Hornet without a sting

Chris Goss describes the Me 210 and ’410 – rare examples of a Messerschmitt failure

An Me 410A-1/U4 of ZG 26 breaks away after attacking a B-17 of 338th BG, circa May 1944. ALL VIA AUTHOR UNLESS NOTED

No prototypes had been flown, or even a design agreed, when the German air ministry – the Reichsluftfahrtsministerium – responded in the autumn of 1938 to a proposal from Messerschmitt by ordering 2,000 new fighters. The origins of the Me 210 and ’410 go back to 1937 and a requirement to replace the twin-engined Bf 110 Zerstörer – ‘destroyer’ or heavy fighter. The new machine was to be capable of carrying a 1,000kg bomb, have a dive-bombing capability and better defensive armament.

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