Sunday 22 January 2017

Bf 110 Pulkzerstörer 'bomber destroyers' -daily ebay photo find #205

A well-known image currently on offer here that dates from the Defence of the Reich period of autumn 1943 to spring 1944. While a heavily tinted view of the same shot featured on the jacket of Don Caldwell's superlative 'Day fighters in Defence of the Reich' the image was not captioned and does not appear inside the book. Bf 110 Pulkzerstörer (lit. 'formation destroyers') in action over a snow-covered landscape. These are Bf 110 G-2/R1 sub-types. The aircraft appear to be toting the imposing 37 mm Bordkanone Flak 18 cannon under the fuselage. This large-calibre weapon was trialed and briefly employed against USAAF bomber formations, first equipping ZG 76 in early 1944, so these machines may be on the strength of that unit. However the close-up view on the Caldwell book jacket appears to show an aircraft coded "2N + BP" - presumably of ZG 1. (ZG 76 used the M8 code through 1944-45). Bf 110 G-2 sub-types could mount various armament kits -the M 1 conversion kit (2 x MG 151/20) under the fuselage, the M 5 kit comprising two BR 21 double pipe 21 cm Raketenwerfer grenade launchers (as here) and the M 3 armament kit of two MK 108 30 mm cannon. Aircraft such as these were heavily armed for the bomber destroyer role but particularly ill suited for combat with enemy fighters.

Pilot Flugzeugführer Uffz. Herbert Weiner of 1./ ZG 26 seen wearing his EK I in Wunstorf in late 1943 in front of his Me 110 G-2 toting the BK 37mm Flak 18 cannon.

A line-up of Me 110 G-2 37mm Flak 18 cannon toting Zerstörer of 1./ZG 1 in Wunstorf in August 1943.

On offer here

 More on the BK 37mm Flak 18 cannon equipped Bf 110s in the Defence of the Reich on this blog