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Spitfire Manual 1940 [Paperback]

Dilip Sarkar
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

26 Feb 2010
How to fly the legendary fighter plane in combat using the manuals and instructions supplied by the RAF during the Second World War. An amazing array of leaflets, books and manuals were issued by the War Office during the Second World War to aid pilots in flying the Supermarine Spitfire, here for the first time and using the original 1940s setting, they are collated into a single book. An introduction is supplied by expert aviation historian Dilip Sarkar. Other sections include aircraft recognition, how to act as an RAF officer, bailing out etc.

Frequently Bought Together

Spitfire Manual 1940 + Supermarine Spitfire: Owners' Workshop Manual (An Insight into Owning, Restoring, Servicing and Flying Britain's Legendary World War 2 Fighter)
Price For Both: £21.94

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing (26 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848684363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848684362
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Fascinated by the Battle of Britain since childhood, Dilip Sarkar remains both moved and inspired by the story of Churchill's fabled Few, those young airmen who stood between freedom and a Britain dominated by Nazi Germany. Since the 1970s he has met and interviewed more Battle of Britain pilots than any other historian. He has researched the subject thoroughly and has published over twenty books, including THE FEW: THE STORY OF THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN IN THE WORDS OF THE PILOTS ('A well-researched, detailed chronicle of the Battle of Britain - written by the men who fought so bravely to repulse the German raiders' HUGH SEBAG-MONTEFIORE), LAST OF THE FEW: 20 BATTLE OF BRITAIN FIGHTER PILOTS TELL THEIR EXTRAORDINARY STORIES ('Dilip knows more about me and the pilots with whom I flew during the Battle of Britain than we do! If anyone ever needs to know anything about the RAF during the summer of 1940, don't ask the Few, ask him!' GEORGE 'GRUMPY' UNWIN, Battle of Britain fighter ace), THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN: THE PHOTOGRAPHIC KALEIDOSCOPE ('An excellent book' LADY BADER), BADER'S TANGMERE SPITFIRES ('A most diligent and carefully researched account' JOHNNIE JOHNSON, the RAF's top scoring fighter ace in WW2), FIGHTER PILOT ('This book deserves to achieve success' DAME VERA LYNN). In 2003, Dilip was made an MBE for services to aviation history, and elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Historical Society in 2006. He lives in Worcester.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent little book 21 Nov 2010
By Fréd04
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If this book had contained only the Spitfire pilot manual, it would have been disapointing. However, the Author had the excellent idea to add many extras that really makes it worth your money:
- more than 40 pages of introduction by the Author.
- extracts of a Pilot log book (from Johnnie Johnson, Britain's best fighter pilot).
- examples of Pilot combat reports (still from J. Johnson).
- 4 WW2 manuals:
1. Forget-me-nots for fighters
2. General notes on air gunnery and air fighting
3. Bag the hun!
4. Warplanes: card game for aircraft spotters.

Overall, 274 pages of very good material for less than 6£.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but a little limited 21 Feb 2011
This is a good addition to the wealth of literature on the Spitfire. The book presents various wartime documents with a solid introduction from historian Dilip Sarkar. It doesn't really feature any new research or previously unseen material, but makes for generally interesting reading.

It is worth noting that although the title of the book is 'The Spitfire Manual 1940', the vast majority of the content is not drawn from the period of the Battle of Britain. Instead the book collates extracts from Johnnie Johnson's log book dated March 1944 to May 1945, a combat report also from 1944, an aircraft movement card from 1941-43, some instructional booklets for fighter pilots, again largely from 1943, and some aircraft recognition profiles of major Axis and Allied aircraft types. This is decent stuff, but doesn't really give a sense of how the Spitfire was being operated in what perhaps was the aircraft's true test, when the Spitfire's excellent performance and combat record really established its reputation among pilots and the British public. As such the book will be of limited use if the Battle of Britain is your area of interest, or if you really want to know what it might have been like to fly Spitfires at that time. The documents are also all facsimile reproductions, and although the print quality is generally good it does decline at various points throughout the book. Neither is it very easy on the eye!

The book has some interesting content, but is not among the best books on the Spitfire (even in this price range), nor is it as good as some of the other historical pocket books that are available.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable record 25 Sep 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great to be able to see facsimiles of the actual manuals used by the RAF. Well produced book
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars does what it says on the can 8 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
basically this book does as it says on the "instructions" - a good intro with a basic background of the spitfire's development and active history combined with some personal insights leads into a well put together collection of contemporary material that is both as illuminating and informative as it is historical. the basic "format" of reproductions of the original material only adds to this originality. well worth an inexpensive delve.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spitfire history books 18 Jan 2013
I bought this for my partner, a long standing spitfire enthusiast and once he started reading it he kept picking it up. Its full of interesting real life history but best left to the enthusiast.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect 2 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Perfect christmas gift, exactly what i expected, quick postage, easy to deal with, would highly recommended to a friend. Thanks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Smithy
"Spitfire Manual 1940" which has been edited by Battle of Britain historian Dilip Sarkar is a wonderful and very insightful look at flying and fighting in the Spitfire. As well as the original pilot notes for the Spitfire IIa and IIb, the book includes several wartime instructional booklets on subjects such as on air gunnery, "forget-me-nots for fighters", air fighting and aircraft recognition silhouettes. Included with these are extracts from pilots log books, combat reports and an excellent introduction by the editor.

Overall this will be of supreme interest to those readers with an interest in the Battle of Britain. However "Spitfire Manual 1940" should also be essential reading by those readers who own and fly the flight simulation, "Battle of Britain II: Wings of Victory" as the pilot's notes and instructional booklets will be invaluable to them.

Very highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift idea for Spitfire fans 24 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nice collection of descriptions, manuals, sketches and other info. Well worth the money and perfect for Spitfire fans! Quickly dispatched and delivered too - thank you!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ) and he was very surprised and really loved it!
Bought a a Father's Day gifts for my father in law (who is notoriously hard to buy for!) and he was very surprised and really loved it!
Published 17 days ago by Miriam Trippett-Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great little manual and full of so much detail.
Published 26 days ago by dawnie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift idea
This isn't the best Spitfire book around - and I have a few. But I don't think it's meant to be. It's a specialised one-off revolving around the idea of reproducing contemporary... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pickwick
4.0 out of 5 stars take off
I am ready to fly this marvelous (but built to kill...) machine ! a very good copy of the original book
Published 4 months ago by BEHBEHR
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
I got this for my Grandsons stocking filler,he loves spitfires and was so pleased with this book i neednt have got him anything else.
Published 6 months ago by bloor2140
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than A Manual
Had to purchase two copies.
I knew that my friends would want to read it
and I was right. This is not just a manual as suggested.
Full of stories and facts. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Brian Barnett
5.0 out of 5 stars What a fantastic read
Bought as a gift for a relative in hospital. He said that it was great and really chased away the hours with puzzles included - better than any magazine.
Published 12 months ago by Michelle Perks
5.0 out of 5 stars Present
Thsi was a present for father's day, well, for my dad! His favouroite plane is the Spitfire, so I pretty much couldn't go wrong with this book.
Published 13 months ago by wood pigeon
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Spitfire book
This Spitfire book is really excellent. Very well written, well illustrated and a must for any Spitfire fan like me.
Published 14 months ago by H. G. Weatherley
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift for 17 year old
Purchased this for my son who has been in the Air Cadets for the past 4.5years. He is delighted with it and has already taken it in to show his squadron.
Published 15 months ago by mama
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