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Spitfire Mk.XII

Spitfire Mk.XII Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2007 Title Spitfire Mk.XII
Author Phil Listemann Publisher Philedition
Published 2007 ISBN 978-295263814-2
Format 46 pages, softbound MSRP (Euro) 12€


Phil Listemann is an author and publisher from southwestern France that specializes in interesting historical RAF monographs. In this title, the author has produced an interesting look at the Spitfire Mk.XII, the first Spitfire mark to be powered by the Rolls Royce Griffon engine. This new engine gave the Spitfire additional performance, most notably its quick time (in those days) to 30,000 feet (eight minutes). As the Griffon was even more fuel hungry than the Merlin, the Mk.XII was put into the interceptor role in defense of the island where range wasn't critical. Of the 100 Mk.XIIs produced, most were assigned to 41 Sqn and 91 Sqn.

What is interesting is that the author has followed a similar format to his series of RAF squadron histories. This title is broken down as follows:

  • Two pages outlining the requirements and development of the type
  • One page listing the production and attrition of the type
  • One page providing the key performance specifications of the type
  • Nine pages of operational history of the type in 41 and 91 Sqns
  • Five pages outlining the sortie counts of both squadrons by date
  • Two pages showing the basing of both squadrons throughout the war
  • Six pages of combat kills
  • Two pages of operational losses
  • One page of aircraft lost in accidents
  • Four pages of operational dates for each aircraft by serial number
  • One page of pilots killed in service while operating the type.

Spitfire XII

The title is well illustrated with color profiles of representative aircraft from the squadrons, photos of numerous the pilots of Spitfire Mk.XII, as well as period photographs of squadron aircraft.

This monograph is to the point and clearly tied together by extensive research that has been collated by database views.

This title is highly recommended and I certainly hope to see many more in this format in the future!

My sincere thanks to Phil H. Listemann for the review sample.