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Spitfire Manual 1940 Paperback – 26 Feb 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing; First Edition edition (26 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848684363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848684362
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,924 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.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Fréd04 on 21 Nov. 2010
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Jones on 21 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Smithy on 18 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
"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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By StiffyO'Riorda on 25 Sept. 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 By fiskybabe on 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kerry from Worksop on 18 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Emma Brent on 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Petras bargain hunt on 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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