The Supermarine Spitfire became a legend. More importantly it represented a symbol of hope for a nation faced with certain invasion if air defence could not be maintained. Many other aircraft went to war for Britain, but none emerged with quite the same aura as this classic and long-lived fighter. 'Spitfire: the History' is the most detailed reference work yet compiled on R J Mitchell's design masterpiece, representing 25 years of research which took its authors into the remotest regions of archival territory. The scope is immense, covering 7l related type numbers and encodifying information on more than 22,500 aircraft. Rare documents, photographs and drawings define the evolution to an unprecedented degree, embracing Seafire, Spiteful and Seafang developments to create a unique record.