Having established its SPAD VII as the most effective French fighter of 1916, the Societé Pour l'Aviation at ses Dérivés strove to improve the model with a 220hp Hispano Suiza 8B engine and two machine guns. Despite initial teething troubles with the new engine, by mid-1918 the SPAD XIII had taken its place as the principal fighter of both France and the US. Meanwhile, the German quest for a successor for their structurally flawed Albatros D V finally bore fruit with the Fokker D VII. Entering combat in May 1918, this plane earned a reputation as the most formidable fighter of the war, yet the SPAD XIII's greater speed, especially in a dive, and its outstanding durability, proved a fearsome rival. This is the gripping story of two of the best fighters produced in World War I - the SPAD XIII and the Fokker D VII - as they dueled in the skies above the trenches in the closing months of the war. Never before published artwork, including fascinating cockpit illustrations, reveal several dramatic clashes between the two foes while diary entries and first-hand accounts from the pilots bring this classic World War I duel to life with intimate detail.
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