Polish Wings No. 13 Spitfire IX
Supermarine Spitfire IX 1942-1943 pt.1
Książka ta opisuje samoloty Spitfite IX używane przez polskich pilotów w Wlk. Brytanii w latach 1942-43, zarówno w polskich dywizjonach jak i w dywizjonach RAF oraz jednostkach pomocniczych.
Zawiera pełny wykaz strat oraz zwycięstw odniesionych na tych samolotach.
Ponad 200 zdjęć oraz ponad 30 kolorowych sylweteck doskonale uzupełnia jej zawartość.
Wkładki w j. polskim do pobrania:
The book describes Spitfire IXs used by Polish pilots in Britain during 1942-1943, both in Polish squadrons and in RAF and auxiliary units. It includes listings of losses and of officially credited victories. There are over 200 photographs (about half of which have not been published before) and 31 colour profiles (plus top and bottom views for two representative aircraft).
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Review by: Geoff Coughlin
It seems quite hard to keep up with the rate of publication of titles in this excellent Polish Wings series, but the speed is good for us modellers as quality hasn’t been compromised. Let’s see what the latest in this series has to offer…
Well, for a start that cover will sell this title alone – absolutely stunning; evocative, emotional and you are right there with the pilot of the Polish Combat Team as he thunders down the rough strip, off to engage axis raiders. The story unfolding on the back cover. Superb!
This title deals with Polish use of the Spitfire IX in 1942-1943, written by noted Spitfire historian and enthusiast Wojtek Matusiak. In this time period only two operational units flew the Mk.IX, 1st Fighter Wing at Northolt and “Skalski’s Circus” in North Africa. But the first Poles to fly this mark were members of the ATA ferry organisation, including several female pilots.
This book describes in detail the operations of Spitfire IX’s by these units, listing victories and losses. The many wartime photos are complimented by colour profiles of representative aircraft, showing the colour schemes and markings applied.
The photography in the book is beautiful, fresh and inspired and really is an excellent modelling reference. I like the colour plates a lot, being high in quality and providing a good source of reference for wreathing opportunities. The original wartime images certainly inspire in this area. Details and histories behind all the airframes are included and whist succinct is thorough.
You may remember that SMN‘s Les Venus was so impressed by Polish Wings 11 that he bought the Trumpeter 1:32nd scale model on the back of it and I suspect others out there will be similarly motivated to go and get the impressive Tamiya 1:32 kit. This book will be a prime source of reference for the build.
After the saga of the MiG-29, the collection ’Polish Wings’ continues with another myth but from WW2 this time, the Spitfire ! Wojtek Matusiask, a Polish historian whose reputation is well known, decided to relate the history of the Spitfire Mk.IXs flown by the RAF Polish units in 1942-1943. This is not the first book of the author in this series, as he wrote Polish Wing No. 6 which dealt with the early Spitfire models (Mk.I & Mk.II). This book was very interesting in many points, thus, one could expect something of equal quality, and it is undoubtedly the case. Logic would have dictated that after the Mk.I & II, something on the Spitfire Mk.V would have come but without apparent reason, we go directly to the Mk.IX. However it does not matter if we are interested in the Spitfire IX only and not the history of Polish units between 1941 and 1945 as such. I loved the first book on the Spitfire I & II I found well done with full of information and photographs and colour profiles. However, if I had to alter the title of the book just a bit, I would add that it is the Spifire Mk.IXs of the Polish units and those who flew them, since there are more pictures of pilots than of aircraft comparing to what this series offers when it deals with post-war aircraft. But for those who have already purchased Polish Wing 6, they should have already noticed that fact. So depends if you like to see planes only or planes and pilots with details on their career. But aside from that, just like the Polish Wings 6, it offers a full amount of information on this model Spifire and the Poles who flew it and this at a very reasonable price, so in any case, it remains a good book.
Reviewer: Scott Van Aken
Another superlative book in the Polish Wings series is this one on the Spitfire IX as flown by Polish units during WWII. These units were part of 1 Wing that was based at Northolt and pretty much all the Polish fighter squadrons in the RAF cycled through this wing during 1942 and 1943. What most may not realize is that a unit would be operational and so used on offensive operations for a period of time, which seems to be around 4-6months and when that period is over, would rotate back to a rest area of sorts to regroup.
