Review: Spitfire, Leo McKinstry

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Spitfire is a plane most everyone can imagine when it gets mentioned. But, really, it is far more than a plane. The Spitfire is a dream that someone dared to dream — and this dream became a reality just in time for the British to make it into their collective saviour in the 1940’s. However, as these things so often begin in another time, the history of the Spitfire reaches back beyond that into the early 20’s, and it is this whole story that Mr McKinstry provides.

I found the level of detail more thorough than I had expected — a lot of the background or people noted forced me to investigate things more thoroughly, and this is generally a good thing. Also typically, as a story of modern Britain, the Spitfire’s is a story of government incompetency and well-meaning failures — but this is how a number of parliamentary sessions descriptions’ get brought into the question of how to design a really fast plane.

For the other type of reader, the statistics brought up by the author are likely to be interesting. While not as numerous as the other type of fact presented, there are a few observations which are likely to make the reader wonder about the importance of marketing — no matter what we are selling.

As a final touch, the last chapters detailing service (and combat) in other forces were a wonderful conclusion to this book.

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