- Hardcover: 360 pages
- Publisher: Pen & Sword Aviation (22 Jun. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1473828066
- ISBN-13: 978-1473828063
- Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3.3 x 23.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 664,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Dogfight: The Supermarine Spitfire and the Messerschmitt BF109 Hardcover – 22 Jun 2015
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About the Author
Engineering graduate, University of Manchester, began career working on anti-aircraft missiles in the aerospace industry before turning to writing, film and TV production on a wide range of subjects. These include two series for BBC Television on the 'Thursday War' exercises for newly commissioned warships and on the story of naval aviation, and one for BBC Radio Four on deception and psychology in warfare . Thirty books published to date covering automotive engineering, motor sport, forensic science, espionage, criminal profiling, air crash investigation and anti-submarine warfare. Dogfight: Spitfire versus Messerschmitt Bf109 is number thirty-one.
Top customer reviews
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en working it's way through Battle of Britain actions but this is essential reporting to help evaluate the two aircraft and it would be a lesser book without those reports.
If Mr Owen comes back to this story one day for an upgrade I think that it would be helpful to know more of the contribution of individual team members. For example, Beverley Shenstone's Spitfire wing was a truly remarkable design but we hear little of him. Ludwig Plandtl of Gottingen University had a finger in the pie. Alf Faddy had a major part to play as leader of the team producing the production drawings. Cyril Loveseys true understanding of the function of an aircraft engine at Rolls Royce was a major contribution. As for the Bf 109, I can hardly believe that Willy Messerschmidt had no design team, there must have been somebody else contributing. Perhaps someone from Germany can guide us there. By coincidence I found out why the 'answer was not a lemon' the day that I read this. Actually a Mr Lemon a Ministry man is referred to here. A small mystery but read the book to find the context.
Errata! Big oops. That should have been Sir Ernest Lemon who modernised the LMS Railway engineering and did great work sorting out the aircraft industry's production problems. I beg his pardon.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This is the 31st title by Author David Owen: he graduated in Engineering at Manchester University and worked in the aerospace business for many years, then starts a collaboration with BBC radio and TV. This helps so much in synthetizing the crucial aspects of the two rival fighters.
The title is also deceptive: it could more appropriately be “The worlds behind two legends of the air”, because the book deeply and authoritatively analyzes not only the two rival fighters but also the political and military aspects connected to the confrontations between these two thoroughbreds.
Mr. Owen traits the biographies of the two designers underlining from one side the breathtaking Prof. Willy Messerschmitt’s research to lightness and advanced aerodynamics, rooted to his beginnings as a sailplane designer,
and on the other side the perfect marriage between frame and engine of Reginald J. Mitchell’ creatures, like the racer hydroplanes Supermarine S.5 and S.6 that won the Schneider Trophy contest in 1931.
The text then deepens the developments both of the Bf 109 and SPITFIRE with the critical phase of the “Spit”’s industrialization, a troubled story that risked to compromise the RAF’s future in 1939/40.
A wide coverage is dedicated to the Battle of Britain period describing the different tactics and organization of the RAF and Luftwaffe and the training’s doctrines.
Very interesting are the chapters devoted to the fighters’ evolution, based on the progression of the WW II events. It only is a pity that the iconographic section is not at the same level of the text, with small B/W photos and monotone drawings. However this fact does not invalidate a very good book that makes life to the tragic WW II’s years and the incredible technological developments connected to this.