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Book Review
Hawker Hurricane MK I-V
Hawker Hurricane MK I-V
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by: Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]

Originally published on:


'At the outbreak of World War II, only 111 Squadron and a handful of others were equipped with the Hurricane. Thanks to sudden massive orders and a well-organized Hawker sub-contracting production, more squadrons rapidly became operational. Cutting their teeth during the Battle of France, it was during the Battle of Britain that the type excelled and came to form the backbone of Fighter Command. While the Hurricane was surpassed by the Spitfire in many respects, it remained the fighter of choice in North Africa and the Far East. In these far-flung conflicts, damaged Hurricanes often received hasty repairs and returned to the fray while more fragile designs were permanently grounded. The Hurricane may not have been the prettiest or the best-performing aircraft but, as Francis Mason stated, “the Royal Air Force was glad to get the Spitfire…it had to have the Hurricane!' *

* Quoted from the back cover of the book.


Osprey Publications Ltd has released Hawker Hurricane MK I-V as Number 6 in their Air Vanguard series. It is in paperback format with 64 pages. Included with the text are black and white and color photographs, color illustrations, informational charts, detailed captions and a two page fold out cut-away view of a Hurricane MK IC.
It has a 2013 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-78096-602-1. As the title of the book states, the book examines the British Hawker Hurricane MK I through MK V during World War II.


- Introduction
- Design And Development
- First of Many: A Fighter with Pedigree
- Breaching the 200mph barrier
- F.36/34 Single-Seat Fighter - High Speed Monoplane
- Enter the Rolls-Royce PV.12
- First Flight
- A Troublesome Child
- Refining the Merlin
- Technical Specifications
- The Anatomy of a Legend: Overview of the Hurricane
- The Fuselage
- The Wings
- The Undercarriage
- Powerplant – The Song of a Merlin
- Mark By Mark
- Hurricane Mk I
- Hurricane Mk II, IIa, IIb, IIc and IId
- Hurricane Mk III
- Hurricane Mk IV
- Hurricane Mk V
- Photographic Reconnaissance
- Made in Canada
- The Two-seaters
- The Proposals
- Operational History
- 111 Squadron Leads theWay
- Record-Breaking Flight
- More Squadrons Follow
- The ‘Phoney War”
- The Winter War
- Norway
- The Battle of France
- Dunkirk
- Malta – The Beginning
- The Battle of Britain
- On the Back Foot in North Africa and the Mediterranean
- Taking the Flight across the Channel
- Defence of Malta
- Air Defence in Russia
- Growing Strength in North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East
- Singapore, Ceylon and Burma
- Conclusion
- Further Reading
- Index


The book contains a well written text that is extremely detailed and laid out in an easy to read format. Martyn Chorlton covers the British Hawker Hurricane MK I through MK V during World War II very well and goes into great detail about its history and performance in combat. I could probably add more to this section but I feel that due to Martyn Chorlton’s very descriptive contents page, see above, that I don’t need to go into any further detail as to all of the subjects that are covered. There are other volumes that I have reviewed that have a very limited contents page but that is not the case with this fine volume. So please refer to the Contents portion of my review to see what all is covered in the text by Martyn Chorlton. This is a well written history that will be of great use and interest to the well-seasoned and knowledgeable World War Two and British Hawker Hurricane MK I through MK V historian and enthusiast or the individual that is new to these aircraft and wants to learn about their history. As I read through the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. I feel that if the text is well written then it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing. Anyone wanting to add an excellent reference and history book on the British Hawker Hurricane MK I through MK V during World War II to their personal library will be pleased with this very informative and interesting book.
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the text for yourself.


