The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a long range Naval fighter aircraft that formed the backbone of the Imperial Japanese Navy's Air Arm throughout the Second World War. Blessed with exceptional manoeuvrability, as well as long range, the Zero proved to be the best carrier fighter aircraft in the World when it made its debut in China in 1940, and then again in the opening stages of the Pacific War against the United States. In the months following Pearl Harbour the allies struggled to cope with the Zero.The British fared no better than the Americans did. The RAF squadrons stationed in Malaya were flying the American Brewster Buffalo; a short barrel shaped fighter that was outmoded before it reached the front. Aware of its lack of performance the British had banished the fighter to Burma, away from combat with the superior German Bf-109. The general impression was that the Japanese had nothing but outdated biplanes that would not be a match for the Brewster fighter. When the British Buffaloes came in contact with the A6M they were sliced to ribbons.
To reduce their losses the RAF decided to replace the outmatched Buffalo with the more formidable Hawker Hurricane, famed for its decisive role in the Battle of Britain. Unfortunately, its pilots also found that fighting a Zeke on its terms was practically hara-kiri. Finally, the British threw their best at the Japanese, the fabled Supermarine Spitfire. To the Allies dismay, this fighter also could not compare with the incredibly nimble Zero. In only two engagements, Zeros downed 17 of 27 while losing 2 of their own.Tactics had alot to do with the dismal performance of the Spit against the zero. The Brits were still flying tight finger 3 formations (most figured out not to do that after the battle of britian) and attempted to dogfight the zero in the horizontal. Until the zero was taken on in pairs And the fight was done in the "vertical," the zero couldn't be beat.
Over the Northern Territory of Australia, RAAF Spitfires helped defend the port city of Darwin against air attack by the Japanese Naval Air Force.
It seemed the A6M was an unstoppable juggernaut. It soon gained the reputation of being invincible. Everywhere it was encountered, the Zero vanquished its enemies.The Fw-190 would B&Z a Zero to death, and so would faster Spit's such as the IX. However going into a Dogfight with the Zero was stupid, especially below 300 mph where it could be called suicide. The Zero was a superior dogfighter, probably the best dogfither. I also want to point out that Zero was a very capable plane which was designed as long range and carrier based plane. It unsurpassed range gave it upperhand in the conflict of Spitfire in Pacific.
There is no doubt that in the early combats between the Spit and the Zero the Spit was hammered, but its wrong to assume that this was the natural situation.
They went against the Zero and tried dogfighting and we know the result was. It was a natural mistake seeing how the Spits excelled at dogfighting everywhere else.
However once the lesson was learnt the Spits were able to gain the upper hand.In a turning angles fight below 275 mph the Zero had no peers. The Spitfire pilots could not use the the same tactics used against the BF109. However a Zero with an expert pilot flying it could be tough to handle unless you surprised him
Of the three assuming that we are talking about the Spit V then its
2) Spit V