The Supermarine Spitfire is a legend in British air history. With the Hawker Hurricane, it successfully defended England against the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain, and throughout the war it saw service on every major front. Performance and handling were superb. The Mk.VII, the second high-altitude version developed, was used in England and the Middle East. Several Mk 2EXVIs, the last production version to use the Merlin engine, remained in service through 1950. In all, 20,351 Spitfires were built.