Why the Spitfire’s place in history should be challenged


In his controversial article ‘Dismantling the Spitfire myth’ Matthew Willis asserted that the Spitfire’s role in British history is hugely over-stated. Jon Lake countered by defending its reputation in ‘Spitfire’s Revenge’. Now in the third part of a fascinating debate, Willis hits back. 

spitfire-ch_001447Challenging the Spitfire is, due to its iconic status, always going to be a difficult thing to do. Nevertheless, after reading Jon Lake’s response to my earlier piece, I continue to assert that the Spitfire’s place in the history of World War II should be challenged.

If I might first answer the charge of ‘revisionist nonsense‘. On the second point (of it being nonsense), it’s not for me to say. On the first, though the word revisionism seems to have become a pejorative term of late, it properly stands for a proper historical re-examination of existing orthodoxy and accepted ideas. If the ideas…

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