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Social history rather than flying recollections
on 26 February 2015
I am perhaps a little unfair giving this book only three stars, because it depends what you think you are getting. From the title and cover image I thought this book would be about the flying exploits of the female pilots of the ATA. In fact the book is more a social history about their background and goings-on away from the flying.
You do get some brief flying anecdotes in the latter half of the book, but they are in a minority, and some of them are covered in another book which I think is a much better buy if you want to read and experience the dangerous and sometimes near fatal situations that arose for the female pilots of the ATA, bearing in mind that quite apart from mechanical issues, they could be caught out by weather conditions, in aircraft that often had no radio, and situations where they had not been trained to fly on instruments.
The book I am referring to is Diana Barnato Walker's " Spreading my wings", which if you skip the early chapters about her childhood and privileged upbringing, is packed with her flying anecdotes.
I am sure "Spitfire Women" is well researched, but I feel a little uncomfortable with the actual title.