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Soundtrack to The Decisive Duel: Spitfire vs 109

The emergence of You Tube has given historians a great resource to share with their readers. With this list, when I talk about a type of aircraft, I can provide a link to You Tube so you can see video of it in the air.

Some of the videos are those I mention in the text. These include William Wyler’s classic documentary THE MEMPHIS BELLE, which remains one of the most compelling depictions of the air war over Germany.


Visit the Entire Playlist on YouTube


1 Introduction: Over London, 15 September 1940

p.1 British air raid sirens, 1940

p.1 The German Heinkel He 111 bomber


2 The Race to Design the Modern Fighter: to October 1936

p. 34 The Bf 108

p. 43 The Gloster Gladiator, the RAF’s last biplane fighter

p. 46 Spitfire introduction (excerpts from R.J. Mitchell wartime biopic)

p. 51 Bf 109 introduction


3 The Race to Deploy the Modern Fighter: June 1936–September 1938

p. 57 Excerpts from the Nazi documentary Olympia. Note aircraft shots at opening

p. 62 Interview with Watson-Watt on radar development


4 The Race to Decisive Combat: October 1938–May 1940

p. 84 the Bf 109E

p. 91 The Spitfire Ia


5 The Battle Opens: May–August 1940

p. 112 Douglas Bader compares air combat in 1940 with that of the 1960s

p.123 Spitfire IIa

p. 128 Introduction to the Battle of Britain

p 129newsreel of the openeing stages of the Battle of Britain


6 The Battle of Britain: 15 August 1940, ‘Black Thursday’

p. 137 The German North Sea attacks, as portrayed in the move The Battle of Britain

p. 146 Bf 109 starts its engine

p.154 Stukas and Spitfires

p. 157 109 shoots down Spitfire – what Galland would have seen


7 ‘Battle of Britain Day’:15 September 1940

p. 134 Newsreels show the initial attacks on London

p. 168 Douglas Bader in the Battle of Britain

p. 170 RAF Fighter Command scrambles for the newsreels

p. 179 Spitfire landing

p. 183 “Grumpy” Unwin

p. 197 Robert Stanford Tuck flew Hurricanes in the Battle before converting to Spitfires in 1941

p. 198 Florence Desmond sings the Blitz away in “The Deepest Shelter in Town”


8 The Continuing Battle: 18 September 1940–end 1941

p. 204 Bf 109F

p. 217 Galland’s battles described for the benefit of his public back home by the newsreel cameras

p. 218 Under wartime conditions, RAF (and FAA) pilots had to make their own entertainment. This included renditions of the well-known folksong “The Sexual Life of the Camel”, here in a naval version

p. 224, Galland was one of the first to benefit from the Lufwaffe’s reliance on a few experten

p. 225 452 RAAF Squadron takes the offensive

p. 235 The He 177 bomber was the Luftwaffe’s most significant technological failure of the war

p. 236 Galland gets promoted


9 A Widening Air War: February 1941–November 1942

p. 242 The Luftwaffe in North Africa

p. 245 Lale Andersen’s classic version of Lili Marlene with the bugle-call introduction

p. 245 Lili Marlene: a contemporary version by June Tabor

p. 250 Malta Spitfires, including “Laddie” Lucas

p. 252 Galland’s visit with Marseille

p. 258 The RAF’s Desert Air Force

p. 260 The Marseille legend endures

p. 260 The Fleet Air Arm – introduction

p. 298 Malta Spitfires Take the offensive


10 Fighters in a Changing Air War: 1942

p. 266 An example of air-sea combat, c. 1942. The Channel Dash was much more intensive combat

p. 268 Original, Alison-powered RAF Mustang Is

p. 273 Spitfire PR XI

p. 276 The bombing of Bodmin 7 August 1942 was an example on a tip and run raid


11 A Global Air War: The Mediterranean Theatre

p.301 Malta Spitfires take the offensive over Italy

p. 301 Spitfires and the RAF in Italy


12 A Global Air War: The Eastern Front

p. 306 An I-16 (which Chernetsov survived flying against 109s)


13 A Global Air War: The War Against Japan

p. 318 The lost Crocodile Creek Spitfire mentioned in the text

p. 320, “Bob” Foster interview


14 The Allied Bomber Offensives: January–October 1943

p. 328 – William Wyler’s classic documentary The Memphis Belle describes the opening stages of the daylight bomber offensive against Germany

p. 336 “Gabby” Gabreski on the P=47 vs 109

p. 340 Nightingales and RAF Bombers Overhead

p. 340 Noel Coward’s commentary on the bomber offensive


15 The Defeat of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force: October 1943–June 1944

p.357 P-51s take off (along with Spitfires and Bf 108)

p. 372 Spitfire XIV


16 Fighters Over France and England: May–September 1944

p. 382 German 88mm flak in action

p. 382 German 20mm flak in action

p. 386. Pre invasion fighter missions

p. 390 The Mistel composite (shown here with Fw 190)

p. 394 Spitfire PR XIX

p. 394 Spitfire XVI

p. 396 Defending against the V-1 campaign

p. 397 V-1 newsreel


17 The Luftwaffe’s Fighters at Bay: June 1944–January 1945

p. 399 German newsreel as the bomber offensive reaches its final stage

p. 400 Luftwaffe gun camera film (German narration)


18 Last Battles: 1944–1945

p. 418 Operation Bodenplatte

p. 419 Spitfires dive-bombing in Italy

p. 428 Last-days Bf 109

p. 429 Royal Navy air operations – look for Seafires

p. 431 Massed formation flyover (Spitfires rather than Seafires)


19 Fighters in a Cold War World: After 1945

p. 437 Seafire 47

p. 448 Trailer for the movie The Battle of Britain


20 From Fighters to Legends: Duxford

p. 456 The Song of the Merlinpaper writing onlinepay for essay