There are a total of 38 black and white photographs and 1 color photograph included and shown throughout this volume. The majority of the photographs are very nice and will help the military aircraft modeler well. Most of them are wide angle photographs showing the aircraft as a whole. I appreciate the fact that there are many excellent photographs that are new to me as this makes this volume even more exciting to sit down and read. The majority of the photographs are clear and easily viewable, however there are some that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark, and some appear too light, which is typical for photographs of that period of time. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason as well as is fact that the photographs are close to 70 years old. With that said the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and take away nothing from the book. Martyn Chorlton has stuck to the title of the book and chose photographs that are specific to the British Hawker Hurricane MK I through MK V during World War II and did not include photographs that strayed from the main subject of the book. There are several excellent photographs that will help out the aircraft modeler. The majority of the photographs will prove to be a wealth of information due to the details they contain.
The photographs contain various aircraft such as:
- High Speed Fury
- Hawker Hurricane prototype K5083
- Sea Hurricane Mk IA
- Canadian Car and Foundry Company Mk XII
- As well as several variants of the Hawker Hurricane
Other photographs that I found interesting and worth mentioning:
- Hurricane fuselages in various stages of construction at Kingston-upon-Thames
- Hurricane BE417 being loaded with 250lb bombs
- Hurricanes of 30 and 261 Squadrons on board the HMS Indomitable
- A Hurricane Mk IV of 42 Squadron being camouflaged with foliage
Some of the key individuals shown are:
- George Bulman, the Hawker Aircraft Company’s chief test pilot
- Sir Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the photographs for yourself.


There are 7 color plates shown throughout the volume by illustrators Adam Tooby and Simon Smith. The illustrations are very well done, nicely detailed and are of:
Plate A:
1. The Prototype (Hurricane K5083)
2. 111 SQN MK I
3. 1 SGN MK I
4. 615 SQN MK I

Plate B:
1. 87 SQN MK IIC
2. 402 SQN MK IIB
3. 880 SQN MK IB

Plate C:
- Mk I eight-gun arrangement of eight .303in Browning machine guns
- Mk IIc Hispano-Suiza HS 404 20mm cannon
- Vickers Type ‘S’ 40mm anti-tank gun
- Anti-tank Rolls-Royce BF (belt-fed)40mm gun
- 25lb and 60lb Rocker Projectiles (RPs)
- 250lb and 500lb GP bombs

Plate D:

Plate E:
HURRICANE MK I P22923 ‘VY-R’ OF 85 SQUADRON (3-view drawing)

Plate F:

Plate G:
HURRICANE MK IC (cut-away illustration with 35 points of interest pointed out and identified)
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the illustrations for yourself.


There are 5 informational charts provided which provide information on:
- Hurricane Prototype (K5083) – aircraft specifications
- Hurricane Mk I – aircraft specifications
- Hurricane Mk II - aircraft specifications
- Hurricane Mk IV - aircraft specifications
- Hurricane Mk V - aircraft specifications


The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs in great detail eliminating any doubt as to what is shown and is taking place in the subject photograph. The captions go into very specific detail as to weapons, aircraft, locations and dates as well as specific individuals and other such pertinent information. I was impressed by Martyn Chorlton’s captions as they are very helpful to the reader due to their detailed content as opposed to other captions I have seen that are very brief and lack detail.
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the captions for yourself.


This is a very nice reference book that contains many excellent and subject specific photographs and illustrations and well detailed captions. It details the British Hawker Hurricane MK I through MK V during World War II very well. This volume will be of particular interest and beneficial to anyone interested in the British Hawker Hurricane MK I through MK V. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library.

Battle Of Britain
Len Deighton
Coward, McMann & Geoghegan Publishers

Volume 1
Tank Buster vs. Combat Vehicle
Text by Alex Vanags-Baginskis
Illustrations by Rikyu Watanabe
Howell Press

The Military History of World War II
Consultant Editor: Barrie Pitt
The Military Press

The Battle Of Britain
Leonard Mosley and the editors of Time-Life Books
Time-Life Books

Search inside the book on the Osprey web site:

Osprey Publishing also has Hawker Hurricane MK I-V available as a:

- PDF ebook
- ePub eBook

Look inside the book on the Amazon web site:

http://www.amazon.com/Hawker-Hurricane-I-V-Air-Vanguard/dp/1780966024/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365558268&sr=8-1&keywords=Hawker Hurricane MK I-V

Look inside the Kindle Edition of the book on the Amazon web site:


This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE..
Highs: Nicely written text and captions Excellent photographs and illustrations
Lows: Nothing to mention
Verdict: This is a very nice reference book of the British Hawker Hurricane MK I through MK V during World War II that is well researched and written.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-78096-602-1.
  Suggested Retail: £11.99 UK / $18.95 US
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Apr 12, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Randy L Harvey (HARV)

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2021 text by Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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