Friday, April 29, 2016

Spitfire v Messerschmitt

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. 1a (Source)
Messerschmitt Bf-109E (Source)
After a few discussions today, here and in real life, regarding man and machine, I found this video which compares the strengths and weaknesses of the two most famous fighter aircraft of the Battle of Britain. (And two of my personal favorites.) The aircraft depicted above were the two models actually flown by the RAF and the Luftwaffe in 1940.

That was a dark period in human history but also an interesting one. The relative merits of the Spitfire and the Messerschmitt have been much discussed since the Battle of Britain. I suppose that opposing aircraft will always be discussed this way. Which one was faster, more maneuverable, which had the heavier armament? But in the end, I think it will come down to the human in the cockpit. As it always has.

Men like these (and now women) will always be the determining factor as to which pilot goes home and which one does not. Yes, the machine is important, but the brain which controls the hand on the stick is crucial.

RAF Wing Commander James E. "Johnny" Johnson (Source)
Luftwaffe Generalleutnant Adolf "Dolfo" Galland (Source)

(You'll have to click on through to the Tube o' You to watch this but it's worth it. Trust me.)


  1. There was one technical aspect that had some influence there - carburetor vs fuel injection.

    (On the other hand - any Allied pilot bailing out over England could basically "walk home", the Jerries would get to sample the camp life...)

    1. Both good points, they talk about the carburetor in the video.

      Though our cousins across the pond pronounce it in an odd way. :)

  2. Went to YouTube and watched the video. Most interesting.

    1. They made a number of excellent points regarding the battle, the aircraft, and the pilots.


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