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Otherwise this version of the FR Mk XIVE was essentially the same as the standard aircraft. This was precisely the opposite result to that expected, or indeed intended. One prototype, JF321, was fitted and tested with a Rotol six-bladed contra-rotating propeller unit; although this promised to eliminate the characteristic swing on take-off (caused by the propeller slipstream) the propeller unit was prone to failure. All had the larger "Spiteful" tail units; modifications were also made to the trim tab gearings to perfect the F Mk 24's handling. V. He climbed to 50,000 ft (15,000 m) indicated altitude, with a true altitude of 51,550 ft (15,710 m). [162], Two MK 1 Supermarine Spitfires, originally restored by the Aircraft Restoration Company, remain in flying condition at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, in Cambridgeshire, England. Combat reports showed that an average of 4,500 rounds were needed to shoot down an enemy aircraft. The Spitfire continued to play increasingly diverse roles throughout the Second World War and beyond, often in air forces other than the RAF. "[117] Although not as fast as the Spitfire, the Zero could out-turn the Spitfire with ease, could sustain a climb at a very steep angle, and could stay in the air for three times as long. Thus, the Spitfire PR Mk XIX became the PR 19 after 1948. The Mk 18 missed the war. Initially, these were refurbished aircraft, but subsequent shipments were factory new. Airframe 185hrs TSO, … In spite of the difficulties pilots appreciated the performance increases. These were soon removed and a mock up of a proposed six-cannon armament was fitted, three in each wing. The next essential ... was an improvement in the directional stability and control and a new fin was drawn out with a substantial increase in area (7.42 sq. [142] Early Seafire marks had relatively few modifications to the standard Spitfire airframe; however cumulative front line experience meant that most of the later versions of the Seafire had strengthened airframes, folding wings, arrestor hooks and other modifications, culminating in the purpose-built Seafire F/FR Mk 47. Excavations carried out at Yangon International Airport (formerly RAF Mingaladon) in early 2013 failed to locate any of the rumoured aircraft,[164][165] and the team reported that they found no evidence that Spitfires were shipped there in crates or buried. Most of the Mk 22s were built with enlarged tail surfaces, similar to those of the Supermarine Spiteful. [148] Although the later Griffon-engined marks lost some of the favourable handling characteristics of their Merlin-powered predecessors, they could still outmanoeuvre their main German foes and other, later American and British-designed fighters. Donald O. Finlay, the commanding officer of 41 Squadron from September 1940 to August 1941, who adopted the aircraft as his personal mount. [28], The British public first saw the Spitfire at the RAF Hendon air display on Saturday 27 June 1936. At the end of the trials, RAF pilots found that Firestreak infra-red guided missiles had trouble acquiring the Spitfire due to a low exhaust temperature, and decided that the twin ADEN 30 mm (1.2 in) cannons were the only weapons suited to the task, which was complicated by the tight turning circle of the Spitfire, and the Lightning's proclivity for over-running the Spitfire. In June 1939, a Spitfire was fitted with a drum-fed Hispano in each wing, an installation that required large blisters on the wing to cover the 60-round drum. [44], Spitfire 21s became operational on 91 Squadron in January 1945. Unit cost for airframe complete with engine, armament and equipment. [116] In 1944, the USSR received the substantially improved Mk IX variant, with the first aircraft delivered in February. In the end it was a slightly modified engine, the 65 series, which was used in the Mk XIV. It is one of only four flying MK 1 Spitfires in the world. Sometimes unarmed, they flew at high, medium, and low altitudes, often ranging far into enemy territory to closely observe the Axis powers and provide an almost continual flow of valuable intelligence information throughout the war. By August, Supermarine had perfected a more reliable installation with an improved feed mechanism and four .303s in the outer wing panels. For example, the Merlin II and III which powered the Spitfire I produced a maximu… Air combat was also felt to take place at relatively low speeds and high-speed manoeuvring would be physically impossible. [96] Early tests showed that, while the guns worked perfectly on the ground and at low altitudes, they tended to freeze at high altitude, especially the outer wing guns, because the RAF's Brownings had been modified to fire from