Spitfire Aces of Northwest Europe 1944-45 Book Review
|Date of Review||January 2016||Title||Spitfire Aces of Northwest Europe 1944-45|
|Author||Andrew Thomas||Publisher||Osprey Publishing|
|Format||96 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$22.95|
Spitfire Aces of Northwest Europe 1944-45, number 122 in Osprey’s “Aircraft of the Aces” series, offers a concise, authoritative account of Spitfire variants and pilots exploits – in particular of the 2nd Tactical Air Force (TAF) – during the last year of World War II.
During that time, 35 (all but 4 were Canadian) pilots became aces flying the Merlin-engined aircraft – with another 72 increasing existing scores.
Andrew Thomas starts his study with early Spitfire encounters and preparation for the Normandy Invasion. Interweaving personal accounts throughout text, Thomas thrusts readers right into the fray. Here, for instance, is New Zealander Wg Cdr Bob Yule’s:
“‘At about 1325 hrs at 22,000 ft I saw two ’190s attacking a straggling Fort. I dived to attack and one of the ’190s, after delivering his attack, climbed away into the sun and towards myself and my section. He obviously did not see us and started to turn in for another attack. I opened fire from 400 yards with machine guns and cannon. The enemy aircraft started to half-roll and dive down. I followed, closing to 150-200 yards, and saw strikes followed by a burst of flames from beneath his cockpit. I lost sight under my nose as I had been firing on my back. I broke upwards. When I looked down again I saw an open parachute.’”
Two appendices recapping credited kills neatly conclude contents. Over 70 photographs augment the action. And illustrator Chris Thomas offers modelers 36 color profiles.
My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!