This would involve adding new squadron members, training of all sorts and perhaps converting to a new aircraft type or variant. During the period that this book covers, the squadrons flew Spit IXs only when on active operations. When their time was done, they left their planes for the next squadron. Usually this meant that they reverted to older mark Spitfires like the Mk V during their down and training time. It means that many Spit IXs were flown by several squadrons and so were repainted with new codes over their operational life. I also found it quite interesting that most of the time, these aircraft (which were, for the most part the earliest of the Spit IXs) more often than not flew with a 30 gallon fuel tank under the centerline of the aircraft. This tank was unlike what you'd expect on a US plane in that it was much more conformal and wrapped around the carb intake, providing a more aerodynamic appearance.
The author pretty much provides the details of operations provided by 1 Wing during the 1942/43 time period. This includes a considerable number of photographs of both men and aircraft with these squadrons. Many of these photos have been converted into color profiles of some of the more interesting aircraft, adding a level of interest to the book that makes it that much more valuable for Spit boffins and modelers alike.
In addition to the 1 Wing units, the book covers those planes flown by ferry pilots and by those in the Mediterranean as flown in 'Skalski's Circus'. These are probably the most interesting in terms of the camouflage schemes worn by the aircraft in this unit. There is still, and probably will always be some debate on the actual colors used by some of their aircraft and this is all carefully covered in the book along with some profiles that will spark some debate.
Overall, it is an outstanding photo book and history of this important aircraft while flown by the men of the PAF with the RAF. It is one that I particularly enjoyed reading and one I can easily recommend to you.
It’s funny how things turn out sometimes. There I was looking at the stash of kits on my shelves when my eyes fell onto the magnificent 1/32 Tamiya Spitfire Mk. IXc kit which has been gathering dust for some 18 months. I felt ashamed. I hadn’t started it. Especially as 2011 is that graceful aircraft’s 75th anniversary!
Then, right in the middle of my reviewing sabbatical due to other projects, along comes this magnificent book from Mushroom Model Publications – Wojtek Matusiak’s ‘Supermarine Spitfire IX 1942-1943’ - one of the latest volumes in the popular ‘Polish Wings’ series. Not only that, but one of the decal options in the Tamiya kit is that of the Polish Fighting Team, No.145 Squadron, Tunisia, 1943, EN315 ZX.6 which is featured in the book with three different colour profiles to choose from! This aircraft was one of several IX’s allocated to the RAF Polish unit in Tunisia which became known as ‘Skalski’s Circus’. Sorted.
Hold on I hear you say. Why three camouflage options? “Simples”, as the Meerkat says in his best Russian accent – no one actually knows which option was used in Tunisia for this aircraft and from all the research carried out, it could have been any one of the three. For me it has to be the desert scheme – Dark Earth, Middle Stone and Azure Blue!
But back to the book! The author is a noted Spitfire enthusiast and historian - and it shows. His research into the Polish use of Spitfires is superb with many of the photographs probably unseen before. Also, those of you who are fans of aviation art will love the front and back cover artwork by Marek Rys - in my view, some of the finest aviation brushwork I have seen for a long time – I only wish I could view the originals. Another bonus (for me it gets better!) is that the subject of both paintings is ‘EN315’!
The 96 glossy pages contain no less that 208 photographs, most of which are black and white with a few in colour. There are no Chapters of text as such, but each photograph has an extremely well detailed text and, in some circumstances, that particular aircraft is shown in juxtaposition with its own colour profile – a very useful reference for colour fading, weathering and other useful detail information. Along with the excellent photographs, I counted 34 colour profiles by artist Robert Grudzien.
In addition, the author has compiled three very informative reference tables:
Victories credited to Polish Spitfire IX pilots over Western Europe, 1942-1943
Victories credited to Polish Spitfire IX pilots in the Mediterranean, 1943
Polish Spitfire IX losses 1942-1943
I like this book very much, not just because it fitted very nicely into my plans for the Tamiya kit, but in my view it is quality, and a book which should be part of any WWII modeller’s library.
So what do we think?
Review Type: First Read
The text, in English, is very readable, some very interesting photos and spectacular profiles.
Limited text but sufficient to convey the point.
Reasonably good Mk. IX Spitfires in all three major scales have recently come on to the market and Polish RAF Squadrons have featured high on decal sheets. Well, now we have an excellent reference for both with more to come.
Reviewed by Glen Porter
Polish Wings is published through Stratus which is a sister publisher or at least works very closely with Mushroom Model Publications that we know and love. This one, No. 13, covers the two Polish units who flew Mk. IXs in the period 1942-1943, the 1st Fighter Wing at Northolt and “Skalski’s Circus in the MTO. A future book, No. 15 will cover Polish Mk. IXs 1944-1946.
