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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse (Hornet) heavy fighter

Photos

  • Messerschmitt Me 410 fighter
  • Messerschmitt Me 410 reconnaissance

 

Design

The Messerschmitt Me 410 was based on the failed Me 210.1,2,3

A number of changes were made to make the Me 410 a useful combat aircraft.2 The fuselage was made deeper and longer.2 The wings had automatic wing slots, new outer wing panels, and changed ailerons and flaps.2

Armament

The fuselage had remote controlled barbettes in the fuselage sides.2

Prototype

The Me 410 prototype first flew at the end of 1942.1,2

Production

In January 1943 deliveries of the Me 410A-1 bomber and Me 410A-2 Zerstörer started.2

Production of the Me 410B started in April 1944.2

Production ended in September 1944.2

  • Me-410: 1,1601,2,4
    • Messerschmitt: 9022
    • Dornier: 2582

Variants

  • Me 410A-1: Light bomber.1 High Performance bomber.3 Used against the British Isles starting in 1943.1
  • Me 410A-1/U1: Photo reconnaissance.1,2
  • Me 410A-1/U2: Fighter bomber.2,3 Heavier armament.2 Had gun pack in the ventral weapons bay.2
  • Me 410A-1/U4: Bomber destroyer.1,2 Had a 50 mm gun under the fuselage.1,2 It carried 21 rounds.1
  • Me 410A-2: Heavy fighter.2
  • Me 410A-3: Long range reconnaissance.2,3 Additional fuel in weapons bay.2
  • Me 410B: Had two Daimler-Benz DB 603G engines (1,900 HP).1
  • Me 410B-1:
  • Me 410B-2: Heavy fighter.2
  • Me 410B-3: Reconnaissance.2
  • Me 410B-5: Torpedo fighter.1,2 Didn't go into production.2
  • Me 410B-6: Anti-shipping fighter.1 Had two 30 mm, two 20 mm, and two 13 mm guns.1 It used a FuG 200 Hohentweil radar.1

Usage

The Me 410s were used of Britain as night fighters and bombers.2

Off the coast of France the Me 410s were used as anti-shipping bombers.2

To battle the American bombers, the Me 410s were pressed into anti-bomber service but suffered heavy casualties at the hands of the American fighters.2

From the middle of 1944 most of the Me 410s were converted to Me 410A-1/U2s and Me 410B-1/U2s to be used on Zerstörer missions.2

Specifications

  Messerschmitt Me 410
Type Heavy fighter bomber2
Crew 22
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 6033
Dimensions  
Span 53' 7.75"2
16.35 m2
Length 40' 11.5"2
12.48 m2
Height 14' 0.5"2
4.28 m2
  Messerschmitt Me 410A
Type Fighter3, Fighter Bomber3, Reconnaissance3, Ground Attack3
Crew 23
Pilot / Bombardier, Rear Gunner / Radio Operator3
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 6033, Daimler-Benz DB 603A2
Cylinders Inverted V 122,3
Cooling Liquid3
HP 1,720 each3, 1,750 each2
Propeller blades 3 each2, VDM constant speed3
Fuel Capacity 550 gallons3
Dimensions  
Span 53' 9"3
16.4 m3
Length 40' 10"3
12.4 m3
Height  
Wing area 390 sq ft3
36.2 sq m3
Performance  
Speed at 22,000' / 6,710 m 390 mph3
624 kph3
Climb to 20,000' / 6,100 m 10.7 minutes3
Service Ceiling 34,000'3
1,037 m3
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.9 mm MG 173
2: 20 mm MG 151/203
Fuselage - Barbettes 2: 13 mm MG 1313
Bombs 2: 550 lb3
2: 250 kg3
OR 1: 1,100 lb3
1: 500 kg3
  Messerschmitt Me 410A-1
Type High Performance Bomber3, Fighter Bomber4
Crew 24
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 603A4
Cylinders Inverted V 124
Dimensions  
Span 53' 7.75"4
16.35 m4
Length 40' 8.5"4
12.41 m4
Height 14' 0.5"4
4.28 m4
Wing area 389.6 sq ft4
36.19 sq m4
Weight  
Empty 13,338 lb4, 13,550 lb3
6,050 kg4, 6,150 kg3
Loaded 23,215 lb4, 23,500 lb3
10,530 kg4, 10,670 kg3
Performance  
Speed at Sea Level 341 mph4
549 kph4
Speed at 21,980' / 6,700 m 396 mph4
638 kph4
Climb to 21,980' / 6,700 m 10.7 minutes4
Service ceiling 32,810'4
10,000 m4
Range 920 miles4
1,480 km4
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.9 mm MG 173,4
2: 20 mm1, 20 mm MG 151/203,4
Fuselage Barbettes 2: 7.92 mm1
2: 13 mm MG 133,4
Bombs 2: 2,205 lb1,4
500 kg3, 1,000 kg1,4
  Messerschmitt Me 410A-1/U2
Type Heavy fighter1,3
Crew 21
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz DB 603A inlines1
HP 1,750 each1
Propeller blades 3 each1
Dimensions  
Span 53' 7.75"1
16.35 m1
Length 40' 8.5"1
12.4 m1
Height 14' 0.5"1
4.28 m1
Wing area 389.7 ft2 1
36.2 m2 1
Weight  
Empty 13,558 lb1, 17,598 lb2
6,150 kg1, 7,982 kg2
Loaded 23,483 lb1, 24,772 lb2
10,650 kg1, 11,236 kg2
Performance  
Speed at sea level 317 mph2
510 kph2
Speed @ 21,980' /
6,700 m
388 mph1
625 kph1
Speed @ 26,575' /
8,100 m
391 mph2
629 kph2
Climb to 21,980' /
6,700 m
10.7 minutes1,2
Service ceiling 32,810'1,2
10,000 m1,2
Range 1,448 miles1, 1,450 miles2
2,330 km1, 2,333 km2
Armament  
Nose 2: 20 mm2, 20 mm MG 151/203
2: 7.9 mm MG2, 7.92 mm MG 173
Ventral 2: 20 mm2
Barbettes in fuselage side 2: 13 mm MG2, 2: 13 mm MG 1313
Bomb Bay 2: 20 mm MG 151/203
OR 1: 50 mm BK 53
Bomb 2,205 lb2
1,000 kg2
  Messerschmitt Me 410B
Engine (Type) 2: Daimler-Benz 603G2
HP 1,900 each2
Propeller blades 3 each2

Sources:

  1. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
  4. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site