`Book ⇨ Spitfire: Portrait of a Legend ☠ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

I had this book on my shelves for a couple of years before I got round to reading it I was put off reading it by the garish cover but once I got over this I quite enjoyed the book, at least the first two thirds Leo McKinstry writes, I think, very well and the early chapters describing the troublesome birth of the Spitfire was well worth reading The problem for me was that the last third of the book petered out into a simple list of the different marks of Spitfire and their technical developments Overall though, I enjoyed it and I have the author s lancaster to look forward to. The Spitfire is just one of the most beautiful machines ever built and this book really does that justice The problem with any history book is any new information provided of opinion expressed within the pages could lead to accusations of attempting to rewrite history I think this book manages to avoid criticism by keeping the balance in the arguments just right It does point out that there were not enough Spitfires in 1940 to win the Battle of Britain alone and that the Hurricanes played a big part in winning the battle That said, it also points out that if the RAF had Spitfires instead of Hurricanes then the battle would still have been won which is not something that is necessarily true if the RAF only had Hurricanes.The myth that the RAF was on the brink of defeat at the end of the Battle of Britain is also exposed in this book It is true that 11 Group of Fighter Command had thrown every plane at the Luftwaffe, but there were plenty of fighters in other areas of the UK sitting on the ground while those in Kent and Sussex were in constant combat The reluctance to call upon the support of 12 Group is shocking and cannot be justified even in the disagreement over the Big Wing tactics employed by the pilots of 12 Group Having squadrons of Spitfires sitting idle in the north of England and Scotland in case the Luftwaffe switches tactics whilst the south east and London were being bombed seems curious with the benefit of hindsight, but exposes Sir Keith Park s comment to Churchill that we had no reserves for the overstatement that it was McKinstry also sets the record straight about the criticism that the RAF had to endure that they left the the British Expeditionary Force exposed on the beaches at Dunkirk If you are thrilled by the sound of a Merlin engine and look up expectantly for the grace of the elliptical wings on RJ Mitchell s masterpiece and after all, who doesn t then this book is a must read. The production of Spitfires before ww2 was a shambles Government, plane manufacturers, and armed forces squabbles were all to blame A prototype could have been flying in 1934, which would have altered the whole shape of pre war politics Political support for aviation was poor until it was understood that Hitler was a real threat Aircraft production was frankly too little too late owing to political inertia There was sniping from the Army and Navy, and empire chiefs were asking from protection It was thanks largely to Neville Chamberlain s insight that defence of Britain must come first, pressing hard as PM for fighter production He realised too that if the war began in 1937 or 1938 the quantities of stukas and Ms109s being battle hardy in Spain might mean rapid defeat This does not exonerate Chamberlain from the Munich Agreement, but explains his anxiety to slow confrontation down We know of the piece of paper he brought back, but not the one he took, which listed aircraft production numbers Dowding s reaction to Munich was Thank God From the media, W E Johns published various magazines on flying and put huge pressure on politicians to change course.Trenchard s disastrous anti fighter doctrine set him against Sir Hugh Dowding who saw fighters as an essential defence against free ranging bombers Had Trenchard had his way, we would have lost the second word war in 1940 There was major political dragging of feet despite evidence of Germany rushing ahead with aircraft manufacture In 1935 Sir Philip Cunliffe Lister took over from sacked Londonderry and within two weeks of committee work had issued two reports demanding rapid expansion of aircraft manufacture The F7 30 specifications were developed into the Gloster Gladiator, a biplane, already outmoded on its maiden flight It survived until 1942 and three of them, Faith, Hope and Charity, made major contributions to the defence of Malta see Josephine Blackstock s Island on the Beam discussed in my The Hurricane and Spitfire were given their own specifications and told to get on with it Sir Philip soon became Viscount Swinton and was freed from what he considered the tedious dealings in the House of Commons Success in the Battle of Britain hinged on this new appointment A prototype Hurricane and Spitfire was expected in 1935 6 Lord Swindon brought in William Weir the Scottish engineer industrialist who