Corgi AA38506 German Messerschmitt Bf110 C-4/B Destroyer - Schnell Kampf Geschwader 210, Eastern Front, 1941 (1:72 Scale)
"Guns before butter. Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat."
- Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, Head of the German Luftwaffe
The Messerschmitt Bf 110 was an aircraft of very mixed fortunes. It has often been criticized for its failure during the Battle of Britain, while its successes in other fields have been largely ignored. Despite not living up to the Luftwaffe's expectations it did manage to serve Germany throughout the Second World War in the long-range escort fighter, fighter-bomber, reconnaissance, ground attack and night fighter roles.
The long-range multi-seat escort fighter is possibly the most difficult of combat aircraft to design. Certainly no entirely successful machine in this category emerged from the Second World War, and when Professor Willy Messerschmitt began design studies for such a warplane towards the end of 1934 at the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke at Augsburg his problems would have seemed insurmountable had he possessed a full knowledge of interceptor fighter development trends abroad. Such a machine as was required by Marshal Goering to equip the elite "zerstorer" formations that he envisaged had to be capable of penetrating deep into enemy territory, possessing sufficient range to accompany bomber formations. The fuel tankage necessary presented a serious weight penalty and called for the use of two engines if the "zerstorer" was to achieve a performance approaching that of the lighter interceptor fighter by which it would be opposed. Yet it had to be manaoeuvrable if it was to successfully fend off the enemy's single-seaters.
The Bf 110Es were capable of carrying a respectable bomb load of 4,410 lb (2,000 kg) as fighter-bombers, while straight fighter and reconnaissance versions were also built. These, and later versions, were operated with a fair degree of success in many war zones. The Bf 110F was basically similar to the E, but two new variants were produced - the 110F-2 carrying rocket projectiles and the F-4 with two 30 mm cannon and an extra crew member for night fighting. The last version, the Bf 110G, was intended for use originally as a fighter-bomber but, in view of the success of the F-4 and the increasingly heavy attacks on Germany by Allied bombers, was employed mostly as a night fighter.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Messerschmitt Bf110 C-4/B Destroyer that was attached to Schnell Kampfgeschwader 210, then deployed to the Eastern Front during 1941.
Wingspan: 10 inches
Length: 8 inches
Release Date: May 2012
Historical Account: "Waspen Staffel" - One of the most famous of the Messerschmitt Bf110 units, Geschwader 210 adorned their machines with a very recognisable emblem on the nose of their aircraft. The Waspen Staffel as they became known, operated across all fronts during the Second World War, from the arid climate of the North African front to the bleak winter tundra of the Russian front in the winter of 1941, as depicted by this faithful replica.
The winter wash was applied to help the normally dark coloured Bf110 blend in better when on operations over a snow covered landscape. However, care was taken to ensure that the winter wash did not encroach upon the elaborate unit markings, or the tactical and unit markings of the aircraft.
Used as ground attack machines on the Eastern Front, the Bf110 pilots found the early period of the war on the Eastern Front was to their liking, scoring a large number of ground kills and coming up against weaker fighter opposition. The Bf110 was able to use its strengths and not have its weaknesses exploited to the same extent as on the Western Front. However, as the war progressed, the Bf110 was also found to be a vulnerable machine in the East, so more and more were converted to night fighting tasks.