As the first Spitfire variant to see extensive service outside of Britain, the Mk V fought the Axis alliance over the deserts of North Africa, the waters of the Mediterranean and the vast expanses of the Indian Ocean off the northern coast of Australia. Initially produced in haste to combat the arrival of new German fighters (the Bf 109F and the Fw 190) on the Channel front, the Mk V had been created simply by pairing a Mk I or II fuselage with the new Merlin 45 engine - so successfully that some 6479 airframes were eventually built. Although often outclassed (particularly on the Channel front by the Fw 190) by later generation fighters, the Mk V nevertheless proved to be a worthy opponent when flown by pilots of the calibre of Malan, Tuck, Johnson, Beurling, Caldwell and Duke, who all enjoyed success with it thanks to its agility and increased armament.
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Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces series combines full colour artwork, the best archival contemporary photography, and first hand accounts from aces to bring history's greatest airborne conflicts to life.About the Author:
Ex-RAF aircrew, Dr. Alfred Price works as an aviation author and defence analyst. He has written several titles on the Spitfire for the Osprey Aircraft of the Aces series.
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