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on 2 March 2013
This is a thorough,painstaking account of the development of these two aircraft, with the added entertainment of numerous snippets about the people who flew them and made them. There was no one ME109 or one Spitfire. they went through numerous incarnations-first one gaining the upper hand,then the other. We are treated to a fascinating account of all war theatres in which they operated, and to a good account of the politics which influenced their development. The saddest part of the story is how the German plane was taken over by appalling slave labour and brutality in its manufacture. As aeroplanes, they were the outstanding examples of two equally matched antagonists fighting each other for round after round. I was riveted.
7 people found this helpful
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on 8 November 2012
I was absorbed by the detail and the way the varying balance of power achieved between two marques of aircraft designed with the same desogn object in view. The production facilities for each aircraft are similar in that both countries used dispersal to minimise the effect of bombing, but the book describes how incredibly different they dealt with the problem of manpower. It is very difficult to believe that the autocratic nation's solution was to use slave labour supervised by Himmler! The reader will be engrossed to read how far the research goes beyond the end of WW2
9 people found this helpful
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on 16 December 2013
Many such 'specialist' histories are little more than a catalogue of technical details, dates and numbers - accurate but dry. Here, though, David Isby writes a scholarly account of the development of the two key fighter aircraft of the Second World War which holds the attention throughout. It is punctuated with accounts of events told by the protagonists, covering every aspect of the story - from the development of modern fighter aircraft through to the final fates of both types. In doing so Isby draws on hundreds of sources and knits these together to produce a supremely well-written and complete narrative, easily on a par with the best of the genre (such as 'Spitfire: portrait of a legend by Leo Mc Kinstry). If the title of the book limits it's 'shelf appeal' to hardcore military aviation enthusiasts that would be a great shame, as this book deserves, and would reward, much wider readership.
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on 18 September 2015
Superb, fascinating factual account of the WW2 struggle between the RAF & Luftwaffe. Anyone with any interest at all in WW2 aircraft will love it. Although non-fiction it's a great read, full of technical and development details and also a candid, neutral account without bias. Essential reading for anyone debating (especially with Germans) the pros & cons on Spitfire vs. Messerschmitt / FW aircraft.
One person found this helpful
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on 22 April 2015
authorative and concise a good read
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on 18 November 2014
great book, great read:
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on 15 January 2016
Excellent book. I have not started to read it yet. But know that from browsing that this
is right up my street.
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on 26 December 2014
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on 3 July 2015
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on 6 March 2013
Various other books on the Bf 109 had stories that alluded to people and events, and this book provided names and more information. It does successfully manage to provide an interesting and informative read despite being on a subject awash in publications.
4 people found this helpful
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