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Whirlwind Mk.I

Whirlwind Mk.I Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2008 Title Whirlwind Mk.I
Author Phil Listemann Publisher Philedition
Published 2008 ISBN 978-295-26-3818-0
Format 54 pages, softbound MSRP (Euro) 13€


Phil Listemann is an author and publisher from southwestern France that specializes in interesting historical RAF monographs. With this title, he has released his latest title in the 'Allied Wings' series which covers the Westland Whirlwind Mk.I. Of the 116 examples produced, the RAF reached peak strength of 88 aircraft by August of 1941 and this had attrited over time until only a handful remained by 1944.

The concept of the twin-engined fighter looked good on paper and looking across the channel at the Luftwaffe's Bf 110 made the concept more credible. Unfortunately, the aircraft's engines were not very reliable (thank God for a spare out there when one quit) and even when the aircraft was operating at full capability, the reality of the twin-engined fighter versus the single-engine, single seat fighters was not favorable for the twin. There were a few exception, notably the Mosquito and P-38, but even these relied on speed and tactics versus dogfighting to keep their edge.

Whirlwind Mk.I

This title covers the development and operations of the Whirlwind through the eyes of its pilots and details many examples of its hits and misses. The kill ratio of 9 kills to 55 combat losses pretty much speaks to the effectiveness of this type. In addition to the fine research in this title, there are numerous period photos and color monographs to illustrate the 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.