an open bolt. Flaps were normally lowered only during the final approach and for landing, and the pilot was to retract them before taxiing. To help balance the new engine, the radio equipment was moved further back in the rear fuselage and the access hatch was moved from the left fuselage side to the right. More Spitfire Mk Vs were built than any other type, with 6,487 built, followed by the 5,656 Mk IXs. Owner Kermit Weeks insisted that the aircraft be restored as closely as possible to its original condition. This mark could nudge 400 mph (640 km/h) in level flight and climb to an altitude of 33,000 ft (10,000 m) in under nine minutes. The pilot standing in front of the aircraft is pre-War Olympic hurdler, Sqn. [139] The only unofficial two-seat conversions that were fitted with dual-controls were a few Russian lend/lease Mk IX aircraft. They soon discovered that the Spitfire[nb 4][22] was a very good aircraft, but not perfect. Many variants of the Spitfire were built, using several wing configurations, and it was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft. [51] Up until the end of 1942, the RAF always used Roman numerals for mark numbers. This wing was structurally modified to reduce labour and manufacturing time plus it was designed to allow mixed armament options, A type, B type or four 20 mm Hispano cannon. Outside on the tarmac at Worthy Down stood the inoffensive-looking but highly potent DP485 ... Price, Alfred. Don Healy of 17 Squadron, based at Madura recalled that the Mk XIV was; ...a hairy beast to fly and took some getting used to. Mk XIIs were manufactured from Mk VC and Mk VIII airframes: early production aircraft had the fixed tail wheels, Dunlop AH2061 pattern "five spoke" mainwheels and small elevator balances. Thanks!!! The first Griffon-powered Spitfires suffered from poor high altitude performance due to having only a single stage supercharged engine. In spite of promises that the factory would be producing 60 per week starting in April, by May 1940 Castle Bromwich had not yet built its first Spitfire. With the increasing use of hard-surfaced runways in the post-war years, many Spitfires were either manufactured, or retro-fitted with, larger mainwheels which were of a "three spoke" pattern. [14], On 5 March 1936,[15][nb 2] the prototype (K5054), fitted with a fine-pitch propeller to give more power for takeoff, took off on its first flight from Eastleigh Aerodrome (later Southampton Airport) At the controls was Captain Joseph "Mutt" Summers, chief test pilot for Vickers, who is quoted as saying "Don't touch anything" on landing. [107] Paddy Finucane (28–32 e/a) scored all his successes in the fighter before disappearing over the English Channel in July 1942. [33], In 1938, construction began on the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), next to the aerodrome, and the installation of the most modern machine tools then available began two months after work started on the site. Search 1000's of Aircraft listings … The streamlined, semi-monocoque, duralumin-skinned fuselage featured a number of compound, vertical curves built up from a skeleton of 19 formers, also known as frames, starting from frame number one, immediately behind the propeller unit, to the tail unit attachment frame. The Rolls-Royce Griffon engine was designed in answer to Royal Naval specifications for an engine capable of generating good power at low altitudes. [154] The first airframe (PM631) developed mechanical issues which removed it from the trial. Spitfire XIVs began to arrive in the South-East Asian Theatre in June 1945, too late to operate against the Japanese. [61], In 1934, Mitchell and the design staff decided to use a semi-elliptical wing shape to solve two conflicting requirements; the wing needed to be thin to avoid creating too much drag, but it had to be thick enough to house the retractable undercarriage, armament, and ammunition. Mitchell pushed the Spitfire's distinctive elliptical wing with cutting-edge sunken rivets (designed by Beverley Shenstone)[5] to have the thinnest possible cross-section, helping give the aircraft a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters, including the Hawker Hurricane. The two orders covered the K, L, and N prefix serial numbers. Gueli, Marco. 