...from Tempest Books
Title: Supermarine Seafire
Author: Matthew Willis
Publisher: Tempest Books
First in a series of soft-cover titles from Tempest Books covering Fleet Air Arm Legends takes on the subject of the Supermarine Seafire. There is so much already out there about the Spitfire itself, there is less coverage of the naval counterpart, the Seafire. The author, Matthew Willis, has a particular interest in Naval Aviation and this adds another type used by the Fleet Aim Arm to his list of books.
A 114-page book, spread across 14 chapters, the Introduction sets the scene as the Royal Navy needed a high performance fighter to equip their carriers, and the Spitfire provided an answer to the problem. It goes on to detail the development of the aircraft, from the earliest versions which were essentially a Spitfire with the addition of a arrestor hook. That soon changed as changes were developed, with new engines, including the Griffon, and of course the engineering to create a folding wing. It goes on to look at the service history of the Seafire, how it served on both fleet and light escort carriers. There is even coverage of proposed rocket assisted take-off units which were tested, including photos of the installation, though these were not widely needed. It covers service in the Mediterranean and the Far East and how they supported the invasions of both Normandy and Operation Dragoon, in the South of France. There are chapters giving detail of the Flying Experience as well as the Seafire's Post-War service in Korea and beyond. The bulk of the many photos I had not seen before and they add to the informative text throughout. Aviation enthusiasts, historians and modellers I am sure will enjoy this new book.
In some ways the Seafire was a great success, but it did have some problems, not least of which was the narrow track undercarriage which led to landing accidents. With an informative text, accompanied by some colour profile artwork and a really good selection of archive images plus some modern pictures of surviving airframes. Excellent coverage of the Seafire and one I think fans of this famous fighter will enjoy..
Thanks to Mortons Books for this review copy.