What of the Me 410?

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Nov 22, 2004
I do think it would be interesting to gather as much opinions as possible and to debate further on the actual capabilities of the late Luftwaffe Zerstörer.

To some extent, I do believe the allies (victors) have applied the Me 410 a typical prescription following their purest style: "it was simply no match against any of our planes. Period." I am sure it was more complex than the classical victor´s formula.

I totally agree it came to life too late, facing very capable single engine enemy fighters (P-51s, P-47s, Spitfires, etc.) and perhaps the raw materials and laborforce devoted to produce the rough 1,400 planes would have been instead better to produce more Fw190Ds and even jets.

From the few books focused on the Me 410 I´ve read, it was reported the crews praised the model, it was very fast, manouverable (not more than most single engined enemy planes though) and it could carry a typhoon of fire in its nose which had an extraordinary design.

Furthermore, it brought the Luftwaffe back in kind of significant numbers over England in 1944, that proves to some extent it was a totally capable plane.

With the sole exception of the Ju88, which receives due credit by the allies as a plane with superb manouvering and success, most twin engined German fighters are regarded as bunk by the allies, while the bulk of their twin engined toys are, of course, regarded as marvels (i.e. Mosquito and P-38)

For example, on a one vs. one combat, do you think the Me 410 was "no match" say for the P-38 Lightning?

The specs, while not showing everything, illustrate the the Me 410 is kind of similar to the Lightning.

What are your thoughts?¿
it was an excellent bomber interceptor replacing the Bf 110G-2 during 1944 as long as Allied fighter esscorts were not present.

that is about all I can say about it though knowing it did a fair job over England in the night interceptor role on the Fernenachtjagd missions when the RAF and US bombers flew back to English bases under fair weather night conditions with KG 51 and 54.


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As much as I love the Me-410 (One of my favourites!) I do not think it would be a match for the P-38L. The Lightning was far more manouverable, better roll rate, better climb and dive rate, and faster.
As we all know, the Me 410 Hornisse was intended to replace the Me 210. The Me 410 was the result of trying to produce a Zerstörer after the failure with the Me 210. Me 410 was better than to any twin-engine German Zerstörer but it couldn't not hold its own against Allied fighters. Many Rüstsätze were produced for example an installment of guns up to 50 mm caliber and W Gr 21 rockets .

The main variant was the Me 410-B series (C, D, H did not enter operational status). Me 410 was withdrawn from combat by the end of 1944 because of the need to produce fighters. As only merely 1 160 a/c had been built when the production of the Me 410 ceased in Sept 1944 it made no important role in the air war over Germany.

Me 410 in combat

The night of 13-14 July 1943, FL/Lt Bunting, 85 Squadron flying a Mosquito XII on a night interception patrol shot down a Me 410 the a/c turned over on its back and dived vertically into the sea. It was the first Me 410 to be destroyed over Britain. Two nights later another was shot down by 85 Squadron. On 29 July a 3rd fell to the guns of the Mosquito from 256 Squadron and all 3 Me 410s was from VGruppe/KG 2.

22 Feb 1944, Hptm. Eduard Tratt the highest scorer Zerstörer pilot claiming 38 a/c in the air, 26 on the ground, 24 tanks, 312 trucks and 33 anti-a/c guns took over command of II./ZG76 in Sept 1943 and he made an foolhardy single-handed attack on a bomber formation near Nordhausen/Harz and was of course killed in the process, the escort FW 190s and Bf 109s from JG300 was unable to help him. The only eye-witness was Oblt. Prokopp who was killed a short time later when his Me 410 was rammed by a P-47.

13 May 1944 , One of the most disastrous missions for II./ZG76 was when they was jumped by 20 P-51s and 12 a/c were written of, many aircrews was lost and the US bomber force flew on unhindered to Poznan. Obefelwebel Wolfgang Martin rammed a B-17 with his damaged Me 410 after ordering his crew to bale out.

2 July 1944, I./ZG76 had notable mission when together with I./ZG 1 (Me 110) and II./JG 27 (Bf 109G) destroyed 45 a/c in a big air battle over Budapest, 34 were bombers and 8 were claimed by I./ZG76 without loss.
The Me 410 proved also to be quite a formidable adversary for the Mosquito's in the baby blitz 1943-1944 and one of the last units to operate the Me 410 was IV./ZG26 based in Norway.


geez old 1970's profile publication profiles. Bogus as can be. no ZG 26 or 76 Destroyer with the BK 5cm had red spinners with white. Overall they were much darker grey in colour and besdies ZG 26 did not exist in the autumn of 1944 the unit had gone over to single seat Fw 190A's. Another note the Danish clog is way too big for the engine nacelle

sorry to be so bold
Had the 210 been the 410, it might have had an impact, though it was never a match for the P-38.

Aside from as a night-fighter, I really don't see what role this plane was to fill. It was not capable of holding its own against allied fighters, and it was not really designed as a dedicated ground attack plane.

In my opinion, had one of the Tank designs, such as the FW187 or Ta154 (but perhaps done in metal?) were the superior twin engine fighter designs. Fortunately, Messershmitt was in better with the Nazi's and his product always got preference.




Type: Two-seat tactical aircraft for fighter, attack and recon duties plus specialized variants

Origin: Messerschmitt AG

Models: A and B series

First Flight: December 1942

Engine: (A) Two Daimler-Benz DB 603A inverted liquid cooled V12
Horsepower: 1,750 hp ea.

(B) Two Daimler-Benz DB 603G inverted liquid cooled V12
Horsepower: 1,900 hp ea.


