Spitfire: A Very British Love Story

Written by John Nichol
Review by Alan Cassady-Bishop

The name of the aircraft, the look, even the very sound of it is still remembered, talked of, heard! This book takes the legend and marries it to the pilots, because it is a marriage. Once someone flies the aircraft they become part of it. This work isn’t a technical manual; this is a series of men and women who were given the chance to fly a legend … and they fell in love with it. From the skies of Dunkirk, through the savage relief of Malta, to the jungles of Burma, the Spitfire roared with heat, grace and pure energy. The aircraft did what was asked of it, and demanded its human pilots and engineers match its performance.

This book, written by a pilot, doesn’t examine the pilots or the almost mythical aircraft itself, but the relationship between the Spitfire flier and the aircraft. Bottom line is, if you’ve flown a Spitfire then you can understand. An engineer that can put a Spit in the air, disobeys direct orders, and flies a plane in enemy airspace just to get broken Spits into flight again.