Was the Me210/410 every a good idea?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wiking85, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    The Me 210 and 410 were the successor to the Bf110 in the Zerstörer role and as a light bomber, but came years after it was expected, by which time its utility was limited at best. It was really only used as a bomber destroyer/intruder/night fighter without much success. But was it every really useful? The Bf110 certainly had its role in the Luftwaffe's arsenal, but even if its successor had come on time, was it really all that useful for the trouble it caused? Wouldn't Germany have been better off focusing on other aircraft, like the Ju88G for the night fighter/intruder role and FW190A Sturmböck for daylight bomber destruction, rather than having a third aircraft doing all of the above, especially as tooling for it was such a problem, costing Germany an estimated 2000 aircraft in the 1941-43 period when they had to pilots to use those aircraft.
     
  2. pattle

    pattle Member

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    I think there was another thread recently that was along very similar lines to this where someone suggested that the Me410 was a missed opportunity, from memory the posts became quite bitter towards the end.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Certainly.

    However the Ju-88 kept getting better and production cost was astonishingly low by 1943. Hence Germany had little incentive to replace it with the Me-410 in the middle of a desperate war.

    Me-410A was a fine light bomber and recon aircraft. If Ju-88 development had lagged the Me-410A would probably have replaced it.
     
  4. pinsog

    pinsog Member

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    I think it would have done a fine job of destroying heavy bombers, but the P51 and P47 sort of messed that up. In an area of no escort fighters, it should have been superior to the 190 as a bomber destroyer with its heavy concentrated firepower and, I assume, larger ammo supply than a 190.
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It was a great idea in 1937/8. The RLM certainly thought so when it issued a contract for 2,000 aircraft before a prototype had even been built.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  6. OldSkeptic

    OldSkeptic Active Member

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    Oh the idea was fine, the execution atrocious. Having a fast 'heavy' fighter that is also a fast light bomber makes a lot of sense (ah lah Mosquito, et al).
    Many, many useful tactical roles.

    But the 210 was abysmal and the 410 not that much better.
     
  7. silence

    silence Active Member

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    So what was wrong with the 410 - performance-wise, that is?
     
  8. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    The basic idea was good but the execution more or less a failure. The Me 410 was fine but not fast enough despite it's high-powered engines.
    Mtt started the Me 210 first with using as many components of the Bf 110 -> failure.
    Mtt then redesigned from scratch, planned to make the a/c instable for better manouverability in dogfights -> failure, hardly controllable even for good pilots
    With the lengthened tail it became a good aircraft but at minimum 2 years had been wasted which could have been spent for developing refined versions

    That are two more years for killing enemy bombers without proper fighter escort which could have forced the allies to bomb only targets within range of their escorts.
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #9 stona, Sep 4, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
    If a properly sorted Me 210/410 had gone into service in 1941, late '41 was when the Bf 110 was originally to be phased out, it would have been a very good aeroplane indeed. It finally arrived far too late and it still hadn't been decided what role it was supposed to fulfil.

    I've never heard that the original Me 210 was designed to incorporate common parts with the Bf 110. The RLM seems to have expected a direct descendant of the Bf 110 but that is not what Messerschmitt offered. Several designs were drawn up, including a twin boom version, by Lusser's project bureau by late 1938. Messerschmitt had already concluded that an entirely new design, rather than a derivative of the Bf 110 was required.
    When and how the RLM was told about this remains something of a mystery. Some RLM officials made comments later suggesting that they expected a Bf 110 ++, but that is not what they got.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  10. Rufus123

    Rufus123 Member

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    Not meaning to derail but I understand when they upgunned the Bf-109 and the FW190 they were no longer the fighters they use to be.

    What went wrong when trying to escort the 110, 210, and 410, with 109, and 190's optimized for fighter engagement. Was it because they tried to do close escort and it didn't work or was it not enough fighters?

    Would the 110 and the others been more successful if the 109 and 190's went out front and attacked the Mustangs to occupy them while the 110's attacked?
     
  11. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Impossible odds.
    The 8th Air Force was escorting its missions by early 1944 with 16-18 Fighter Groups. That's 700-900 fighters actually making sorties.
    The Luftwaffe, on a very good day might get half that number airborne. Typically around a half to two thirds of these would then make contact with the Americans. On many days only around 50 Luftwaffe aircraft made contact with the US formations.
    Both the US and Luftwaffe figures show that the actual sorties flown do not match the raw figures for fighter strength which are very misleading.
    On bad days (for the Germans) the 8th Air Force flew unopposed
    The Americans had aircraft at least as good as the Luftwaffe's and crucially their pilots, for the most part, were very much better trained.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    They might have been but they couldn't guarantee the proper co-ordination or guarantee the Americans didn't have one more squadron left in reserve to attack the twin engine planes. Everything didn't always go the right way for the Americans either but on average it went more for the Americans and as the skills on both changed/tipped it went more and more the American's way.
     
  13. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    There are numerous threads about this subject on the forum......and the resulting bickering.

    I only have one issue among many.....

    I believe the first test flight of the 210 was on 5 Sept 1939 - early enough to have developed a decent a/c to tackle the Allied bombers when they started to come in late 1942.
     
  14. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    2nd Setember 1939, Wurster flew Me 210 V-1 for the first time. He reported that the fuselage needed to be a metre longer to which Messerschmitt replied that they were not going to throw the jigs away. Things went downhill from there.

    On 5th September Wendel was forced to bail out of V-2 when it disintegrated recovering from a dive.

    These prototypes were very different to what would eventually become the Me 210. This is V-1 as it looked on 17th October 1939 when flown by Niedhardt. He reported that the aircraft was very difficult to hold in all three axes.

    [​IMG]

    The development of the aircraft is a very sorry tale!

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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  15. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #15 DonL, Sep 4, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
    To my opinion the whole idea of the Me 210 was wrong! This is not new for most of the forum members, but I will argue it again and again.

    I want to remember that the Me 210 had less performance then the Bf 110 with the same engines.
    Also there was very minor attention at it's development to fighter ability or heavy fighter ability, it was the next a/c that was ruined, here from the beginning, with the LW obsession on dive bombing.
    I remenber on the He 177 and the delay of the Ju88.
    The Me 210 was much much more a "fast" light (dive) bomber then a heavy fighter and if we compare with the Mossie, it was more a slow light bomber.

    If you want a heavy fighter and one that can deal with the Bombers and the escorts, it was the FW 187, much much more a heavy fighter then the Me 210 or the Me 410 ever was.
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree.

    Me-110 zerstorer is understandable. Such multi role aircraft were in fashion during late 1930s. Combat operations during 1940 showed the concept to be flawed. That should have been the end of the Me-210 zerstorer program and all further Me-110 development should have been devoted to making an improved night fighter aircraft.
     
  17. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Fw-187 would do a better job destroying heavy bombers and for a lower production cost then the larger Me-210. Why RLM couldn't see this is a mystery to me.
     
  18. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It wasn't that bad a strike aircraft with a pair of 550 or 1100lb bombs.
     
  19. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    It would have been great in 1941-43, but considering that it wasn't ready until the end of 1943 and only used as a bomber destroyer or later as an intruder and night fighter, its potential was wasted and usefulness was already gone by this point. That's the problem; the one area that it could have made a positive impact, as a fast light bomber on the Eastern Front, was never utilized.
     
  20. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Actually I was referring to the 110, sorry :oops:

    I don't think the 210 really brought enough to the table or soon enough due to the delays.
     
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