Letter: Lessons Mitchell brought to the Spitfire design

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The Independent Online
Lessons Mitchell brought to the Spitfire designSir: Alan Clark's reference to General Galland was perhaps ill-advised. In his book The First and the Last Galland describes his encounter with Goring: " 'I should like an outfit of Spitfires for my group!' After blurting this out, I had rather a shock, for it was not really meant that way. Of course, fundamentally I preferred the Me109 to the Spitfire, but I was unbelievably vexed at the lack of understanding and the stubbornness with which the Command gave us orders we could not execute."

This account must be seen in the context of his earlier comparison: "The modern Vickers Supermarine Spitfires were slower than our planes by about 10 to 15 mph, but could perform steeper and tighter turns ... Our armament and ammunition were also undoubtedly better." (Galland's assessment refers to the versions available in 1940.)

John Allenby

Farnham, Surrey

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