London, 15 September 1940. The air battle over Britain on that day saw two of the most advanced fighter planes, the British Supermarine Spitfire and the German Messerschmitt Bf 109, battle for supremacy of the skies.
The Decisive Duel tells the stories of these iconic, classic aircraft and the people that created them: Willy Messerschmitt, the German designer with a love for gliders and admiration for Hitler; R.J. Mitchell, his brilliant British counterpart, who struggled against illness to complete the design of the Spitfire. In fascinating detail, David Isby describes the crucial role the two opposed planes played, from the drawing boards to Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain to the final battles over Germany.
David Isby has written and edited twenty-six books of military history and analysis, many on Second World War aircraft and operations. A Washington-based attorney and consultant on national security issues and a former congressional staff member, he has testified before the House Armed Services Committee on tactical airpower. He frequently appears in the media and has lectured at staff colleges and other institutions. An experienced pilot, life-long model builder, and a veteran wargamer, he can be visited at www.SpitfirevsBf109.com
A splendid work. A detailed account of two important wartime fighter aircraft enlivened by the words of those who flew them.
The epic struggle between the Spitfire and the Messerschmitt 109 upon which so much of western civilization depended in the summer of 1940 has found the ideal biographer in David Isby. I write "biographer" because, like the men who flew these remarkable fighter planes, Isby sees them in almost human terms, transcending the mere mechanical.
Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm of War
This is an important book on an enduring subject that should satisfy experts and newcomers to the field alike.
Nick Cook, author of The Hunt for Zero Point and former Aviation Editor, Jane's Defence Weekly