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Messerschmitt Bf 110

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Messerschmitt's Bf 110 was one of the Luftwaffe's great hopes at the start of World War II but the twin-engined Zerstorer (destroyer) proved hopelessly vulnerable to single-engined fighter opposition during the Battle of Britain. Nevertheless, it was fast and heavily armed, and as the war progressed proved to be a solid fighting machine as a long-range fighter and fighter-bomber, as a bomber destroyer and as a night-fighter.

This twin-tailed, tailwheel equipped fighter was rakish and nimble for its size and weight. Pilots found it adequate in combat, although interior space and outside vision left a little to be desired.

Even with a back-seat gunner, however, the Bf 110 could never cope with single-engine fighters, whether early Hurricanes or late P-51D Mustangs. But as a radar equipped night interceptor, facing only bombers, the Bf 110 was capable of weaking immense destruction. Even in this role, however, the Bf 110 was outclassed by later warplanes, but it pioneered nocturnal fighting with radar and air to air rockets.


Messerschmitt Bf 110

Messerschmitt Bf 110 the Zerstorer fighter Messerschmitt Bf 110 bomber buster
Tactical air support was another role the Bf 110 was increasingly called on to perform as the war went on. This Bf 110, flying over Russia carries the distinctive 'wasp' nose art of S.kG 210. Rocket-armed Bf 110s were potent bomber-destroyers, but were almost helpless against Allied escort fighters.

Messerschmitt Bf 110 (Technical Specification)
Role Two-seat fighter-bomber/reconnaissance fighter
Manufacturer Messerschmitt
Maximum Speed 562 kmh (348 mph)
Maximum Range 850 km (527 miles)
Ceiling 10,000 meters (33,000 feet)
Maximum Takeoff

4,500 kg (9,90 lbs)
7,000 kg (15,400 lbs)
Wing Area

16.25 meters (53 ft)
12.10 meters (40 ft)
3.50 meters (11 ft)
39.40 square meters (424 sq ft)
Engines Two Daimler-Benz DB 601N inverted V-12 piston engines each providing 895-kW (1,200-hp)
Armament Two 20 mm (0.79 in) Oerlikon MG FF cannon in belly
Four 7.92 mm (0.31 in) MG 17 machine-guns in nose
One 7.92 mm MG 15 machine-gun in rear cockpit
Four 250 kg (550 lbs) bombs under centre section

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Messerschmitt Me-110 Heavy Fighter was used as the primary night fighter...

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