March 21, 2015
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Spitfire Aces of North Africa and Italy (Aircraft of the Aces)

The Spitfire was the most iconic and famous British fighter of World War II and was first deployed to Egypt in the spring of 1942 as German success in North Africa reached its zenith. Although few in number, in their early battles with the Luftwaffe the RAF and South African Spitfire squadrons made an immediate impact and in contributed to the successful build up to the Battle of El Alamein and in the subsequent advance over the desert.

Soon afterwards, further Spitfire squadrons, many led by experienced aces form Europe who soon began adding to their scores, were landed in French North Africa. In the bitter fighting that followed, the units wrested air superiority from the enemy in the skies above Tunisia until the final enemy surrender in May 1943. The RAF, RCAF, RAAF and SAAF Spitfire squadrons then played a huge part in covering the Allied landing in Sicily and in supporting the island’s subsequent capture.

Based in captured airfields these units then also covered the Allied landings at Messina and Salerno as the Italian campaign began. They were to see bitter air fighting against a determined Luftwaffe and a significant number of pilots became aces whilst other aces added to their scores. The Spitfire squadrons were heavily engaged in the fighting following the landings at Anzio and also in the long and bloody battle at Cassino. Among the many aces that commanded squadron here was the now Sqn Ldr Duke, who took his score to 26 destroyed. During the summer of 1944 Italian-based Spitfires supported the Allied landings in Southern France – Operation Dragoon – and also flying sorties over Yugoslavia in support of Tito’s partisans.

The large number of Spitfire squadrons continued in action against the enemy into 1945, though as the Luftwaffe had been heavily defeated and largely withdrawn to Germany, encounters were few and far between. Close to 100 aces either attained this status or added to their scores when flying Spitfires during the North African and Italian campaigns whilst many more aces flew the type in action there, though without making any claims.

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January 10, 2015
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American Spitfire Aces of World War 2 (Aircraft of the Aces)

The first few American volunteers flew Spitfires with the RAF during the Battle of Britain. Many more joined their ranks, often posing as “Canadians”, eventually forming three Eagle squadrons who earned a fierce fighting reputation. When the United States entered the war the Eagle fighter sections were issued with Spitfires and eventually transferred to the Eighth Air Force. In just two years of service with the USAAF, 22 pilots claimed five or more victories flying the Spitfire, whilst a further two dozen aces claimed part of their total flying them, a testament to their skill and success at the controls of this legendary warbird.

Discover the experiences of a variety of American aces in their own words through first-hand accounts, interviews and combat reports, in a thrilling read that transports the reader from the Battle of Britain to the deserts of North Africa to Fortress Europe itself.

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  • Used Book in Good Condition

November 29, 2014
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Malta Spitfire Aces (Aircraft of the Aces)

The siege of Malta during World War 2 is one of the great epics of aerial warfare. In 1942, it was described alternately as both a ‘fighter pilot’s paradise’ and ‘the most bombed place on earth’. During the peak of the Axis efforts against Malta, it suffered 154 consecutive days and nights of bombing, 100 nights more that London suffered during the Blitz.

The destruction of Axis convoys by Malta-based aircraft proved to be one of the decisive factors in the defeat of Rommel’s forces in North Africa. This vital position would have been lost if it had not been for the successful defence of the island by a handful of greatly outnumbered Royal Air Force fighter squadrons. In the brutal and unforgiving air war over Malta only the very best fighter pilots succeeded, and all too often that was no guarantee of living another day. This book details the heroic story of the Spitfire Aces based on Malta. Drawn from an international team of Australians, British, Canadians, New Zealanders, Rhodesians and South Africans these pilots fought against extreme deprivation, physical hardships and overwhelming odds in one of the most crucial and decisive air battles of World War II.