Battle of Britain at 80: 'Effective 'Emil'

The Bf 109E was the Luftwaffe’s principal fighter during the Battle of Britain. In the fourth of our mini-series, Malcolm V Lowe details this famous warplane’s activities during 1940

Bf 109E-1, ‘Red 14’ of 2./JG 52 flown by Uff z Leo Zaunbrecher. It wears standard camouflage of RLM 02 Grau and 71 Dunkelgrün on the upper surfaces, with 65 Hellblau on the underside and fuselage. Zaunbrecher crash-landed this aircraft on August 12 near Lewes, Sussex, after combat with a 615 Squadron Hurricane.

Germany’s extensive rearmament in the 1930s brought Messerschmitt’s excellent Bf 109 into service. It was the only single-engined fighter to operate with the Luftwaffe’s frontline units during the early years of World War Two, and as such it played a highly important role in the Battle of Britain.

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