood between an island nation and the might of the Luftwaffe, and won the day.

"Dr Price, a recognised and respected authority on the Battle of Britain, who lives in Uppingham, Rutland,  He served as an aircrew officer in the Royal Air Force where he flew with the V-Force and specialised in electronic warfare and air fighting tactics. In a military flying career spanning 15 years, he logged over 4,000 flying hours. Since 1974, he has been a full-time aviation author and has written more than 46 books. He holds a PhD in history from Loughborough University and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

"The Spitfire was one of the most - perhaps the most - successful fighter designs of all time and its service career linked the biplane era with the jet age. Yet the Spitfire is much more than just a superb flying machine.

"During World War 2, it occupied a unique place in the psyche of the British people and many believed it played a major part in saving the nation from defeat during the grim days of 1940. The wing design gave it a distinctive silhouette which led to its almost legendary status during the Battle of Britain, and its inimitable drone was imme­diately recognisable to those on the ground. Even now, those who lived through the Battle of Britain can instantly recognise the sound of a Spitfire in the sky.

"The Spitfire was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft and was the only Allied fighter in production through­out the war.

"Supermarine Spitfire, also written by Dr Price, (Ian Allan, 128pp, £19.99), looks in detail at the development of the Spitfire from its heroics in the Battle of Britain right through action in the European, Pacific Theatre and South-East Asian theatres when it was the backbone of RAF Fighter Command.

"Much loved by its pilots, the Spitfire saw service in several roles including interceptor, photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber, carrier-based fighter and trainer. It was built in many different variants with two different types of engine and several wing configurations.

"This striking landscape-format book is a fitting tribute to one of the greatest symbols of British wartime success and victory, and provides everything any aviation enthusiast or historian could wish to know about this irreplaceable British icon."

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