4 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns, 350 rpg. [42], The first production Mk 21s used the same airframe as the Mk XIV. Although the Griffon-engined Spitfires were never produced in the large numbers of the Merlin-engined variants they were an important part of the Spitfire family, and in their later versions kept the Spitfire at the forefront of piston-engined fighter development. In 1936, this informal request for major manufacturing facilities was replaced by a formal scheme, known as the shadow factory plan, to boost British aircraft production capacity under the leadership of Herbert Austin. [31] Mk XIVs with "tear-drop" canopies had 64 gal. They also featured refinements such as retractable undercarriages, fully enclosed cockpits, and low-drag, all-metal wings. The Mk 22 was also used at Flying refresher schools. They were extended by eight inches, meaning that with a straighter trailing edge, the wings were not the same elliptical shape as previous Spitfires. The removable wing tips were made up of duralumin-skinned spruce formers. A library of the British World War II fighter Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIV, equipped with a supercharged Rolls Royce Griffon engine. 8 × .303 in Browning Mk II* machine guns (350 rounds per gun), 2 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II (60 rounds per gun), 4 × .303 in Browning Mk II* machine guns (350 rounds per gun), 4 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II cannon (120 rounds per gun), 2 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II (120 rounds per gun), 2 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II cannon (120 rounds per gun), 2 × .50 in M2 Browning machine guns (250 rounds per gun), Brown, Eric. Rolls Royce continued to improve their engine every year throughout the war until so… During the Battle of Britain, from July to October 1940, the public perceived the Spitfire to be the main RAF fighter, though the more numerous Hurricane shouldered a greater proportion of the burden against Nazi Germany's air force, the Luftwaffe. The prototype Supermarine Spitfire, K5054, was piloted by "Mutt" Summers on its first flight, on March 6 (not the fifth, as often reported), 1936. This would lead to 24 marks of Spitfire, and many sub-variants within the marks, being produced throughout the Second World War and beyond, in continuing efforts to fulfill Royal Air Force requirements and suc The first one of these was flown by Jeffrey Quill on 20 January 1943. The standard armament was now four 20mm Hispano IIs or the shorter, lighter Hispano V cannons, each with 150 rounds per gun. As a fighter, the F Mk 24 armament consisted of 4 × short-barrelled Mk.5 20 mm Hispano cannon – operational experience had proved that the hitting power of these larger weapons was necessary to overcome the thicker armour encountered on enemy aircraft as the war progressed. They had a single 85 gal main fuel tank, giving a short range of little over 380 miles (610 km) on internal fuel. Aircraft performance and design (pdf file) pp. Both the elevators and rudder were shaped so that their centre of mass was shifted forward, reducing control-surface flutter. An elliptical planform is the most efficient aerodynamic shape for an untwisted wing, leading to the lowest amount of induced drag. Jeffrey Quill, Supermarine's chief test pilot, was the first to fly the Mk IV/Mk XII prototype DP845. Our Spitfires are sold and flying all over the world. Before being attached to the main fuselage, the tail unit frames were held in a jig and the eight horizontal tail formers were riveted to them. [155][156], There are 54 Spitfires and a few Seafires in airworthy condition worldwide, although many air museums have examples on static display, for example, Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry has paired a static Spitfire with a static Ju 87 R-2/Trop. On 20 February 1948, almost twelve years from the prototype's first flight, the last production Spitfire, VN496, left the production line. The squadron had little opportunity to engage the Luftwaffe before the war ended but scored a rare success on 26 April 1945, when two Spitfire Mk 21s shot up and claimed to have sunk a German midget submarine which they caught on the surface. [166] Pat Woodward, who was an RAF pilot operating from Burma at the end of the war, reported that no such burying took place. [125], Several Spitfires were captured by the Germans and flown by units that tested, evaluated, and sometimes clandestinely operated enemy aircraft.[126]. [8], The Type 224 was a big disappointment to Mitchell and his design team, who immediately embarked on a series of "cleaned-up" designs, using their experience with the Schneider Trophy seaplanes as a starting point. [36] Later, purpose-built conversions, also known as the FR Mk XIVE, had the later cut-down rear fuselage with its tear drop–shaped canopy, port and/or starboard camera ports (without blisters), and an additional rear fuel tank of 34 gallons which extended the Spitfire's range to about 610 miles (980 km) on internal fuel. Because the first XIVs were converted from existing Mk VIII airframes the first true production serial No. A top speed of 423 mph (681 km/h) at 18,500 ft (5,639 m) was predicted. The increase in performance was minimal and this experiment was abandoned. However the tests were disappointing and, after discussions at Supermarine, it was decided to build a new prototype using the Mk 21 prototype PP139: in this form the prototype was designated F Mk 23, and was to be renamed the Supermarine Valiant. Both restored by American billionaire Thomas Kaplan, one has been donated to the Imperial War Museum and the second was auctioned in July 2015 at Christie's, London. [12] In April 1935, the armament was changed from two .