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The Decisive Duel


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In the Battle of Britain, when the Spitfire and Messerschmitt Bf 109 met in decisive combat, they proved to be like two champion boxers. This is their story, from the men who designed them to the teams that built them and the pilots who flew them.

About the Author

David Isby has written and edited twenty-six books of military history and analysis, many on Second World War aircraft and operations. A Washington-based attorney and consultant on national security issues and a former congressional staff member, he has testified before the House Armed Services Committee on tactical airpower. He frequently appears in the media and has lectured at staff colleges and other institutions. An experienced pilot, life-long model builder, and a veteran wargamer, he can be visited at


A splendid work. A detailed account of two important wartime fighter aircraft enlivened by the words of those who flew them. -- Len Deighton
The epic struggle between the Spitfire and the Messerschmitt 109 upon which so much of western civilization depended in the summer of 1940 has found the ideal biographer in David Isby. I write "biographer" because, like the men who flew these remarkable fighter planes, Isby sees them in almost human terms, transcending the mere mechanical. -- Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm of War
This is an important book on an enduring subject that should satisfy experts and newcomers to the field alike. -- Nick Cook, author of The Hunt for Zero Point and former Aviation Editor, Jane's Defence Weekly

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