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  • John Murray
  • John Murray
  • John Murray

Spitfire: Portrait of a Legend

Leo McKinstry

8 Reviews

Rated 0

c 1939 to c 1945 (including WW2), Prose: non-fiction, European history, 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Second World War, Warfare & defence

The gripping saga of the plane that carried Britain through the Second World War.

In June 1940, the German Army had brought the rest of Europe to its knees. Hitler 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 Goring 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 1940, 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 5th March 1936, following its successful maiden flight, a legend was born.

Prize-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.

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Praise for Spitfire: Portrait of a Legend

  • Praise for ROSEBERY: - .

  • Stunning ... As well as being meticulously researched, it is beautifully written and has tremendous pace - Literary Review

  • Absorbing ... McKinstry has here proved himself to be a first-class historical biographer - Mail on Sunday

  • With masterly skill and sympathy, Leo McKinstry resurrects him as the Hamlet of late Victorian England - Daily Mail

  • An authoritative and original biography which is also a riveting read' - Spectator

  • Superbly well-researched and well-written ... A truly first-class addition to the genre of Prime Ministerial biography - Sunday Telegraph

  • An absolutely wonderful biography ... gripping and entertaining - Evening Standard

  • A first class biography, scholarly, judicious and always interesting - Glasgow Herald

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