The Messerschmitt Me 410 was a heavy fighter used by the Luftwaffe in World War II. The Me 410 was essentially a redesign of the disastrous Me 210 that was cancelled in early 1942. It was intended to be a multi-role Zerstörer and a succesor to the Bf 110. With a number of significant changes, the first Me 410 prototype flew in the autumn of 1942. The first versions of the Me 410 utilized two Daimler-Benz DB 603A inverted V12 engines and were armed with two forward firing 20-mm MG 151s and two 7.9-mm MG 17s in the lower fuselage. It had a top speed of nearly 400 mph and a range of 1,450 miles. Defensive armament was provided in a unique configuration of two rearward firing 13-mm MG 131s in barbettes situated on each side of the fuselage just aft of the wings. These were aimed and fired by remote control by the observer who was seated behind the pilot and gave the Me 410 very good defensive firepower covering the entire rear hemisphere with very little drag. It also featured a bomb bay situated in the forward fuselage under the cockpit that could accomodate two 500 kg bombs. After some reservations about the aircraft's history, the Me 410 proved itself to be an effective warplane by Luftwaffe pilots. By mid 1944 virtually all Me 410s were deployed in the defence of the Reich against Allied day bombers. In this role they had some success against the bomber formations but were easy prey for escorting P-51s and P-47s and losses were high. The Me 410 pictured here among several other Luftwaffe warplanes was collected at Brunnthal, Germany after the war by the Allies.
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