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Old 4th February 2015, 16:31
Phil L. Phil L. is offline
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SQUADRONS! Series - update


The ‘SQUADRONS!’ series details in each title the operational usage of an aircraft version used by the RAF, squadron per squadron…with plenty of first hand photos and unpublished material.

So far, is available:

No. 1: The Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VI
The Sptifire Mk.VI was probably the less known variant of the Spitfire, and was not really appreciated by the pilots. However, this study tends to prove that the Mk.VI was not as that bad as we can think.

No. 2: The Republic Thunderbolt Mk. I
A detailed study of the Republic Thunderbolt Mk.I, which was used exclusively by the RAF against the Japanese in the Far East in 1944-1945. With plenty of photographs and first hand material. Includes five colour profiles.

No. 3: The Supermarine Spitfire Mk.V in the Far East
A detailed study of the operations of the Spitfire Mk.V in the Far East.Introduced in the Far East at the end of 1943, the Spitfire played a major role in the following months. With plenty of photographs and first hand material. Includes three colour profiles.

No. 4: The Boeing Fortress Mk. I
The full history of the Fortress Mk.I (B-17C) is described. This was somewhere an experiment led by the British under the secret supervision of the Americans. Many lessons were learned by the RAF but the British eventually discarded the Flying Fortress as a day bomber, what the Americans decided to ignore. Over 30 photos, 2 colour profiles. An update and revised edition of Allied Wing No. 7.

No. 5: The Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XII
The full history of the first Griffon engined Spitfire variant is told, squadron per squadron, with the list of all claims, losses. The success of this variant paved the way for the subsequent Griffon engined variants. With over 30 photos. It is an updated and revised edition of the Allied Wings No.1 published in 2008.

No. 6: The Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VII
The Spitfire Mk. VII was the first attempt to re-work the airframe of the Spitfire. Dedicated to high altitude interception, the Mk.VII arrived actually too late for this, the Luftwaffe having almost deserted the sky of the British Iles. Replacing the Mk.VI in this role in Nos. 124 and 616 Sqns, the Mk.VII was underemployed for about a year (many aircraft remaining in storage), before to see its role switching to more conventional missions, with one more squadron, the 131, joining the two Mk.VII squadrons in 1944. However, as the Mk.IX was already widely used by that time, and being more versatile, the Mk.VII was not able to have any impact over the Continent during the summer 1944. Somewhere, the Mk.VII missed its war, despite its potential. 38 pages, 40 photos, 3 colour profiles.

No. 7: The Supermarine Spitfire F.21
The Spitfire F.21 was the last Spitfire variant to be introduced into service before the end of WW2. It belongs to what we usually call the third generation of Spitfires, and the F.21 was the first of it, preceding the F.22 and F.24. This is a study of 28 pages, with 29 photos and 4 colour profiles, and details its carreer during and after the war.

No. 8: The Handley Page Halifax Mk.I
From before the end of the Great War the United Kingdom had coveted long-range bombers that were able to bomb the continent. Bomber Command, formed in 1936, was a major and vital organisation within the RAF. While the twin-engine Vickers Wellington was about to be introduced, a new generation of four-engine bombers was already under development. The concept was not new but, in the middle of the 1930s, technological progress with engines and airframe materials gave the opportunity for many air forces to develop their long-range bombers. It was also a matter of prestige as the long-range bomber, also known as the 'strategic' bomber, was not accessible to all. In the middle of the '30s, the USA and Germany had various projects under way and even Italy joined in. When the war broke out, the UK had two projects of 'strategic' bombers on the table - the Short Stirling and the Handley Page Halifax.
Built in small numbers, less than 100 (of the global production of over 6000 copies), the Halifax Mk.I despite its shortcomings, was the first but the essential step to allow the Halifax to reach maturity, goal achived in 1943 only. This study is rich of photographs, appendices, document and two colour profiles.

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