Ronny Bar Profiles: Spitfire - The Merlin Variants

By Ronny Bar 

Supermarine’s iconic Spitfire needs little introduction – its graceful lines and remarkable combat record during the Second World War speak for themselves. Rolls-Royce Merlin-powered Spitfire Mk Is fought their way through the Battle of Britain during the summer and autumn of 1940 with the Mk II, incorporating a more powerful Merlin, being introduced in the meantime.

As the war progressed, the Spitfire underwent an intensive programme of upgrades and enhancements as well as modifications to expand its capabilities. Unarmed Merlin-powered photo reconnaissance Spitfires flew hazardous missions over occupied Europe and Germany, while the Seafire, a navalised Spitfire, was operated from Royal Navy carriers in the Far East. In Europe, the Mk Is and IIs gave way to the Mk V and then the world-beating Mk IX before the last major Merlin-powered Spitfire, the Mk XVI, was introduced. While some later marks of Spitfire would receive Rolls-Royce Griffon engines, it is undoubtedly the Merlin variants that bore the brunt of the action and which are the most fondly remembered today.

In Ronny Bar Profiles – Spitfire The Merlin Variants, renowned profile artist Ronny Bar presents an exciting and colourful selection of more than 350 highly detailed artworks, most created specifically for this book, showcasing the full range of Rolls-Royce Merlin-powered variants from the original Type 300 prototype, K5054, to the late-war Seafires. Aircraft of RAF aces including Robert Stanford Tuck, Alan Deere, ‘Sailor’ Malan and Douglas Bader are included as well as colour schemes worn by Spitfires in service with Allied forces around the world. Bar’s love of Spitfires clearly shines through in his incredible attention to historical accuracy throughout this fascinating and illuminating collection.