rapidly stimulated production The Spitfire prototype first flew on 5th March 1936 Test flights by Jeffrey Quill followed and the prototype handled well The nose was lonto 380 mph There was nearly a disaster on the Ministry test flight at Martlesham when the pilot forgot to lower the undercarriage, but rectified this just in time After a positive report, an order for 310 planes was put in eight days later on 3rd June Delivery was expected by March 1939 Further flights were successful and greatly admired However, Mitchell s bowel cancer returned and he died 11th June 1937, aged 42 From a production point of view, 1937 was a traumatic shambles The question of how to roll out the build to 310 planes had not been thought through Factory space was too small and what was needed was new purpose built factories, much as happened later in Swindon and Castle Bromwich Birmingham 600 Hurricanes had been ordered, a traditional and simpler build and these would hold the fort well into 1940 when the first Spitfires began to creep through This was caused by than Mitchell s death Leadership was awful, and factory problems were kept from the Ministry, otherwise alternative arrangements would have been made Essentially no flyable Spitfire was built in 1937, nor were production problems identified and solved 1937 was a wasted year, which could have had terrible consequences The Ministry demanded that the parent company made a total reshuffle Much work had been contracted out, with inadequate drawings, so the components did not fit Government panic was in the air But they were their own worst enemy, heavily bureaucratic, committees everywhere, and crassly suicidal in their preference for bombers, whilst leaving London unprotected In the end 300 Spitfires were allotted to Fairey Aviation in Stockport though this was not honoured The delays in Supermarine led to the stupid replacement of Lord Swinton, who had been the only positive voice in the whole debacle In the government, Hore Belisha was one of the few who pushed for rearmament but he was Jewish and lampooned as Horeb Elisha by anti semitic colleagues, of which there were many.We are now at the start of the war Hurricanes are in place, but no Spitfires The war could have been over by Christmas, like in Poland but fortunately the Nazis did not press this advantage, and the phoney war resulted. The Spitfire is a plane most everyone can imagine when it gets mentioned But, really, it is far than a plane The Spitfire is a dream that someone dared to dream and this dream became a reality just in time for the British to make it into their collective saviour in the 1940 s However, as these things so often begin in another time, the history of the Spitfire reaches back beyond that into the early 20 s, and it is this whole story that Mr McKinstry provides.I found the level of detail thorough than I had expected a lot of the background or people noted forced me to investigate things thoroughly, and this is generally a good thing Also typically, as a story of modern Britain, the Spitfire s is a story of government incompetency and well meaning failures but this is how a number of parliamentary sessions descriptions get brought into the question of how to design a really fast plane For the other type of reader, the statistics brought up by the author are likely to be interesting While not as numerous as the other type of fact presented, there are a few observations which are likely to make the reader wonder about the importance of marketing no matter what we are selling As a final touch, the last chapters detailing service and combat in other forces were a wonderful conclusion to this book Originally posted here. This book is a must read for anyone with an interest in the Second World War, modern British history, aeronautical engineering, design development, mass production processes, or a handful of other areas McKinstry s machine biography touches upon From an idea for a fighter plane born of the experience of designing racing seaplanes, through the torturous development of convincing the war office of the prototypes s viability, the manufacturing and false starts and complications, through to the aerial battle over eastern England that could have easily become a prelude to invasion, this book covers it all To be fair, there ere twice as many Hawker Hurricanes the subject of a sister volume by McKinstry in the air fighting the onslaught German fighters and bombers in the Battle of Britain, but it was the Spitfire, with its graceful silhouette that captured the public imagination McKinstry s portrait reveals both the plane and the larger than life personalities that brought it to life. I had to stop reading this book after just two chapters due to the bad print The ink used for this book is not very good,also the paper used is terrible I would like to say that this is not a review for the book as a whole ,but for the way this book was printed i.e the ink and paper This book hurt my eyes