Me 110

German Nazi flagMesserschmitt Bf 110 Zerstörer of the German Luftwaffe.

Two Bf 110 D-1 of ZG26

Two Bf 110 D-1 of ZG26, soon after the Luftwaffe first went to Africa in 1941. Sand Yellow all over, with white theatre band.

Messerschmitt Bf 110
Heavy fighter plane, Zerstörer (destroyer), fighter-bomber, night fighter


As in five other countries at about the same time, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium decided in 1934 to issue a requirement for a new kind of fighter having two engines and exceptional range. Called a Zerstörer (destroyer), it was to be as capable as small single-seater of fighting other aircraft, possibly making up in firepower for any lack in manoeuvrability.

Its dominant quality was to be range, to escort bombers on raids penetrating deep into enemy heartlands Powered by two of the new DB 600 engines. The prototype reached 316 mph, considered an excellent speed, but it was heavy on the controls and unimpressive in power of manoeuvre. Too late to be tested in the Spanish Civil War, the production Me 110 B-1, which was the first to carry the two cannon, was itself supplanted by the Messerschmitt Bf 110 C-series with the later DB 601 engine with direct fuel injection and greater power at all heights.

By the start of WW2 the Luftwaffe had 195 Me 110 C fighters, and in the Polish campaign these were impressive, operating mainly in the close-support role but demolishing any aerial opposition they encountered. It was the same story in the Blitzkrieg war through the Low Countries and France, when 350 of the big twins were used. Only when faced with RAF Fighter Command in the Battle of Britain did the Zerstörer suddenly prove a disaster. It was simply no match for the Spitfire or even the Hurricane , and soon the Me 109 E was having to escort the escort fighters !

But production of DB 605-powered versions, packed with radar and night-fighting equipment, was actually trebled in 1943 and sustained in 1944, these G and H models playing a major part in the night battles over the Reich in 1943-45.

Pictures of Me 110

Data for Messerschmitt Bf 110 C-4

Technical data
Me 110 C-4 data
Type Zerstörer (heavy fighter) and fighter-bomber
Power plant 2 x 1200 PS Daimler-Benz DB 601N 12-cylinder inverted-vee liquid-cooled engines
Accommodation 2
Wing span 53 ft 4 3/4 in
Length overall 39 ft 8 1/2 in
Height overall 11 ft 6 in
Weight empty 9,920 lb
Weight loaded 15,430 lb
Maximum speed 349 mph
at height 22,966 ft
Cruising speed 304 mph
at height 19,405 ft
Time to height 18,045 ft
in approx 8.0 min
Service ceiling 32,800 ft
Range 528 miles (without drop tanks)
Me 110 C-4 data
in nose 2 x 20 mm Oerlikon MG FF cannon (540 rpm) and 4 x 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns (1200 rpm, velocity 2477 ft.sec.)
in rear 1 x 7.92 mm MG 15 manually amimed machine gun in rear cockpit
external load racks under centre section for four 551 lb bombs (total 2,204 lb)
Service statistics
Me 110 data
First flight 12 May 1936
Operational service Me 110 C-1 April 1939
Service delivery Bf 110 F early 1941
Production start night fighter F-4 1942
Final delivery (Me 110 H night fighter) February 1945
Total production figure (all) 6,050
Accepted by Luftwaffe 1/39-12/44 5,904
Production 1939 156
Production 1940 1,081
Production 1941 784
Production 1942 (without night fighters) 580
Production 1943 (without night fighters) 791
Production 1944 (without night fighters) 128
Me 110's in First Line Units 1.9.39 195
Me 110's in First Line Units 20.9.42 405
Me 110's in First Line Units 31.12.42 405
Me 110's in First Line Units 10.1.45 395 (all night fighters)

Animated 3d model of Messerschmitt Bf 110 F Zerstörer

Call of War

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