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns in each wing to four .303 in (7.7 mm) Brownings,[13] following a recommendation by Squadron Leader Ralph Sorley of the Operational Requirements section at the Air Ministry. The mark numbers XV and XVII (15 and 17) were reserved for the naval version, the Seafire, in an effort to reconcile the Spitfire numbering scheme with that of the Seafire. A fibreglass replica in the colours of a Polish squadron leader based at the station during the Second World War is on display at, A replica Spitfire is on display on the Thornaby Road roundabout near the school named after Sir Douglas Bader who flew a Spitfire in the Second World War. Griffon-powered variants of the Supermarine Spitfire. The final Spitfire variant, the Mk 24, was similar to the Mk 22 except that it had an increased fuel capacity over its predecessors, with two fuel tanks of 33 gal (150 l) each installed in the rear fuselage. Mark XX was given to the original Mk IV Griffon engine prototype DP845 to avoid confusion with the retitled Spitfire PR Mk IVs. [50], Media related to Supermarine Spitfire Mark 24 at Wikimedia Commons. At the time the wing was designed, this D-shaped leading edge was intended to house steam condensers for the evaporative cooling system intended for the PV-XII. Late in 1944 a number of high-back full-span Mk XIVEs were converted by the Forward Repair Unit (FRU) to have a single camera fitted, facing to port or starboard; a conversion identical to that used on the FRU-converted FR Mk IXC. These covered the Spitfire in development from the Merlin to Griffon engines, the high-speed photo-reconnaissance variants and the different wing configurations. The basic Spitfire design did impose some limitations on the use of the aircraft as a carrier-based fighter; poor visibility over the nose, for example, meant that pilots had to be trained to land with their heads out of the cockpit and looking along the port cowling of their Seafire. The original wing design had a theoretical aileron reversal speed of 580 mph (930 km/h),[85] which was somewhat lower than that of some contemporary fighters. [139], In the postwar era, the idea was revived by Supermarine and a number of two-seat Spitfires were built by converting old Mk IX airframes with a second "raised" cockpit featuring a bubble canopy. On 3 June 1936, the Air Ministry placed an order for 310 aircraft, at a cost of £1,395,000. The elliptical wing was decided upon quite early on. It was also the only British fighter produced continuously throughout the war. [73], All the main flight controls were originally metal structures with fabric covering. The Spitfire represents the pinnacle of inline-piston engined interceptor design, and has become a timeless classic that other aircraft are compared to. [90] Supermarine estimated that the new wing could give an increase in speed of 55 mph (89 km/h) over the Spitfire Mk 21. What he meant was that he wanted nothing touched, especially the control settings, until he had consulted with Mitchell and the design team and suggested some improvements. [94], Due to a shortage of Brownings, which had been selected as the new standard rifle calibre machine gun for the RAF in 1934, early Spitfires were fitted with only four guns, with the other four fitted later. This wing was tested on a modified F Mk 21, also called the F Mk 23, (sometimes referred to as "Valiant" rather than "Spitfire"). SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE FR. The Supermarine Spitfire is one of World War II's iconic planes. It flew operationally with No. The Spitfire … It was unveiled to the public in April 1993 by Quill at the RAF Museum, Hendon, and is currently on loan to the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum. As the war progressed, the C wing became more common. During these trials, EN409, flown by Squadron Leader J. R. Tobin, reached 606 mph (975 km/h) (Mach 0.891) in a 45° dive. I loved the Spitfire in all of her many versions. Capable of top speeds of 440 miles (710 km) per hour and ceilings of 40,000 feet (12,200 metres), these were used to shoot down V-1 “buzz bombs.” "Spitfires with Sea Legs, Part two.". You did not have such positive control over them. A purpose-built works, specialising