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Spitfire Mark V In Action:- RAF Operations in Northern Europe

By Peter Caygill

ISBN: 9781840372489
PUBLISHED: April 2001
PAGES: 224
BINDING: Hardback
SIZE: 234x156 mm
INSIDE: 42 photographs

The Spitfire Mark V was built in greater numbers than any other variant. Its story is inextricably linked to the Focke-Wulf 190, which entered service with the Luftwaffe in the summer of 1941 and caused RAF Fighter Command a profound shock.

Combat losses were worryingly high until Rolls-Royce gave the Mark V a lifeline that allowed the Spitfire to compete on almost equal terms when flying at low and medium altitude. Although it was progressively replaced by the Mark IX from June 1942, there were still ten front-line squadrons flying Mark Vs at the time of D-Day and for two years afterwards. It continued in the firing line until the end of the European War.

As an operational history, this book tells the aircraft's story from the viewpoint of the various squadrons and wings throughout 10, 11 and 12 Groups. Many of the actions, described are based on pilot's combat reports which, together with intelligence reports and first-hand accounts, provide a detailed account of some of the more notable air battles that took place over Northern France, Holland and Belgium. The book concludes with a chapter that charts the operational histories of preserved Spitfire Vs that fought in the skies of Northern Europe.

It is an interesting and very well researched volume and is a must for Spitfire enthusiasts and those interested in the manner in which Fighter Command carried the war to the enemy in the last years following the Battle of Britain. RAF HISTORICAL SOCIETY JOURNAL

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