Wing span: 16.4m (53 ft. 7.75 in.) Length: 12.45m (40 ft. 10 in.)
Height: 3.10m (14 ft. 0.5 in.) Wing Surface Area: N/A

Weights: Empty: 6,150kg (13,560 lbs.)
Maximum: 10,650kg (23,483 lbs.)


Maximum Speed: 620km/h (385 mph) Initial climb: 650m/min

Range (with full bomb load): 1,447 miles (2330 km)
Service Ceiling: 32,800 ft. (10,000m)

Two remotely controlled powered barbettes on sides of fuselage each housing one 13mm MG 131


Internal weapons bay housing various combinations of weapons ranging from 7.92mm MG 17 machine guns, MG 151's, Mk 108 30mm cannon, BK5 50mm cannon with 21 rounds all the way up to 210mm rockets in a rotary tube configuration (tested, but poor results prevented front-line use).


Two 1,102 lb. (500kg) Bombs


External Racks for two 1,102 lb. (500kg) Bombs


Two Ruestatz external packs housing Mg 151, Mk 108 or Mk 103 cannons were fitted to some variants


SN-2 Lichtenstein Radar on Me 410A-2/U-2 Night Fighter

FuG 200 Hohentwiel ASV (air/surface vessel) Radar on Me 410B-6 Anti-Shipping variant.

Source http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/LRG/me410.html



P-38 J lightning

Specifications (P-38J):

Engine: Two 1475hp Allison V-1710-111/113 V-12 piston engines

Weight: Empty 12,800 lbs., Max Takeoff 21,600 lbs.

Wing Span: 52ft. 0in. (15.84 M)
Length: 37ft. 10in. (10.39 m)
Height: 9ft. 10in. (2.77 m)


Maximum Speed at 25,000ft: 414 mph (666.2 km/h at 7620 m)
Service Ceiling: 44,000 ft (13411 m)
Normal Range: 450 miles (724 km)


One 20-mm cannon in nose
Four 12.7mm (0.5 inch) machine guns

Two 1600 lb. bombs

Source: http://www.warbirdalley.com/p38.htm

there was never a Me 410 night fighter. They flew as ferne-night fighters with KG 51 and 54 over England at night without any avionics except using British serachlights and fires of cities along their routes of attack.

This may well be the case - but as a day fighter it was seriously lacking. As a nightfighter, it seems to have potential.


The late J model had superior performance over the L model (which weighed more).


back on topic, can we please ? put the P-38 varinats in another thread.

flying very dark grey-black Me 410's, Ritterkreuzträger Dietrich Puttfarken and his 5./KG 51 would attack RAF 4 engine bombers on their way back to base. On the night of April 11/12, 1944 he and his bordfünker shot down 3 bombers. Shortly after on the 22/23rd of April 1944 he again shot down 2 RAF bombers but in return was shot down, his Me 410A-1, coded 9K+MN smashing into the ground near Cambridge

Erich ~
cheddar cheese said:
RG_Lunatic said:
The late J model had superior performance over the L model (which weighed more).



The L was more manoeverable and could reach 443mph.

Sorry Erich... I gotta reply, if Cheddar wants to continue it we can start a new thread....

Chedder - The P-38L was almost identical to the late model P-38J, the main difference being the L had two more fuel tanks, one on the outside of each engine in the wing. They had the same engines, they had the same power assist ailerons, they had the same dive-recovery flaps, etc... But the J model was a fair bit lighter, and that made it equally fast, more manuverable, and gave it a faster climb.


Another Me-210 with very heavy armament was the Hungarian made Me-210 Ca-1 wich have a 40mm Bofors L/60 AA gun mounted below front fuselage.

This very powerful weapon was can shoot masive 1,1 kilogram HE-T shells at 811 meters per second or 1,3 AP shells a 805 m/s .
The rate of fire was 120 rpm . It was manually loaded by the rear gunner with 4 round clips, and it carry 7 clips plus 1 one already inserted in the cannon.


This particular version scored some victories against B-24 and soviet bombers, mostly Il-4 and tu-2.

I do think the Me 410, along with the Butcher Bird, has perhaps the most sinister looks of any plane of the war.

Have you seen photos of the Asian Paper Wasp? An insect which is very aggressive; that is what the Me 410 looks resemble in my perception.

As I did say, I am convinced the Me 410 could certainly not outmanouver a single engine USAAF or RAF fighter, but it did not imply at all it was a piece of cake.

I recall a veteran of the USAAF telling me of a "famous" ace of the USAAF who got killed in combat with a Me 410. Sadly i do not recall the name.

The few books where i ve read info on the Me 410 are all wanting in my opinion.

For example, the B version of the Me 410 carried more powerful engines than the P-38, having two 1,900 hp DB engines. The Me 410 was somewhat heavier, not extremely signifcant though.

Erich sent me a message once telling me Fritz Stehle is one pilot who was a succesful Me 410 Zerstörer pilot (ended flying the Me 262 in the last weeks of the war).

While I find all the info here interesting, i still think the Me 410 is some sort of a "gap" in the assessment of aircraft who saw action over Europe in the war.
I think one thing is clear, Germany would have been better off without the 110/210/410. For every 110/210/410 built it could have had two Bf109's. Had the engines not been wasted in these planes, they might have allowed Tank to pursue a proper liquid cooled design. The concept of the 110 as a long range day fighter was hopelessly flawed. Other planes could have been adapted or designed specifically to fill the night fighter role.



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