The first Poles to fly Mk. IXs were from among the British ferry organization and several of these were women. Now, considering the sexist attitude that existed towards women at that time, imagine the thoughts of the fighter pilots of No. 64 Squadron, when on the 11th/12th of July 1942, BR601 landed and out stepped the young and quite attractive Stefania “Barbara” Wojtulanis. Hmmm!
The 1st Polish Fighter Wing operating from Northolt consisted of seven Polish Squadrons, 306, 315, 316, 303, 302, 317 and 308. These are covered in this order with a short text, B&W photos of pilots and their aircraft plus several profiles for each Squadron. The photos are all of extremely good quality, many showing the differences of some of the earlier Mk. IXs and there are some very clear shots of the wear and tare on spitfire props.
Towards the end of the book, there is a section on the Polish Combat Team (Skalski’s Circus) in Africa. This was a dozen or so Polish pilots operating as an independent flight as a part of No.145 Squadron RAF, sometime known as the Polish Fighter Team. Again, lots of very good photos, a 4 view art-work of ZX-5, a profile and colour photo of ZX-1 and then a very interesting piece on the possible colours of ZX-6 including the artists impression of the aircraft in three different schemes and an argument for each. The subjects of the front and back covers are also two aircraft from this Polish flight.
C o n c l u s i o n
Whether you’re into Polish subjects or not, the quality of the photos and art-work in this book makes it worthwhile for any one interested in Spitfire IXs in any scale.
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Stratus Publishing continues its line of “Polish Wings”, this time with a book devoted to the Spitfire Mk IX and its pilots during the period 1942-1943.
Among the first polish pilots to fly the Spitfire Mk IX were members of the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary) which will deliver airplanes from the assembly line to operational squadrons. Among them were at least two female polish pilots, which got to fly the Spitfire Mk IX before the operational polish pilots in the RAF. Apparently that didn’t go over well at the time, but I’m glad that the record is kept straight and recognition is given to whom it deserved (in this case, two female pilots).
The book is structured following the squadron and HQ flights of the 1stPolish Wing at Northolt, including 306 Sqn, 315 Sqn, 316 Sqn, 303 Sqn, 302 Sqn and 317 Sqn. Each flight has a short introduction including when they got their Spitfires, but most of the information is provided in the form of descriptive captions to large sized photographs.
Most of the book is dedicated to those squadrons, but the last 10 pages are devoted to the “Polish Fighting Team” (or “Skalski Circus”) in North Africa. This flight was the first full flight to operate the newest Spitfire at the time (there were other units that got a few Mk IXs, but not enough for the full unit). There is an interesting study regarding the camouflage colors of North African Spitfires, as one of them was known as ‘bluebird’ and ferried from Malta, where several spitfires were painted on a blue-ish tones and others retained the green/grays from the Day Fighter Scheme.
In total this book has over 170 B&W pictures and over 30 color profiles (some of them are 4-view). Many of the pictures show the pilots on front of their airplanes. As such the airplane is not completely shown, but those pictures are very good reference for airplane details such a landing gears, air scoops and similar details.
I recommend this book to any Spitfire Mk IX aficionado.
By Chris Banyai-Riepl
While Polish pilots in Spitfires are pretty well known during the Battle of Britain, those Polish squadrons continued fighting on the Allied side throughout the war. The impressive Polish Wings series turns its eye to these Polish Spitfire squadrons, starting in 1942 with the delivery of the Spitfire Mk IX. The book follows the introduction of the Spitfire Mk IX to the Polish squadrons and then follows the units into combat out of England and North Africa.
The book takes a chronological approach, starting with the first introduction of the Spitfire Mk IX to the Polish with an examination of one of the first aircraft, BR601. This aircraft actually survived the Second World War and is currently under restoration in New Zealand. Other sections include ferry flights, operations out of Northolt, squadron overviews, and detailed histories of other individual aircraft. The book finishes with the Polish Combat Team in North Africa.
While the text offers some interesting background and history of the units and aircraft, the real meat of the book is with the visual references. This book is packed with photographs showing the Spitfire Mk IX in the various Polish squadrons, as well as many of the fliers. Complementing the photos are many highly detailed color profile illustrations that document the various markings and camouflages worn by the aircraft.
This is a great addition to the growing Polish Wings series, and I am looking forward to the next volume that will cover these Spitfires through to the end of the war.
