At the end of the movie Dunkirk after Farrier lands in the enemy's territory he fires on his plane using some kind of gun. It creates a mini blast inside the plane which eventually catches fire. After this he gets caught by the enemies.

Why did he burn the plane?

1 Answer 1


It's a flare gun that he uses....

Several reasons:

  • To prevent the plane being used for propaganda purposes
  • To prevent German engineers learning anything about the plane
  • To prevent the plane being used to attack England (no one would shoot a friendly plane)
  • It's an act of defiance toward the Germans (you can have me, but not my plane)
  • Farriers (and any pilots) relationship with his plane is personal - a bond of trust and loyalty that can't be let go like a worn sock...
  • 1
    Part 2 is probably the key one. The Germans and the British went back and forth with the superiority of the Messerschmidt and Spitfire. If the Spitfire was superior at the time of Dunkirk (which it appeared to be), then the Germans would want to get their hands on a fully working Spitfire to out-engineer it.
    – SGR
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 10:30

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