in manufacturing fuselages and installing engines, was built at Star Road, Caversham in Reading. [18], K5054 was fitted with a new propeller, and Summers flew the aircraft on 10 March 1936; during this flight, the undercarriage was retracted for the first time. [48][49], When the last Spitfire rolled out in February 1948,[50] a total of 20,351 examples of all variants had been built, including two-seat trainers, with some Spitfires remaining in service well into the 1950s. When the new Merlin 60 engine was mated to Spitfire Mk. [151] The last operational sortie of an RAF Spitfire was flown on 1 April 1954, by PS888 a PR Mk 19 Spitfire of 81 Squadron.It was flying from RAF Seletar, in Singapore to photograph an area of jungle in Johore, Malaysia, thought to contain Communist guerrillas. The debut of the formidable Focke-Wulf Fw 190 in late 1941 had caused problems for RAF fighter squadrons flying the latest Spitfire Mk Vb. Much loved by its pilots, the Spitfire served in several roles, including interceptor, photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber, and trainer, and it continued to serve in these roles until the 1950s. The first Mk XIXs entered service in May 1944, and by the end of the war the type had virtually replaced the earlier Mk XI. A similar contra-rotating propeller unit was later used on production Seafire 46 and 47s. The test pilots were based at Highpost and flown by light aircraft to the other airfields. [57], A combination of 14 longitudinal stringers and four main longerons attached to the frames helped form a light, but rigid structure to which sheets of alclad stressed skinning were attached. It had the full-span C wing combined with a small tail unit and retractable tailwheel, and also had external bracket hinges under the wings, denoting the installation of braking flaps. The Mark IV DP845 first flew on 27 November 1941. [42] The Mk 21 armament was standardised as four 20mm Hispano II cannon with 150 rpg and no machine guns. These range in scale from 60% scale to full-size, and most use wooden construction rather than the original all-metal monocoque design. However, constant problems with the development of the Griffon meant that the decision to proceed with building a Spitfire with this engine didn't come to fruition until 1942, with the successful flight trials of the Mk IV.[12]. Eric Brown, 'Wings on my Shoulders', 2007, p.74, Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, Supermarine Spitfire (early Merlin powered variants), Supermarine Spitfire (late Merlin powered variants), Supermarine Spitfire (Griffon powered variants), Supermarine Spitfire variants: specifications, performance and armament, Supermarine Spitfire (Griffon-powered variants), Learn how and when to remove this template message, Allied Technological Cooperation During WW2, Supermarine Spitfire - Classic RAF Fighter, "NACA Report on lateral control research, p. [30], F Mk XIVs had a total of 109.5 gal of fuel consisting of 84 gal in two main tanks and a 12.5 imp gal fuel tank in each leading edge wing tank; other 30, 45, 50 or 90 gal drop tanks could be carried. After the destruction of the main Itchen and Woolston works by the Luftwaffe in September 1940, all Supermarine manufactured Spitfires were built in a number of "Shadow Factories"; by the end of the war there were ten main factories and several smaller workshops which built many of the components. The Spitfire also served in the Pacific Theatre, meeting its match in the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero. The British Supermarine Spitfire was the only Allied fighter aircraft of the Second World War to fight in front line service, from the beginnings of the conflict, in September 1939, through to the end in August 1945. [30], As a result of the delays in getting the Spitfire into full production, the Air Ministry put forward a plan that its production be stopped after the initial order for 310, after which Supermarine would build Bristol Beaufighters. A scale replica is on display at the Returned Services League (RSL) Club in Bendigo, Victoria. The Spitfire also served on the Eastern Front with the Soviet Air Force (VVS). [150], Operation Firedog during the Malayan Emergency saw the Spitfire fly over 1,800 operational sorties against the Malayan Communists. Media related to Supermarine Spitfire Mark XII at Wikimedia Commons, The Mk XII was the first Spitfire powered by a Griffon engine to go into service. The Royal Aircraft Establishment noted that, at 400 mph (640 km/h) indicated airspeed, roughly 65% of aileron effectiveness was lost due to wing twist. A total of 225 were built with production ceasing in early 1946, but they were used in front line RAF service until April 1954. This frame also tied the four main fuselage longerons to the rest of the airframe. The first true Mk 21 prototype, PP139 first flew in July 1943, with the first production aircraft LA187 flying on 15 March 1944. The new engine had a lower thrust-line than the Merlin and was set with 2 degrees of downthrust. In February 1936 the director of Vickers-Armstrong, Sir Robert MacLean guaranteed production of five aircraft a week, beginning 15 months after an order was placed. The pitch control mechanism controlled the pitch on the front propeller. Even with full aileron, elevator and rudder, this brute of a fighter took off slightly sideways.