When this book was first published in 1941, aircraft recognition was far more than just a pleasant pastime; it was often a matter of life and death...This classic text provides a definitive catalogue of the aeroplanes, enemy and friendly, seen over British skies during the Second World War. R.A. Saville-Sneath set out to produce a handy classification guide, with many diagrams, a full glossary and some useful mnemonics, showing how each type of aircraft could be identified quickly and easily. The basic structures, tail units, positions of the wings and engines, and even the sounds made by the different planes, form part of the essential 'vocabulary' for distinguishing Albacores and Ansons, Beauforts and Blenheims, Heinkels, Hurricanes and Junkers, Messerschmitts and Moths, Spitfires and Wellingtons. For anyone interested in aviation the book provides a mine of information about a golden age. For those who lived through one of the most glorious episodes in the history of combat it will prove vividly evocative of those extraordinary days.
R.A. Saville-Sneath was born in 1895 and served in the First World War as R.E. "Signals" motor-cyclist dispatch rider. He later became chairman of companies concerned with aircraft equipment and international patent development, keeping him in close touch with the trend of aircraft design after the war. In July 1938 he was appointed Head Observer at a local post of the Observer Corps. He gave many lectures on aircraft recognition and contributed articles on the subject to various newspapers and journals. He is also the author of British Aircraft (two volumes), Aircraft of the United States (two volumes) and Britain's Airpower. He died in 1989.