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To find out more about the Spitfire....

If you want to find out more about the Spitfire the following are recommended.........

Some Links-

The Spitfire Site - Hopefully this should build into the biggest and best on-line resource on the Spitfire.

Website devoted to R.J.Mitchell (RJMITCHELL-SPITFIRE.CO.UK)

Video-

"The First of the Few." The classic wartime film by Leslie Howard was available on DVD from Simply Home entertainment  The catalogue number was 130527. The film was given away free in the Daily Mail, and also in the Sunday Telegraph, (combined with "The Cruel Sea"). These copies can be picked up very cheaply on ebay.

"The Spitfire Story" A documentary about the Spitfire and RJ Mitchell, narrated by WilliamWoollard.  This is a good few years old now, and not without its faults, for example it rather overplays the line that the RAF and Air Ministry had no interest in the Spitfire prototype (this is nonsense, the Air Ministry latched onto the Spitfire early in its development and paid the full costs of the prototype). However in most respects the documentary outstanding for its depth and is well worth seeing. - It is available from Delta Music - Click Here 

"The Battle of Britain." The 1969 recreation of the battle used almost all the available airworthy Spitfires to produce the spectacular air battles. It has been released as a "Special Edition" DVD with added documentaries - You also get the option to see the film with the original music score by William Walton.   Production number 10001024 MZI.

Books.

Spitfire books

"Schneider Trophy To Spitfire - The Design Career Of R.J. Mitchell"  by John Shelton - John Shelton examines Mitchell's 28 designs and recounts how each of his aircraft emerged in response to contemporary requirements and to prevailing design philosophies. Published by Haynes, ISBN  9781844255306. - 

"RJ Mitchell - World Famous Aircraft Designer" by Gordon Mitchell with many contributions by those who worked with RJ Mitchell and who flew his aircraft. ISBN 0 947750 053. Published by Nelson and Saunders.

"R.J. Mitchell, Schooldays to Spitfire" by Gordon Mitchell, it provides a lot of source material for all those interested in the life and Work of R.J. Mitchell. ISBN 0 7524 23223. Recently republished (2002) by Tempus Publishing Ltd. web site: www.tempus-publishing.com

"Spitfire-the History" by Morgan and Shacklady. The definitive book on the Spitfire, 656 lage format pages. Published by key publishing of Stamford Lincolnshire. ISBN 0-946219 48 6

"Spitfire at War." A series of books by Alfred price. Published by Ian Allan ltd. ISBN 0 7110 0560 5

"Spitfire Postscript" by CR Russell, a follow-up to his earlier "Spitfire Odyssey" this tells of the struggles to keep the Spitfire in production. It explodes many of the myths that have grown up about the bombing of Supermarine`s factories and the start of Spitfire production at Castle Bromwich. ISBN 09524858 0.

"The Spitfire Story" by Alfred Price. The most important book on the Spitfire in recent years, the result of years of research. Published by Arms and Armour Press ISBN 1 85409 172 7.

"Birth of a Legend - the Spitfire" by Jeffrey Quill. A great book by the famous Spitfire test pilot. Published by Quiller Press, ISBN 0907621 64 3.

"Spitfire - A Test Pilot's Story" by Jeffrey Quill. This remarkable autobiography throws great light onto the development of the Spitfire, from the prototype to the Spiteful. Available from Crecy publishing in softback. ISBN 0-94755-472-6

"Wings of the Navy" by Capt Eric Brown. No one can write with more authority and technical insight than this outstanding Royal Navy test pilot. In a 20 page chapter on the Seafire you will learn more about the Spitfire at Sea than by trawling through a library of other books on the subject. Published by Airlife Publishing Ltd, ISBN 0 906393 87 6.  Read about Eric Brown on Wikipedia by clicking on this LINK.

"The RAF and Aircraft Design 1923-1939" by Colin Sinnot. One for the enthusiast only, since it requires a lot of background knowledge to appreciate the content. This book casts new light on the RAF's role in specifying aircraft for its use. Until now it was largely accepted that the RAF was carried kicking and screaming into the monoplane era by the aircraft industry. This book paints a very different picture of an Air Staff exasperated at being presented with "old fashioned" biplanes by the aircraft manufacturers when they wanted radical, fast, well armed designs. The explanation of the concepts of "zone fighter" and "interceptor" are particularly eye opening. Published by Frank Cass ISBN 0 7146 5158 3.

Battle of Britain books

"The Most Dangerous Enemy" by Stephen Bungay. A well presented book able to draw on all the latest research and the documents released in the last few years. ISBN 1 85410 721 6

"Fighter" by Len Deighton. The background and story of the Battle of Britain, it combines the technology, tactics and politics of the battle in one very readable book, albeit some parts of it are controversal and disputed by other authors. His description of events at Manston and the turning circle of the Spitfire and Bf109 are particularly contentious.  Published by Grafton, ISBN 0 586 21094 6.

"The Narrow Margin" by Derek Wood and Derek Dempster, first published in 1961, it was revised in later editions. A highly authoritative work in its time, it is well worth tracking down the illustrated edition first issued to coincide with the release of the "Battle of Britain" feature film in 1969. ISBN 09 002160 6.

"Battle of Britain" by Len Deighton. Lots of pictures and diagrams. ISBN 0 224 01826 4.

"The Battle of Britain" by John Frayn Turner. As a devotee of Douglas Bader, Mr Turner's books have always pushed the case for 12 Group's "Big Wing". Read this alongside other books on this list and make up your own mind. First published by Airlife Publishing Ltd in 1998.

"The Battle of Britain" no less than 11 authors contributed to this book, it is packed with pictures and diagrams but there is a lot of text as well. If your bookcase has room for only one book on the Battle of Britain make it this one. Published by Salamander ISBN 1 85613 025 8.

"Strike from the Sky" by Alexander Mckee. A classic account of the battle first published in the 1960's but updated and reissued for the 50th anniversary in 1990. Grafton books, ISBN 0 586 21022 9. 

"Spitfire on my tail" by Ulrich Steinhilper and Peter Osborne. A German pilot's view of the Battle of Britain. Published by Independent books, Upton-on-seven, Worcs.

"That Eternal Summer - untold stories from the Battle of Britain" by Ralph Barker. It includes a chapter on CA Dixon and his development of an incendiary bullet for the RAF. Published by Collins. ISBN 0 00 637543 X.

Schneider Trophy

I recommend reading an article "Dolittle wins in Baltimore" by Michael Gough in the November 2005 Edition of "Airpower" magazine. It concentrates on the 1925 race in Baltimore, but also gives a good overview of the whole Schneider Trophy story. It tells of the loss of the S4 in unprecedented detail and shows that there were many factors behind the loss of the S4 besides the possible aileron flutter usually given as the cause of the crash.


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