S u m m a r y
||Classic Warbirds No.10
Merlin PR Spitfires
by Wojtek Matusiak
illustrated by Malcolm Laird
64 pages plus covers
in the UK
GBP £9.99 from Mushroom Model Publications
in the USA
Interesting yet oft-neglected subject
matter; attractive artwork, good collection of
Reviewed by Brett Green
Merlin PR Spitfires is available online from Squadron
"Classic Warbirds" is a long running occasional
series from Ventura Publishing in New Zealand. This series has always
offered interesting (sometimes esoteric) subject matter combined with
interesting text, plentiful wartime photos and attractive colour
The tenth title in the Classic Warbirds series continues
this tradition, but should bring these great little books to a wider audience
thanks to its new association with the team at Mushroom Model Publications.
Warbirds No.10 is entitled "Merlin PR Spitfires". The book comprises 64 pages
plus covers, and is presented in a soft cover format. The subject matter is the
often neglected story of Merlin-powered photo reconnaissance Spitfires,
their development and operations with the RAF, USAAF, VVS and post-war service
with various Air Forces.
The author, Wojtek Matusiak, has organised his material
logically. The book commences with a discussion of pre-war covert operations
over Germany and the transition of PR operations to the RAF's jurisdiction,
although still under the influence of Australian born Sidney Cotton. This
chapter also covers the development of the first PR Spitfire types, the Type A,
Type B and Type C.
The text continues with a discussion of the Photo
Reconnaissance Unit and the PR Type F, Low Level conversions (Types E, G and H -
the PR.XII), the first dedicated production PR Spitfire, the PR Type D / PR.IV,
"Pressurised Imposters"; the Next Generation PR Versions (PR.IX and XI and the
high altitude PR.X); and finally the PR>XI in post-war service.
The book is rounded out with a single page of three
Appendices. The first is a camouflage colour guide with descriptions and
approximate FS number equivalents. This is helpful, but does not include
reference to some of the more controversial (and less credible) PR colours such
as PR Pink.
The second Appendix covers Spitfire PR.XIII serials, with a
selected bibliography completing the work.
The book contains many wartime and post-war photos of
Merlin PR Spitfires. Captions are informative and relevant. 18 aircraft are also
covered in attractive colour profiles by Malcolm Laird, with multi-view
illustrations of some of the subjects
"Merlin PR Spitfires" is a compact and interesting study of
this overlooked field of aviation history. The photos and profiles add to the
appeal for modellers.
Thanks to MMP for the review sample
Review Copyright © 2007 by Brett Green
This Page Created on 13 May, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007
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