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The Messerschmitt Bf 110, often known non-officially as the Me 110, was a twin-engine heavy fighter (Zerstörer—German for "Destroyer") and fighter-bomber flown by the Luftwaffe. Armed with two MG FF 20 mm cannons, four 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns, and one 7.92 mm MG 15 machine gun or twin-barrel MG 81Z for defence, the Bf 110 served with considerable initial success in the early Polish, Norwegian and Battle of France campaigns.
Its primary weakness however, was its lack of agility in the air - a weakness that was exploited by the more manoeuvrable and faster British Spitfire and Hawker Hurricanes which pounced on the Bf 110 as it lumbered along, providing close escort to the much slower German bombers during the Battle of Britain.
After the Battle of Britain the Bf 110 enjoyed a successful period as an air superiority fighter and strike aircraft in other theatres such as the Balkans and North Africa campaigns where it provided valuable ground support to the German Army.
The Bf 110 was initially hugely successful in defending Germany from the strategic daylight air attacks by the USAAF's 8th Air Force, until a major change in American fighter tactics rendered them increasingly vulnerable to developing American air supremacy towards the latter part of the war over Europe.
Its most successful role was undoubtedly that of an advanced radar-equipped night fighter against the British Bomber Command’s nighttime raids.
Equipped with the new German Lichtenstein FuG220SN-2 intercept radar and guided to its targets by ground control stations and the onboard displays, the Bf 110 took a heavy toll on allied bombers with many night-fighters also equipped with the upward firing Schräge Musik off-bore gun system for shooting down bombers while passing underneath.
Although the Bf110 night-fighter’s complex array of nose mounted 'stag antler' antennas produced tremendous drag - slowing the operating aircraft by up almost 30 mph and the rear gunner/wireless/radar operator found himself crammed tightly between the bulky radar displays and vertical firing gun system - the aircraft’s success against the British bombers was a major concern to Allied command.
After an SN-2 radar unit fell into allied hands when a JU88 landed accidentally at a British airfield, the Allies were able to build radar jamming equipment which was installed in a number of Avro Lancasters accompanying the larger bombing force. Some Lancasters also carried a german speaking wireless operator who could also listen into the communications between the Bf 110’s crew and their ground bases and give conflicting instructions to the Luftwaffe pilots.
All Messerschmitt BF-110 Instruments listed below come complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in aircraft cockpit.
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MESSERSCHMITT BF-110 LN+ER 40CM LONG, FUSELAGE RELIC
Recovered 40cm long fuselage wreckage relic from Messerschmitt Bf110 LN+ER...