The Messerschmitt 210/410 Story...

...from Fonthill Media

Title: The Messerschmitt 210/410 Story
Author: Jan Forsgren

Publisher: Fonthill Media
ISBN: 978-1-78155-731-0


This new book from author Jan Forsgren  tells the interesting story of the Me 210 and 410. While the two aircraft looked similar at first glance, the differences were clearly important.

It starts with the need to find a successor to the Me 110 as a 'Zerstorer', or Heavy Fighter. I learnt that the first prototype had a twin tail arrangement, similar to the Me 110 as did a competing Arado design which is also included. This was quickly changed to a single, tall tail design. It goes on to tell us about both the good and bad points of the design. In the case of the 210 the bad outweighed the good, and despite it entering production the design suffered continual problems that caused too many accidents, often fatal for their crews. All the same, they were supplied to the Hungarian air arm. The story is well illustrated with archive photos and a number of individual accounts from aircrew who flew them, as well as their combat history. Production was eventually cancelled and the type needed redesign.

There is short piece on an Me 310 design, but that didn't proceed, but the Me 410 did. A lengthened fuselage, alteration to the main wing and other updates are explained and the revised design did go into production and active service with the Luftwaffe. The 410 was used as a heavy fighter, intercepting the American bomber formations, as well as a light bomber, nightfighter and a reconnaissance  variant. The armament combinations are interesting for having two remote control gun barbettes on each side of the fuselage and variants were also fitted with heavy 37mm and 50mm nose mounted guns.

I have always liked the look of the Me 410 design, perhaps influenced by an old Frog model kit that I built when I was young. This is a marvellous history of the type and the archive photos will interest many modellers as well as aviation historians I think. An excellent follow up to the author's earlier book on the Ju 52. A would definitely recommend this to anyone with an interest in Luftwaffe aircraft of WW2.

Thanks to Fonthill Media for our review copy.