History

Spitfire People

Author: Paul Beaver

Publisher: Evro Publishing Limited

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 304

This book presents a fresh angle on the Spitfire by examining the contribution to its development and achievements by over 65 people - some famous, others not - ranging from politicians to pilots. Published to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, this book presents a fresh angle on the Spitfire by examining the contribution to its development and achievements by over 65 people, some famous, others not. Without the courage and tenacity of some leading political and military figures and the hard work of lesser-known mortals, there would have been no Spitfire, no Battle of Britain and no ultimate victory in 1945. Many people in positions of power played their part in the ultimate success of the Spitfire, but a few staked their reputations on a radical design that brought together the best in British design, technology and ingenuity. This book tells many significant individual stories. - Political people: Sir Winston Churchill (voice in the wilderness and wartime leader), Air Marshal Sir Wilfred Freeman (senior champion of the Spitfire in the Air Ministry), Lord Beaverbrook (Minister for Aircraft Production). - Design and development people: Reginald Mitchell (chief designer 1934â??36), Joe Smith (chief designer 1936â??47), Jeffrey Quill (test pilot), Ernest Hives (Rolls-Royce experimental head and key player in the design of the Merlin engine), Sir Stanley Hooker (mathematician and Merlin engine developer), the ladies of Vickers Supermarine at Trowbridge (factory workers). - Operational people: James ‘Johnny' Johnson (highest-scoring Spitfire ace), Henry Cozens (first squadron commander), Geoffrey Wellum (youngest Battle of Britain pilot), Douglas Bader (Spitfire wing leader and inspirational disabled pilot). - Experimental people: Tony Martindale (RAE Farnborough test pilot), Eric ‘Winkle' Brown (chief naval test pilot and the first man to land a Seafire on an aircraft carrier). - Heritage people: Ray Hanna (Old Flying Machine company), Carolyn Grace (the only female owner/pilot in the world), Phill O'Dell (chief test pilot at Rolls-Royce and Spitfire display pilot). - Published to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
History

Spitfire

Author: Leo McKinstry

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 300

View: 976

In June 1940, the German Army had brought the rest of Europe to its knees. 'Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world will move forward into broad, sunlit uplands,' said Churchill. The future of Europe depended on Britain. A self-confident Herman Goring thought that it would be only a matter of weeks before his planes had forced Britain to surrender. The courage, resourcefulness and brilliant organisation of the RAF were to prove him wrong. By late September 1940, the RAF had proved invincible, thanks to the Vickers Supermarine Spitfire. It exceeded anything that any other air force possessed. RJ Mitchell, a shy and almost painfully modest engineer, was the genius behind the Spitfire. On the 5th March 1936, following its successful maiden flight, a legend was born. Prize-winning historian Leo McKinstry's vivid history of the Spitfire brings together a rich cast of characters and first hand testimonies. It is a tale full of drama and heroism, of glory and tragedy, with the main protagonist the remarkable plane that played a crucial role in saving Britain.
History

Spitfire Stories

Author: Jacky Hyams

Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 271

Spitfire Stories, published in association with Imperial War Museums, is a fascinating anthology of first-hand stories from Spitfire heroes and heroines of the Second World War. The Spitfire is the world's most iconic aeroplane. Coming into its own during the Battle of Britain, it became famous during the Second World War as the only plane that could match the enemy fighters in the sky. Yet, even today, the history of the Spitfire contains many hitherto hidden or little-known stories of the men and women behind the plane; not only the gifted creators and inventors who brought the Spitfire to life, or the brave fighter pilots from many countries who triumphed in battle, but also the thousands of other people whose lives were affected by their personal connection to it - engineers, ground crew, factory or office workers, and their families. Spitfire Stories recounts the memories and stories of these people, from the birth of the iconic Spitfire in the 1930s to the present day. Among these accounts is the extraordinary tale of the fighter pilot who only discovered, fifty years on, the tragic truth of his last Spitfire flight, the businessman whose blank cheque changed the course of the war, the ninety-five-year-old Royal Air Force engineer who was determined to be reunited with his beloved Spit before he died, and the little girl who inspired the plane's creation - and went on to marry a movie star. Using documents, letters and photographs from the Imperial War Museums' unparalleled archive, plus exclusive first-hand interviews, these stories of the Spitfire are a revelatory collection of small but significant histories, to be treasured by all who love and admire the iconic plane.
History

We Can Take It!

Author: Mark Connelly

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 262

`We Can Take It!' shows that the British remember the war in a peculiar way, thanks to a mix of particular images and evidence. Our memory has been shaped by material which is completely removed from historical reality. These images (including complete inventions) have combined to make a new history. The vision is mostly cosy and suits the way in which the Britons conceive of themselves: dogged, good humoured, occasionally bumbling, unified and enjoying diversity. In fact Britons load their memory towards the early part of the war (Dunkirk, Blitz, Battle of Britain) rather than when we were successful in the air or against Italy and Germany with invasions. This suits our love of being the underdog, fighting against the odds, and being in a crisis. Conversely, the periods of the war during which Britain was in the ascendant are, perversely, far more hazy in the public memory.
History

