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First flown in 1936, the Spitfire soon came to symbolize Britain's defiance of Nazi Germany in the summer of 1940. Flown by pilots of many nations, it saw service as far afield as Australia and the Soviet Union. This work is a celebration of a great British invention, of the men and women who flew it and supported its development. First flown in 1936, the Spitfire soon came to symbolize Britain's defiance of Nazi Germany in the summer of 1940. Flown by pilots of many nations, it saw service as far afield as Australia and the Soviet Union. This work is a celebration of a great British invention, of the men and women who flew it and supported its development.


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First flown in 1936, the Spitfire soon came to symbolize Britain's defiance of Nazi Germany in the summer of 1940. Flown by pilots of many nations, it saw service as far afield as Australia and the Soviet Union. This work is a celebration of a great British invention, of the men and women who flew it and supported its development. First flown in 1936, the Spitfire soon came to symbolize Britain's defiance of Nazi Germany in the summer of 1940. Flown by pilots of many nations, it saw service as far afield as Australia and the Soviet Union. This work is a celebration of a great British invention, of the men and women who flew it and supported its development.

30 review for Spitfire: The Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kriegslok

    By the age of 42 Mitchell who designed the Spitfire prototype was dead but he bequeathed the world an aircraft that was central to the defence of Britain and taking the fight against fascism to the heart of the Third Reich. This easy to read but informative book introduces the aircraft novice to the background to the Spitfires development, its role in WWII, its competitors, its development, the people who flew them and its post war use. There is also an interesting chapter on the Spitfire in cul By the age of 42 Mitchell who designed the Spitfire prototype was dead but he bequeathed the world an aircraft that was central to the defence of Britain and taking the fight against fascism to the heart of the Third Reich. This easy to read but informative book introduces the aircraft novice to the background to the Spitfires development, its role in WWII, its competitors, its development, the people who flew them and its post war use. There is also an interesting chapter on the Spitfire in cultural iconography. The book smashes myths while reinforcing truths, basically in the vein of it was a damn fine creation that doesn't need fabrications about its prowess. A great little book that gave me what I wanted without getting bogged down in technical detail that would have been lost quickly in my leaky memory. It comes complete with technical drawings and techy details in an appendix and is illustrated throughout by contemporary phophphotographs.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Cutts

    An easy to read pocket history of my favourite plane. There is also a large format illustrated version available. If you only want one book on the Spitfire, this is one of the best, but be warned, Spitfires are highly addictive!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ren

    Not an exhaustive history but a lovely read. Nice comparative look at the Spitfire's contemporaries as well. Not an exhaustive history but a lovely read. Nice comparative look at the Spitfire's contemporaries as well.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Robin Braysher

    A good introduction to this iconic plane and those involved in its development, its service and contemporaries. A fast moving read - definitely journalistic rather than history - but, as James Holland says on the front cover: 'Hugely entertaining'. A good introduction to this iconic plane and those involved in its development, its service and contemporaries. A fast moving read - definitely journalistic rather than history - but, as James Holland says on the front cover: 'Hugely entertaining'.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stan Bebbington

    Well, a justified and great effort to cover all that can be said about that superb aeroplane, the Spitfire. Importantly loved by the pilots not just the enthusiasts, it spawned other notables via the constant improvements to the Merlin engine. The most praised the Packard/Merlin Mustang. The tale is by mark to mark through blocks of modifications to large runs of production models. It all started with the Schneider trophy triumph which we won outright (Plane can be seen in the Southampton Museum Well, a justified and great effort to cover all that can be said about that superb aeroplane, the Spitfire. Importantly loved by the pilots not just the enthusiasts, it spawned other notables via the constant improvements to the Merlin engine. The most praised the Packard/Merlin Mustang. The tale is by mark to mark through blocks of modifications to large runs of production models. It all started with the Schneider trophy triumph which we won outright (Plane can be seen in the Southampton Museum). Mitchell, the designer, died sadly in 1937. Joseph Smith then took over until 1947. The run ended with the XIX and the Griffon engine with RAF in 1957. We owe a tremendous debt to all of them and the flyers. We should all read the book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristina Brown

    The author assumes a level of knowledge in his readership that those casually interested in the spitfire will not have. As such, the details are lost in a blur of facts and figures. Those passages where he recounts examples of battles and personnel are very interesting and well written but as a newbie I could not follow the technical specifications of every generation of plane. It isn't consistently chronological either so I lost track of which Mk was competing with which new design. On an unrela The author assumes a level of knowledge in his readership that those casually interested in the spitfire will not have. As such, the details are lost in a blur of facts and figures. Those passages where he recounts examples of battles and personnel are very interesting and well written but as a newbie I could not follow the technical specifications of every generation of plane. It isn't consistently chronological either so I lost track of which Mk was competing with which new design. On an unrelated note, this book has the most politically biased dedication I have ever read and throughout there are instances of heavy bias as well as almost religious eulogising.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    More a hagiography, but an enjoyable enough read

  8. 5 out of 5

    D G Williams

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dermot

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jaspal

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robert Hepple

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Hackett

  13. 4 out of 5

    Erik

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dave

  15. 5 out of 5

    Janice

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stuart Green

  17. 5 out of 5

    Doug Haskin

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robin Coyle

  19. 5 out of 5

    Philip Sleight

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alice

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Liptak

  22. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Jr.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gerry Johnson

  24. 5 out of 5

    James McNeill

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shaun Vizor

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sean Smart

  27. 4 out of 5

    John

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mark King

  29. 4 out of 5

    Norgri

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tony Steele

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