A fascinating exploration of the feats of the RAF's photographic reconnaissance aircraft.
The photographic reconnaissance (PR) versions of the Supermarine Spitfire saw service against the Axis Tripartite throughout World War 2. Its superior performance even led to the USAAF adopting the type for the Eighth Air Force's reconnaissance needs in Europe. PR Spitfires were responsible for some of the most significant intelligence finds of the war – from low-level oblique photographs of new German radars in France to locating the battleship Bismarck off the Norwegian coast before it attempted to sortie into the Atlantic. It has been estimated that as much as 80 per cent of Allied intelligence was gathered from aerial photographs, many of which were taken by cameras installed in PR Spitfires.
In this volume, RAF PR specialist Andrew Fletcher details the important part played by the small number of 'photo-recce' Spitfires in the key theatres of World War 2. His detailed text, which includes numerous first-hand accounts, chronicles operations from the first months of the conflict through to VJ Day.
Andrew Fletcher is the author of a number of articles on RAF operations and aircrew during World War 2, his research being specifically focused on the work of Photographic Reconnaissance Units. Andrew is a former RAF avionics technician, and after leaving the Service, he continued to work in the aviation industry. He lives near Mallow in the Republic of Ireland.
Jim Laurier is a native of New England, having grown up in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He has been drawing since he could hold a pencil and throughout his life he has worked in many mediums creating artwork on a variety of subjects. He has worked on the Osprey aviation list since 2000, and in that time he has produced some of the finest artwork seen in these volumes.
Gareth Hector is a digital artist of international standing as well as an aviation history enthusiast. Gareth, based in Scotland, completed the cover artwork for this volume.