Malloch's Spitfire

Author: Nick Meikle

Publisher: Casemate

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 321

View: 402

This is the story of the pursuit of a dream. Spitfire PK350 is the only late-mark Spitfire, an F Mk 22, to have ever been restored to full flying status. She had no restrictions on her airframe and with four fully serviceable 20mm cannons, she was as good as the day she came off the production line in July 1945 near Birmingham, England. She first flew as a restored aircraft on 29 March 1980 at the hands of one John McVicar “Jack” Malloch. By then a legend in his adopted country, Rhodesia, Malloch had in 1977 been entrusted by the hierarchy of the Rhodesian Air Force to restore SR64, as she was then known. In two and half years, Jack Malloch and his trusted engineers, with critical help from the Rhodesian and South African air forces, completely restored SR64 to flying condition. The fact that she was fitted with a propeller made by a German company added a sweet irony to a project that had to contend with sanctions imposed by Britain, the original country of manufacture, and highlighted the enterprising spirit of the team. This was possible because Malloch, with the backing of the Rhodesian government, had built up a successful charter airfreight company that assumed different guises, depending on where it was operating, to bypass sanctions. Malloch's network thus facilitated his quest to restore and once again fly a Spitfire such as he had flown in the RAF during the Second World War. Some fascinating insights are revealed in this account. From the test pilot who first flew her as PK350 on 25 July 1945, the reader is taken on a journey through the aircraft's complete life, with the project's lead engineer and most of the surviving pilots who flew her gracing the story with their memories. For two years PK350 delighted those fortunate enough to see her fly, mostly around Salisbury (Harare) airport. Then, on what was planned to be its last flight, Malloch's Spitfire never returned to base.
History

Spitfire Dive-Bombers versus the V2

Author: Bill Simpson

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 271

View: 423

On 8 September 1944 the first of over 1,000 V2 missiles aimed at southern England exploded in west London. It had been launched from a wooded street corner in Den Haag in the Netherlands. Fighter Command was responsible for defending Britain from air attack and thus Air Marshal Roderic Hill countered the threat by using six squadrons of Spitfires from 12 Group bases in Norfolk to discover and then dive-bomb the mobile V2 launch sites scattered throughout the Dutch towns and countryside. This was no easy task as the missiles were well camouflaged and often positioned adjacent to dwellings occupied by civilians. The RAF was under orders to cause minimum damage to Dutch property and life, therefore precision bombing became a necessity. This is a full account of the campaign including discussions of the strategy and tactics employed and the equipment used and it also considers the effect upon Dutch civilians. It draws upon the experiences of sixteen Allied pilots, ground crew and the Dutch who were at the receiving-end of the attacks.
History

The Decisive Duel

Author: David Isby

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 575

London, 15 September 1940. The air battle over Britain on that day saw two of the most advanced fighter planes, the British Supermarine Spitfire and the German Messerschmitt Bf 109, battle for supremacy of the skies. The Decisive Duel tells the stories of these iconic, classic aircraft and the people that created them: Willy Messerschmitt, the German designer with a love for gliders and admiration for Hitler; R.J. Mitchell, his brilliant British counterpart, who struggled against illness to complete the design of the Spitfire. In fascinating detail, David Isby describes the crucial role the two opposed planes played, from the drawing boards to Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain to the final battles over Germany.
History

The Royal Air Force

Author: John Buckley

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 195

In 1918, the Royal Air Force became the first major independent air force in the world. Formed to serve a strategic need in the most intensive war that Britain had then fought, the RAF continued in the inter-war era to play a key role in the political and diplomatic world, and in defending the Empire. During the Second World War, the RAF was pivotal in defending Britain from invasion in the Battle of Britain, and then in leading the assault on the Axis powers, most notably through the contentious bomber offensive against Germany. In the post-war world, the RAF adapted and developed into a force to meet the needs of the United Kingdom during the Cold War, the retreat from Empire, and most recently in the move to coalition warfare against low intensity threats, all against a backdrop of diminishing resources and shifting priorities. This is the story of the RAF over the first century of its existence: how it has confronted the many challenges and threats it has faced — from the Luftwaffe in 1940, through the spectre of nuclear holocaust in the Cold War, to the fight against terrorism in the 21st century — and how it has contributed to the defence of the United Kingdom throughout that period.
History

Swift to Battle: 1937-1942

Author: Tom Docherty

Publisher: Casemate Publishers

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 257

View: 549

This first of three volumes traces the history of 72 Fighter Squadron, one of the premier squadrons in the Royal Air Force. The aircraft flown, operational personnel and missions flown are fully described with firsthand accounts from pilots and both air and ground crew.Having been first established in 1917 the squadron was disbanded in February 1918. It was re-formed in February 1937 from 'B' Flight of 1 Squadron and was equipped with Gloster Gladiators. In 1939 it was re-equipped with Spitfires which were used in air defense and convoy protection sorties following the start of the war. In 1940 the squadron moved to assist in the evacuation of Dunkirk. During The Battle of Britain, 72 spent the early days at RAF Acklington as part of 13 Group before moving south during September to assist the main defense force. The squadron then flew penetration 'Circus' missions over occupied Europe with the intention of causing havoc to the German forces and also to lure German fighters into combat.