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Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 12 : Spitfire Mark I/II Aces 1939-1941

Without a doubt the Spitfire was the most famous fighter type ever to serve in the Royal Air Force, and the most famous action in which it took part was the Battle of Britain. This book describes the operational career of the Mark I and Mark II versions of the fighter in the period before, during and immediately after that epic action. Virtually from the moment it entered service, the Spitfire underwent a continual programme of modification as Supermarine engineers worked to improve the airframe and Rolls-Royce produced new and more powerful versions of the Merlin engine. However, although Spitfire Mk Is and IIs served only briefly in the frontline with the RAF, their pilots were responsible for achieving impressive scores against the Luftwaffe during 1940/41. This book details the RAF's first aces of World War 2 who helped stem the German tide during Britain's struggle for survival in the bitter years between 1939 and 1941. Early-mark Spitfires were notorious for their light armament, overheating engines and short range, but during the dogfights over Dunkirk and south-east England, then the first tentative sweeps across France, many pilots achieved scores of note. The exploits of names like Malan, Tuck and Bader are covered, as are some of the perhaps less celebrated aces like Australian Des Sheen and leading Spitfire NCO ace George Unwin. Text by Dr. Alfred Price with illustrations by Keith Fretwell.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Initial Encounters
  • Improving the Breed
  • Battle of Britain
  • Further Improvements and New Tactics
  • Over to the Offensive
  • Top Spitfire Mk I/II Aces
  • Two Aces Profiled
  • Appendices

 

Osprey Aircraft of the Aces


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