even in perfect daylight.I don t know if it was just the paperback version that is printed poorly or if it affects the hardback version too.I must also admit after reading just two chapters I found many grammatical errors and written errors by the author Leo Mckinstry who made many wrong statements about the Spitfire prototype K5054.After reading numerous books about the Spitfire and the Battle of Britain I get the feeling that this author has included a lot of incomplete information regarding this iconic Aeroplane,but saying this I only read two chapters so I cannot form a complete review of this book.I will try to read this book again at a later date kindle version and then edit my review as per needed.P.s don t let this review put you of reading this book as it s not a proper review of the book,but a review of the layout.I m sure that the hardback or kindle version would be easier to read than the paperback So all I m going to say is stay away from the paperback version if you can and try a different format.Long Live The Spitfire This is a nicely written overview of the Spitfire, from its development to end of service, in the 1950s I liked the easy to read writing style It reads like a story being unfolded rather than a detailed technical manual The book covers the warts in the Spitfire story, for example, difficulties getting the plane into production, even as late as 1940 I found it interesting and refreshing when the author offers an alternative interpretation to history For example, although acknowledging Hugh Dowding and Keith Park s vital roles in winning the Battle of Britain, McKinstry also highlights short comings in their managerial styles which could have contributed to them losing their positions after the battle. Excellent general history of the world s most iconic aeroplane McKinstry keeps the geeky technical details to a minimum, but gives marvellous pen portraits of the people involved in the design, production and operation of the Spit Every stage of the story is told from the human angle, and is fascinating and gripping from start to finish He is not blind to the faults of the aircraft, and deals fairly with the various controversies encountered I had not realised, for example, just what a basket case Supermarine was, and that the continued failure to produce Spits on schedule may have been a major factor in Chamberlain s Munich policy. TALLY HO Wait that s a call into battleIf the rate at which I added Leo Mckinstry s Hurricane book to my lists after starting this book doesn t tell it clearly enough I ll put it in words, I m a huge fan.It s researched as well as some of the paleo reads I ve sunk into this year but it s a totally different topic with a very different tone And there s some quotes which I hesitate to call truely British as that term changes from person to person but they re truly things and attitudes British people can be proud of, though not all the words and actions quoted are like this.I worried at times that the book would elevate the Spitfire onto some flawless pedestal and try to raise it higher by knocking down it s rivals in the Hurricane, BF109 and FW190 but instead it gives views from different angles, and while sure there s a bias toward the Spitfire the merit of each aircraft are laid out and the advantages some had never shied away from There s even mentions of the competition against Zero s something I never gave much thought to and some Spit v Spit action too.If you re a fan of Spitfires, Fighter Aircraft, World War 2, RAF History or even just Aviation History I d recommend this book It s got stories from all angles of the Spitfire s glorious albeit flawed run and after a short break to read something non war related I ll be sinking my teeth into Leo McKinstry s Lancaster or Hurricane book. `Book ⇮ Spitfire: Portrait of a Legend ↳ In June , The German Army Had Brought The Rest Of Europe To Its KneesHitler Knows That He Will Have To Break Us In This Island Or Lose The War If We Can Stand Up To Him, All Europe May Be Free And The Life Of The World Will Move Forward Into Broad, Sunlit Uplands,said Churchill The Future Of Europe Depended On Britain A Self Confident Herman G Ring Thought That It Would Be Only A Matter Of Weeks Before His Planes Had Forced Britain To Surrender The Courage, Resourcefulness And Brilliant Organisation Of The RAF Were To Prove Him Wrong By Late September , The RAF Had Proved Invincible, Thanks To The Vickers Supermarine Spitfire It Exceeded Anything That Any Other Air Force Possessed RJ Mitchell, A Shy And Almost Painfully Modest Engineer, Was The Genius Behind The Spitfire On The Th March , Following Its Successful Maiden Flight, A Legend Was BornPrize Winning Historian Leo McKinstry S Vivid History Of The Spitfire Brings Together A Rich Cast Of Characters And First Hand Testimonies It Is A Tale Full Of Drama And Heroism, Of Glory And Tragedy, With The Main Protagonist The Remarkable Plane That Played A Crucial Role In Saving Britain