Wargaming.net Funds Real-Life Spitfire Find

Wargaming.net Funds Real-Life Spitfire Find

The company behind World of Warplanes is financing the recovery of British Spitfires that were buried in Burma near the end of the Second World War.

David Cundall made headlines earlier this month with his discovery, after 16 years of searching, of a hidden cache of Spitfire Mk XIV fighter planes in Burma. And not just two or three, or even a dozen; the managing director of Cundall's Burmese partner company told The Guardian that he thinks the stash contains at least 60 intact warbirds. The Spitfires are believed to have been crated and hidden by British forces shortly before the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

Cundall is a legitimate aviation treasure hunter, having previously discovered "several" Spitfires, Hurricanes and even a Lancaster bomber since 1974, but bringing home 60 Spitfires is a mammoth undertaking. Enter Wargaming.net, the strategy/MMO company best known for World of Tanks and World of Warplanes, which announced today that it is "fully underwriting" the cost of recovering the aircraft. Tracy Spaight, Wargaming.net's director of special projects, has already spent several months traveling and working with Cundall and will soon launch a blog providing a first-hand look at the investigation, the process of "conflict archeology" and the excavation itself, which is scheduled to begin later this year or early in 2013. It will also "shine a spotlight" on the brutal but often overlooked Burma Campaign of the Second World War.

"Since its founding, Wargaming has been dedicated to bringing military history alive, whether through video games or more recently through historic preservation and educational initiatives with museums," said Wargaming.net CEO Victor Kislyi. "When we learned of David's long quest to track down the Spitfires, we reached out to support him, not only to recover the planes if they are there, but also to help tell the story of the air war in Burma - which is of great interest to our community."

The Supermarine Spitfire is one of the most famous military aircraft of all time and emblematic of Britain's solitary struggle against the might of Germany during the open stages of World War Two. The Burma find will dramatically increase the number of surviving Spitfires; more than 20,000 were built across all marks, but today only 35 survive in flying condition.


Blimey! I'm just reading about Burma now, in the 'Lost Voices of...' series. It refers to Burma as the site of the "forgotten conflict".
In some places, the bamboo was so thick that British troops apparently had to zig-zag through it, walking side-on, getting their kitbags stuck and being unable to see the man in front. The roots, leaves, rain and mud reclaim things quickly there. I wish them jolly good luck finding planes among that lot.

Edit: I say all this because there is probably a great deal more buried there. If they keep looking, they might end up answering a lot of local families' questions about what happened to their grandparents.

Wow. There are only a handful of WW2 planes left.

So now they may be able to get another 60 working Spitfires! That is awesome.
Imagine the air displays they could make if they were all in working condition. Outstanding.

I wanna attach a flamethrower to one.
Spit-fire, y'know?

Surely they can do it? With modern technology? Please?

Wow this is awesome. The Spitfire was the muscle of the RAF and RCAF. Probably the most recognizable aircraft of WW2, other maybe than the B-17 Flying Fortress.
This fighter is #2 in my list of coolest WW2 aircraft. Only being beaten (and out preformed) by the Messerschmitt Me 262, which is the worlds 1st fully operational jet fighter.

It'll be great once they're restored and these war birds will again take to the air. Tasting the freedom they've been denied for almost 70 years.

I'd like to add in a song. From Ace Combat 5. It is a most fitting piece to honor these great machines that once soared above.

It even has the antiquated old radio vibe with it.

That's cool, but all I can think about is how I've had this song stuck in my head the past couple days:

It's...not as philanthropic as it sounds. There's a real market for collectors and aviators and we're not talking about vanilla Spitfires here; these are rare Mark XIVs with the Griffon engines. You don't set up a partnership company to fill museums.

Never going to happen. There have been rumors about these aircraft for years and years, the reality will be that the locals dug them up, cut them up and traded them for scrap a couple years after they were buried.

Sixty aircraft in steel shipping crates. That's way too much aluminium, copper and high grade steel to just leave lying around.

On the other hand, if by some miracle they're still there and they haven't been nicked, good luck to them.

It's...not as philanthropic as it sounds. There's a real market for collectors and aviators and we're not talking about vanilla Spitfires here; these are rare

Stuff that! The RAF'll probably want 'em back, with the way the Strategic Defence & Spending Review - AKA "Let's cripple the British Armed Forces!!" is going!!

Props for finding them mate, that's some real commitment.

Ok. That money I've given them over the years for World of Tanks now feels substantially less wasted.

The Hawker Hurricane was the main fighter used up to and including the battle of Britain. And British pilots didn't fight alone. Polish pilots in particular were very well trained and effective. Not to mention Canadians, Australians and even some Americans who joined for their own reasons.

That reminds me of a story from 2002 when some guys in North Africa dug up 6 panzer tanks and enough rifles to arm a platoon of Germans.

Philanthropic or not (some are saying that its not as much as it sounds) this is still a really neat part of history and private collectors or museums, either is better than rotting in the jungle.

And, for the first time in history, WarGaming will see an actual piece of WW2 fighting equipment.

Agent Larkin:
Ok. That money I've given them over the years for World of Tanks now feels substantially less wasted.

haha i know what you mean. it maybe just a PR stunt but its one i approve of :D

I think this calls for a song, not just any song though, a song about aces, Aces in Exile.

Now if only Lara was around to help them out.


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