ww2 facts, Supermarine Spitfire

1. Supermarine Spitfire was the most important British fighter during World War 2. Its performance was obviously much better than the old Hawker Hurricane. It was also the British aircraft that was produced most during World War 2. In the 10 years from 1938, Supermarine Spitfire was produced a total of more than 20,000.

2. During the Battle of Britain, in spite of the advanced performance, Spitfire was equipped less than others. Therefore, it was mainly used for coping with German fighter. Although the total number of aircrafts shot down by Spitfire was less than that by Hurricane, the combat efficiency was significantly higher than the latter. And because the confrontation was with fighters, the number of enemy aircrafts shot down was therefore reduced. Due to the advanced performance, most German pilots shot down claimed to be shot down by Spitfire to avoid being considered to be shot down by Hurricane with performance relatively lagging behind. Of course, many of these people lied, because Spitfire was not much equipped by the Royal Air Force.

3. As the main force of the Royal Air Force, Spitfire was involved in the fighting in various battlefields. These battlefields were in many areas all over the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa and even Oceania.

4. The main rival of Spitfire was Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters of the Luftwaffe. Both fighters were the most important of each air force during World War 2. From the beginning to the end of World War 2, the two sides did not stop fighting. However, the number of Messerschmitt Bf 109 production was more and during World War 2 it was produced more than 30,000.

5. Johnnie Johnson was one of the most famous Spitfire pilot. He drove the fighter shooting down 34 enemy planes, including 14 of Messerschmitt Bf 109 and 20 of Focke-Wulf Fw 190. Both of the aircrafts were the most important fighter of Luftwaffe during World War 2 with excellent performance. So, getting this record was quite uneasy.

6. Because of its superior performance, Spitfire was also used for investigation purposes. It investigated deep into German airspace for many times and captured a lot of useful information, including the recognition of V-1 and V-2 rockets being developed by Germany.

7. During the Pacific War, the Japanese Air Force launched air strikes against Australia’s native city of Darwin. Although at that time, the number of aircrafts of the Allies stationed there was very small, they still fought against Japanese aircrafts, including the Spitfire fighters.

8. Before the U.S. P-47 fighters took service, many Spitfire fighters served in the U.S. Air Force. In addition, many other Commonwealth countries also used this fighter. Some military forces of the government in exile of the Allies were also equipped with such a fighter.

9. The variant specially designed and manufactured for the Navy was Supermarine Seafire. This variant was produced a total of 2334, which were equipped for the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers.

10. Although once produced more than 20,000, but today only about 50 Spitfire survived. Most of them had been lost in history.

11. Spitfire remained in service for many years after World War 2. Air forces of some countries even used this type of aircraft till the 1960s.

12. Spitfire cost up to 12,600 pounds per unit, which was not a small figure at that time. That is to say more than 20,000 airplanes totally cost up to 250 million pounds.

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