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Aeroplane 12/2011 2013-03-27
By Ray Mehlberger
Date of Review May 2011
Stratus is a publisher based in Sandomierz Poland. They are partners with Mushroom Model Publications (MMP) in the UK. They print both their books and MMP’s in English and their own books in Polish too. This book was sent to me by Stratus.
This latest volume in the popular “Polish Wings” series is a book on Polish use of the Spitfire IX in 1942-43, written by noted Spitfire historian and enthusiast Wojtek Matusiak. In this time period only two operational units flew the Mk. IX, the 1st Fighter Wing at Northolt and “Skalski’s Circus” in North Africa. But the first Poles to fly this mark were members of the ATA ferry organization, including several female pilots.
The book describes in detail the operations of Spitfire IX’s by these units, and lists victories and losses. There are 222 black and white wartime photos that are complimented by 29 color side profile illustrations, one 2-view color illustration and a 4-view one. The book also includes 4 rare color photos and color paintings on the front and back cover. Six illustrations of Polish squadron logos are shown in color also. There are 3 pages of victory listings for the pilots and one page of their losses.
What is neat is that the color profiles are on the same pages as the photos of the actual aircraft being depicted.
The cover of the future Polish Wings 15 is shown. It will be a continuation of more on the Spitfire IX later in 1944-46
The box is in soft-cover 8 ½” x 11” page format and is 96 pages in length.
This will prove to be essential reading for students of the Spitfire and WWII air warfare, enthusiasts and modelers. Highly recommended.
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Trzynasty tom „Polskich Skrzydeł” nie jest pechowy. Wręcz przeciwnie, to pierwsza część omówienia polskich myśliwców Spitfire IX. Ta część obejmuje lata 1942–1943, kolejna (z numerem 15) omawiać będzie lata 1944–1946. W przygotowaniu jest także część trzecia.
Część pierwsza omawia historię polskich związków z myśliwcami Spitfire IX w następujących rozdziałach:
Polacy na Spitfire’ach IX
Piloci dostawczy (ferry)
I Skrzydło Myśliwskie w Northolt
Dowództwo I Skrzydła Myśliwskiego
315 Dywizjon Myśliwski
316 Dywizjon Myśliwski
303 Dywizjon Myśliwski
302 Dywizjon Myśliwski
317 Dywizjon Myśliwski
308 Dywizjon Myśliwski
Do tego dochodzą tabelki zwycięstw i strat.
Tradycyjna dla Wydawnictwa Stratus, tradycyjna dla serii — świetny papier, świetna jakość druku, realistyczne profile barwne. Wkładka z polskim tekstem jest zszywana, wydana na papierze umożliwiającym prowadzenie notatek ołówkiem.
Plany, zdjęcia i profile
Planów modelarskich brak, z czego paradoksalnie bardzo się cieszę. Przy mnogości modyfikacji należałoby wyrysować plany dla wielu podwersji, co znacząco podniosłoby objętość oraz cenę publikacji. Jednocześnie nie wniosłoby zbyt wiele do świata modelarzy, bo przecież każde znane dziś plany myśliwców Spitfire są kwestionowane jak nie przez jedną, to przez inną grupę miłośników tej konstrukcji.
Całość zilustrowano ponad dwiema setkami zdjęć czarno-białych oraz kolorowych, a także profilami barwnymi. Tradycyjnie profile zostały wykreślone na podstawie zdjęć, a zdjęcia publikowane są obok — jak zwykle w przypadku serii. To daje możliwość porównania profili ze zdjęciami. Przy okazji doskonałym pomysłem są trzy profile barwne na stronie 93. Przedstawiają one ten sam samolot w trzech różnych interpretacjach barwnych zdjęcia czarno-białego wraz z wyjaśnieniem. Stronę tę polecam zwłaszcza tym modelarzom, którzy z czarno-białych zdjęć potrafią bez chwili wahania wydedukować jedynie słuszne odcienie barw.
Kolejna z bardzo potrzebnych pozycji. Większość powie, że Spitfire to maszyna doskonale znana, a o tych samolotach w barwach polskich napisano całe tomy. Teoretycznie będzie miał rację, ale w praktyce informacje są szczątkowe, rozsiane po różnych tytułach i publikowane w ciągu ostatnich kilkudziesięciu lat. To opracowanie zawiera dane najnowsze, starannie zbierane i opracowywane przez Wojtka Matusiaka, po skompletowaniu będzie zapewne stanowiło „biblię”, jeśli chodzi o polskie „dziewiątki”.
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