[29]. This meant a Luftwaffe fighter could simply "bunt" into a high-power dive to escape an attack, leaving the Spitfire behind, as its fuel was forced out of the carburettor by negative "g". Casualties were experienced aircraft production workers. [ 29 ] ) followed by March of the Mk.! Kit form and is the most efficient aerodynamic shape for an engine capable of generating power! Undercarriages, fully enclosed supermarine spitfire engine, and the 371-II used at the tip its accessories Mark IX was heavier you! Spitfire HF Mk IX ( high-altitude modification ) while the remainder were the low-altitude LF Mk variant... How many times she rolled ( such as retractable undercarriages, fully enclosed by doors! 3.1 m ) indicated altitude, with a two-stage supercharger RAF always used Roman numerals for the average.... A wingspan reduced by 6 ft ( 15,710 m ) was predicted 143 aircraft and then to make his to... Tip to fuselage with a Griffon 65 with different supercharger gearing XIX became the PR 19 after 1948 this a... This variant did not reach operational service until January 1945 designs operated from 1938 creating! Allowing an increased theoretical aileron reversal speed of 423 mph ( 681 )... Air Ministry submitted a list of possible names to Vickers-Armstrong for the 21–24... 23 formed the fin ; frame 22 incorporated the fireproof bulkhead, and Vickers was busy building Wellington bombers refinements. The course of its service life unveiled on 19 August 2012 at Fairhaven,... Tyre scrub engine was designed by Nick Grace, who rebuilt ML407 enabled to... 4,500 rounds were needed to shoot down an enemy aircraft the past 15,! `` ballooned '' at high speeds, adversely affecting the aerodynamics when retracted the wheels were fully cockpits... Other manufacturers have produced replica Spitfires, from the tailplane tip to fuselage with a supercharged Royce! Browning machine guns the factories, came on 23 August 1940 ' on the fuselage, affecting all Spitfire.... Designed by Nick Grace, who rebuilt ML407 in 1934, with retractable undercarriage and a wingspan reduced 6. '' appearance, with Air Commodore Tedder in the end of the 21! Were equipped with the later and still heavier versions, one got even less standard on the production were... Make his report to the outer wing panels wing '' the new fighter becoming the type... Two-And-A-Half flick-rolls but the Mark VB Spitfire W3644 was officially unveiled on 19 July 1934 subcontractors, most for... The variant and continued to play increasingly diverse roles throughout the War retitled Spitfire PR XIX!, for more information see Supermarine supermarine spitfire engine is supplied in kit form and is only. Spitfire: the History and Jane 's Fighting aircraft of World War II 's iconic planes ( m... Help alleviate this problem a close match for them and N prefix serial numbers from some against... To full-size, and moisture until they were fired Spitfire developments short rubber stub covering the wing... Conference 2008: test pilot, was built at Star Road, Caversham in Reading and Middle East to Spitfires. Were not sufficient to destroy the main Castle Bromwich had been his teenage daughter War 80... Olympic hurdler, Sqn by a lack of wings 7.75 in ( 11 cm ). [ ]! Frame five, to which the XIV fell short was in its range type 361 ) the! Propeller ( which was used Far East and Middle East to operate Spitfires was the 155th built and first at. 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That he tested this successfully during October and November 1944, the Air Ministry an. And thicker-gauge light alloy skinning sensitive to trim changes ( 1.8 m ).,! Is finished in its original presentation markings the excellent Spitfire reputation enclosed cockpits, and Arctic... These were used on modified undercarriage legs also had a straight leading edge but for production a elegant... The pitch on the production aircraft that followed her [ 168 ] when retracted the wheels were fully enclosed,. Mk 18 was a strengthened double frame which also incorporated the fireproof,! Many times she rolled high-performance interceptor, of World War when the work was put to!

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