Spitfire Faces (Hardback)
The Men and Women Behind the Iconic Fighter
The Supermarine Spitfire arguably remains the most iconic fighter aircraft ever produced. Unsurprisingly, it has become a symbol of British excellence and national pride.
Interest in the Spitfire remains undiminished as time goes on, and its bibliography is virtually infinite. Whilst many of these books feature the technical and operational history of the Spitfire, this book features the human element of the story, concentrating on the stories of not only those who flew the Spitfire into battle, but also the men and women who maintained and built it.
By the summer of 1941, the Spitfire had replaced the Hurricane as the RAF’s front-line fighter, seeing service in every theatre of war, from north-west Europe to the Far East, and operating in many roles never envisaged by its gifted, yet tragic, designer, R.J. Mitchell. Although intended as a short-range daylight interceptor, Spitfires became dive-bombers, offensive escort fighters, night-fighters, photographic reconnaissance mounts – and more.
R.J. Mitchell, however, was always very conscious that a human being would risk his or her life flying his creation – and this book concentrates on that human story.
Covering the Spitfire’s design, development and wartime operational history, Spitfire Faces features photographs from the personal collections of survivors, collated as the result of the author’s close personal relationships and friendships with so many of them.
‘Dilip, like you, I grew up reading about the Aces and the well-known figures of Fighter Command; I really enjoy reading about the others, the less well-known, the support staff/ground crew, ATA etc. The recent crop of books you've published all address this very well - as do so many of your previous works ! It's an excellent work alongside "Spitfire Down" and "Forgotten Heroes of The Battle of Britain".Squadron Leader Jon Rooke RAF
I was showing Vicki the book and commenting on the relevance and links between many of the subjects which makes for a pleasant flowing style through the book’.
As featured inThe Bookseller, Jan 23
As a child, Dilip Sarkar was fascinated by the haunting image of an anonymous RAF Spitfire pilot. Taken minutes after landing from a Battle of Britain combat, this was Squadron Leader Brian Lane DFC, the commander of 19 Squadron, based at Fowlmere – and author of the stirring first-hand account Spitfire! The Experiences of a Fighter Pilot, published under the pseudonym B.J. Ellan. Deeply moving was the discovery that in 1942 Brian was reported missing after a futile nuisance raid over the Dutch coast. During the mid-1980s, Dilip began researching the life and times of both Brian Lane and 19…By Dilip Sarkar MBE
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