Spitfire Aces of the Channel Front 1941-43 (Osprey)
80 years after the Spitfire was first developed it remains an icon of military aviation. Though many associate its victory during the Battle of Britain as the high point in the history of the Spitfire, the years following were of equal importance. Having weathered the initial storm, at the start of 1941 Fighter Command took the fight to the Germans with offensive missions over the Channel.
This book reveals how first using the Spitfire I and II, and then following the introduction of the Bf 109 the cannon-armed Spitfire V, RAF squadrons embarked on a range of missions which included one of the most important air battles of the war, over Dieppe on 19 August 1942.
Alongside British pilots were squadrons manned by exiled Europeans and pilots from the RAAF, RCAF and RNZAF. In just three years over 100 of these pilots were to rack up ace status in the Spitfire.
Contents: Background - Fighter operations from UK bases through 1941 - Operations over France, Belgium and Holland through 1942 - Operations through 1943 - Last operations and victories 1943 - Appendices.
The inability of the Italians and Germans to invade Malta proved decisive for Allied victory in the Mediterranean during World War II, as the islands provided the Allies with a base from which to project air power. Early Italian efforts to pound the islands into submission were supplemented by major German forces from January 1942 and in a few weeks the situation for the defenders reached a critical stage; in response, in March 1942 the first Spitfires were delivered to Malta. Throughout the summer C.202s fought over Malta, escorting tiny formations of Cant Z.1007s, SM.79s and Ju 88s. The fighting subsided in August and September, but grew in strength with the arrival of more C.202s. In October the Regia Aeronautica could muster three Gruppi with a total of 74 C.202s. For ten days the Italians pressed a relentless attack before attrition brought the offensive to a halt. Throughout the bombing campaign the British were able to supply Malta with ever increasing numbers of Spitfires.
This title deals with this topic.
Contents: Introduction - Chronology - Design and Development - Technical Specifications - The Strategic Situation - The Combatants - Combat - Statistics and Analysis - Aftermath - Bibliography - Index.
The Mk V was the workhorse of the wartime marks, being built in sufficient numbers to serve in the Far East, Australia, North Africa and Russia. Initially produced in haste to combat the arrival of new German fighters (the Bf 109F and the Fw 190) on the Channel front, the Mk V had been created simply by pairing a Mk I or II fuselage with the new Merlin 45 engine - so successfully that some 6479 airframes were eventually built. Although often outclassed (particularly on the Channel front by the Fw 190) by later generation fighters, the Mk V nevertheless proved to be a worthy opponent when flown by pilots of the calibre of Malan, Tuck, Johnson, Beurling, Caldwell and Duke, who all enjoyed success with it thanks to its agility and increased armament.
This volume completes the "Aircraft of the Aces" trilogy on the elite pilots that flew the Spitfire in World War II.
Spitfire Aces of Northwest Europe 1944-45 (Osprey)
This book traces the achievements of the pilots flying the iconic Spitfire in Northwest Europe, and examines how the steady technological improvements that were made throughout the Spitfire's service life improved its capabilities in the air. Based at airfields throughout southern England, Merlin engine Spitfires provided the bulk of the air cover for the D-Day landings and it was an RCAF Spitfire which claimed the first ever Me 262 jet kill.
36 colour profiles covering a broad spectrum of nationalities, units, pilots, theatres and markings complement thorough research throughout this comprehensive account of these crucial fighter aircraft.
Contents 1) Background to 2nd TAF and description of initial victories by Merlin-engined Spitfires in 1944 via personal accounts 2) Fighter operations from UK up to D-Day, and operations during the invasion. 3) Operations over France, Belgium and Holland in advance to German border up to end of 1944 4) Fighter operations during the advance through Germany to the final surrender, including successful combats against Luftwaffe jets 5) Last operations and victories by Merlin Spitfire aces, followed by occupation duties
Appendices - Merlin Spitfire Aces 1944-45 - Aces with some Merlin-Spitfire claims 1944-45 - Aces who flew, but did not claim on Merlin Spitfires 1944-45 - Merlin-engined Spitfire Sqns of 2nd TAF and ADGB 1944-45 - Colour Profile captions
The first few American volunteers in World War 2 flew Spitfires with the RAF during the Battle of Britain. Many more joined their ranks, often posing as 'Canadians', eventually forming three Eagle squadrons who earned a fierce fighting reputation. When the United States entered the war its fighter sections were issued with Spitfires and eventually the Eagle Squadrons were transferred to the Eighth Air Force.
Discover the experiences of a variety of American aces in their own words through first-hand accounts, interviews and combat reports, in a thrilling read that transports the reader from the Battle of Britain to the deserts of North Africa and Fortress Europe itself.