The Role of the Spitfire at Dunkirk

Most people have heard of the horrors at Dunkirk, but few know of the incredible role of the Supermarine Spitfire.

In May 1940, the Germans had surrounded the troops on the ground and death or capture seemed inevitable. Ships were arriving from Britain to evacuate as many soldiers as possible, but the German Luftwaffe planes were machine gunning land and sea.

The only hope for halting the German bombardment, was the RAF. Pilots' log book files detail how British fighters intercepted huge numbers of German planes- the reason for this, the mighty Supermarine Spitfire Mk1. Built for high speed manoeuvres, the Spitfire was perfect for attacking the German bombers before they could reach the beaches, enabling the soldiers on the ground to escape. It's estimated that efforts from the RAF saved over a third of a million soldiers at Dunkirk.

Bremont Ambassador John Romain is Director of the Aircraft Restoration Company at Duxford Airfield. The company provided and flew some of the planes for the Dunkirk film, including the only flying Blenheim MKI left in the world. Watch the short film below to hear all about it.

The Supermarine Spitfire is truly an iconic aircraft and proved itself during the Battle of Britain as the perfect machine to tackle the sinister German Messerschmitt planes. Today, only a few remain in flying condition.

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