RAF-in-Combat's Squadrons #20: Supermarine Spitfire VIII - The Australians


Phil Listemann




Scott Van Aken

Notes: ISBN: 9791096490080, Available at www.raf-in-combat.com 64 Pages

The Spitfire VIII was designed to be the next major step in the evolution of the aircraft. It included a 60 series Merlin engine with more power and a retractable tail wheel, to add a bit more speed. However, it was superceded in combat by the Spitfire IX which was basically that engine in a Mk.V airframe. The result is that the IX was built in much larger quantities than the VIII and the VIII was relegated to 'secondary' fronts in the Mediterranean and the Pacific.

This is the second volume on the Spitfire VIII produced by RAF-in-Combat and concentrates on the aircraft's use by the Australian Air Force. By the time the plane reached Australia in 1944, the war in the air was pretty much dominated by the Allies so its superb air to air fighting skills were rarely put to the test. Most of its service was spent in bomber escort and ground attack missions. Post war, Australia decided to concentrate on the locally built Commonwealth P-51D Mustang and the Spitfire quickly disappeared from the skies of OZ.

This book is like others in the series in that we are provided a brief history of the type along with its operational use during WWII. This means a well researched history of the type's use with the various squadrons that flew the plane. In line with others in this series there are some super photos and great full color profiles. The stats section is what you've come to expect from this series, making it a superb reference book and one worth having on hand.

June  2017

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