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Spitfire: Portrait of a Legend, Leo McKinstry

No introduction is needed for the Supermarine Spitfire, which played such a major part during the battle of Britain. The development and its production is an intriguing story of support by the British public as well of the ingenious way it was produced. This book gives you a pretty good insight in the reason why this aircraft is famous all over the world.

This marvellous machine was designed by Reginald Mitchell and had 19 different marks and 52 variants. More Spitfires were built than any other British plane (22,000 in total).

This book covers the design story as well as the struggle to get the Spitfire into production. The aircraft was much loved by it’s pilots, because of its speed and hanling characteristics. This piece of British history is told with great verve and pace. Though many books are already written about this aircraft, the book stands out.

The entire air industry,  seemed to be paralysed at first because of indecision, internal rivalries, and poor management. In the end Lord Beaverbrook was able to have the aircraft produced in large numbers.

I enjoyed the part especially about the production problems it encountered at Castle Bromwich, Birmingham and the ingenious way these issues were resolved.

Because of this background it made the Spitfire even more special to me as an icon of the Battle of Britain, and I guess you might feel the same way.

If you ever want to read a book about the Spitfire this book won’t disappoint you.

Spitfire is available as a hardcover, a paperback, and as an e-book.