Spitfire vs BF109Spitfire vs BF109


About The Decisive Duel: Spitfire vs 109

There have been many stories from the Second World War.  Some are familiar from books and movies or have become legends.  Others are yet to be written down.

I am David Isby.  I have written THE DECISIVE DUEL as a “dual biography” of the British Supermarine Spitfire and German Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter aircraft of the Second World War.  The stories of these two aircraft are not just about technology and performance but about the people whose lives were touched by them.  The parallel and intertwined stories include brilliant aircraft designers, resolute air marshals, and skilled fighter aces, to be sure, but also people that were thrust into these stories by the events of a global war. All have extraordinary stories of courage and endurance.  I know this because some of them were my family, and it was their stories that inspired me to write this book.

THE DECISIVE DUEL starts with the origins of the aircraft and their designers.  It ends in the present where, at places such as the Imperial War Museum’s Duxford airfield, a few surviving Spitfires and 109s still fly, even as those that built, flew, and maintained them fade away.   The story of how this came about is THE DECISIVE DUEL.


Praise for The Decisive Duel: Spitfire vs 109

“A splendid work. A detailed account of two important wartime fighter aircraft enlivened by the words of those who flew them.”(Len Deighton, author of Fighter: The True Story Of The Battle Of Britain )

“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 Defense Weekly )