Spitfire Women of World War II

We were shopping for Christmas gifts for other people when we happened to wander down the history section of the bookstore. Lee made the mistake of stopping to look at something which meant I stopped to look at something and that's what Giles Whittell's Spitefire Women of World War II caught my eye.

I studied war and society in school, with a particular focus on WWI and WWII allied history so most titles dealing with those eras catch my eye. It's doubly so when they happen to be books about women or children because historically their stories have not been told as much. I usually read a couple of books on this subject every year.

But Spitfire Women caught my eye even more because women flying spitfires? Awesome. And I loved the cover.

With books like this there's always the danger of it a. being too dry or b. being to fluffy. This was neither. It nicely balanced the seriousness of their position with the fun that the women had. No, it wasn't all fun and games (far from it in fact) but these women were doing something that they loved - flying. And they were doing it in some serious aircraft. They didn't start off working on the big planes, they worked up to and had some champions along the way. I was stunned to learn that they flew all of these aircraft without any training on the instruments. If there was fog, or if fog developed while they were flying, they were blind. Think about that and think about England. Scary thought isn't it?

I heartily recommend it.