Bf 110 - When was armor introduced...

Discussion in 'Technical' started by Koenig, May 7, 2009.

  1. Koenig

    Koenig New Member

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    Hi all,

    I was wondering if the question of Bf-110 cockpit armor has been discussed on this forum in detail before? If so please point me there, my searches did not reveal any. If not, please read on and dust off any books on the Bf 110 you may have!

    I am posting here in the hope that by the end of the discussion, we will have sorted out exactly when, where, in what quantity, and on what models armor was installed in the Bf 110 series.

    Simple internet searches and the coffee table type of World War II aircraft collection book seem to always state that armour was introduced with the Bf-110 C4 model. I have not been able to find a true source for this information however.

    In reading my small collection of books on the Bf-110, I have found that even here there is conflicting information on when cockpit armour was introduced to the Bf-110 series.

    For example:

    In "Zerstorer: The Messerschmitt 110 and it's Units in 1940", written by VASCO, and CORNWELL, on page 242 it clearly states that the Bf 110 C4 included "provisions of armour protection for pilot and Bordfunker for the first time."

    Rickard, J (14 March 2007), Messerschmitt Bf 110 C Cäsar, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles...s_bf_110C.html states: "The C-4 saw 9 mm armour added to protect the pilot."

    This page: Messerschmitt Bf 110 (Me 110) states: "the C-4 added about 500 lbs. of crew armor."

    In contast, in "Messerschmitt Bf 110/Me 210/Me 410" by MANKAU and PETRICK, on page 176 it clearly states "Some aviation publications assert that the Bf 110 C-4 was the first variant to have armor reinforcement. This was not the case with new-built machines."

    On page 200 it then states that "The Bf 110 E series was initially produced without armor protection for the crew. During the production run, however, cockpit armor to include an armoured windscreen made its way onto the assembly line....these measures were to be retroactively applied to all Bf 110 Es and could be installed in aircraft of the C and D series."

    Furthermore, in looking at photographs of Bf 110's from the 1940 and 1941 era, it seems apparant that there does not appear to be any armoured windscreens or head rests for the pilot (which negates there being any head armor).

    I will continue my search and thank anyone in advance for adding to this discussion!

    Regards,

    Koenig
     
  2. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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  3. John Vasco

    John Vasco Member

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    The problem you have, as I have encountered, is that when new things were brought into production, those modifications were also retro-fitted to existing aircraft on front-line service in many instances. So if armour protection was introduced on 'E' variant Bf 110s (and these were coming off the production lines from the second half of 1940 onwards), then some units would fit their earlier models with armour also, if it was available. So it is very difficult to give a 'hard and fast' answer. Believe me, I've looked for it over the years!

    Hope this helps in some way.

    John V.
     
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