Faster and better armed than the Spitfire, the Whirlwind was the RAF’s
counter to a new generation of armoured German bombers which it expected
to meet in English skies in 1940. A few months after its first flight 1,000
Whirlwinds were ordered, but nine months later the RAF cancelled the entire
programme. Just 114 were built, but they went on to have a distinguished
three-year career from the uneasy months after the Battle of Britain to their
final sorties against Hitler’s V-weapons sites in France.
Based on fresh research, this new and overdue study throws new light on
why the RAF had such high hopes for the Whirlwind, but was still
prepared to cancel it, its designer’s efforts to save the programme and,
above all, the aircraft’s operational record. Attacking railways, shipping,
torpedo boats and airfields, often against fierce opposition, the Whirlwind
squadrons flew with determination and style and saw themselves as a
privileged elite within Fighter Command – the ‘fewest of the few’.
248 x 172 mm • hardback • 288 pages • 150 mono illustrations
Niall Corduroy is the son of an RAF
officer and inevitably developed an
interest in aviation at a very early age
and even at university showed more
interest in aviation researches and in
qualifying as a pilot than the
engineering degree he was studying
The bulk of his professional
career has been spent in strategic
marketing and marketing
communications, primarily in the
technology industry and, most
recently, with the UK’s largest
technology retailer. He lives in
Hertfordshire with his wife Karen.
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