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Eighty years after the Spitfire was first developed, it remains an icon of military aviation. Though many associate its victory during the Battle of Britain as the high point in the history of the Spitfire, the years following were of equal importance. Having weathered the initial storm, at the start of 1941 Fighter Command took the fight to the Germans with offensive missions over the Channel.
This book reveals how RAF squadrons, first using the Spitfire I and II and then, following the introduction of the Bf 109, the cannon-armed Spitfire V, embarked on a range of missions which included one of the most important air battles of the war, over Dieppe on August 19, 1942. Alongside British pilots were squadrons manned by exiled Europeans and pilots from the RAAF, RCAF, and RNZAF. In just three years, over one hundred of these racked up ace status in the Spitfire.
Andrew Thomas joined the RAF straight from school and maintains his enthusiasm for the service even after retirement. Specializing in the history of the RAF and the Commonwealth Air Forces, he has published more a dozen volumes in Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces series.
Chris Thomas's illustrations have appeared in Air Enthusiast, Aeroplane Monthly, Flypast, and Le Fana de l'Aviation. He also illustrated the 2nd Tactical Air Force series with over ninety profiles of the types employed by that force.