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"Me-210 Fighter--Dive-Bomber" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following report on the German Me-210 fighter-bomber was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 14, Dec. 17, 1942.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


The new Messerschmitt 210 (shown in the accompanying sketches) was first believed to be an improved model of the Me-110, but subsequent developments have shown it to be an entirely new long-range fighter and dive-bomber.

The pilot and a radio operator, who also acts as a rear gunner, comprise the crew.

Except for size, the Me-210 bears little resemblance to the Me-110 fighter-bomber. It is a twin-engined, low-wing, all-metal monoplane with a single fin and rudder. The noticeable deep fuselage tapers to a very slim section near the tail. The wings have a straight taper with rounded detachable tips. As the drawings indicate, the cabin enclosure is very humped and ends approximately at the trailing edges of the wings. The bomb compartment, which has a normal capacity of 4,400 pounds, is in and under the cabin forward of the leading edge of the wing. The single-strut undercarriage and the tail wheel are retractable.

[Messerschmitt 210 (Me-210)]
Messerschmitt 210

Slots are fitted to the leading edges of the wings, and the slotted ailerons are equipped with trimming tabs. Strips are also fitted to the trailing edges of the ailerons for trim adjustment on the ground. The wing flaps are of the split type.

The venetian-blind-type dive brakes are located outboard of the engines, immediately forward of the coolant radiators, and are fitted to both upper and lower surfaces of the wings.

The comparatively large-span horizontal stabilizer is not adjustable, and the elevators are fitted with trimming tabs.

The Me-210 has comprehensive armor protection and is believed to be one of the best-armored planes of its kind.

The airplane is armed with five or six guns.

The fixed forward armament is mounted in the nose and is believed to consist of two 20-mm cannon flanked on each side by one 7.9-mm machine gun.

The rear or lateral armament comprises two 13-mm machine guns 131, one mounted on either side of a barbette which joins the two sides of the fuselage amidships. The guns fire through blisters on the sides of the fuselage aft of the trailing edges of the wings. The entire barbette, including guns and fairings, rotates in elevation, both guns moving in unison. For horizontal movement, one gun traverses the field of fire while the other gun is locked nearly parallel with the fuselage. However, both guns can fire together when in a nearly parallel position.

The rear gunner aims through a heavy bulletproof glass screen and controls the barbette through a handle which moves in elevation and in traverse. The motion of the handle is torque-amplified by an electrically driven mechanism which drives the barbette through direct gearing. The blisters attached outside of the fuselage turn with the barbette. They have slots in which the guns move in traverse.

Two standard reflector-type sights are used, one on either side of the fuselage. Corrections are made to the line of sight by a mechanical vector device, the plane's speed being set manually.

This whole arrangement of the blister gun-mountings is of considerable interest as the first known enemy attempt to produce a power-controlled armament suitable for small and fast aircraft.


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