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Zerstorer Volume Two: Luftwaffe Fighter-Bombers And Destroyers 1941-1945
Using a similar format to the Jagdwaffe and Kampfflieger series, ‘Zerstörer’ will detail the aircraft, history and operations of the Luftwaffe Zerstörer units between 1939 and 1945. These units were equipped with the twin-engined Messerschmitt Bf 110 ‘heavy fighter’ which were first used to great effect by Zerstörergeschwader 1 and 26 in the escort and air superiority roles against the Polish Air Force in 1939.

Later these units took part in the occupation of Norway and Denmark and then during the Blitzkrieg against the West in 1940, when their numbers were expanded with addition of new units.

Considered by Göring to be amongst the élite of the Luftwaffe, the Zerstörer were deployed against the RAF in the Battle of Britain and were used initially in the bomber escort role as well as by Erprobungsgruppe 210 to undertake low-level, precision bomber raids against shipping, airfields and the key early-warning radar stations along the English South Coast. However, after mid-August 1940 operations conducted against England did reveal inherent weaknesses in the Bf 110’s ability to defend itself against British fighters resulting in heavy losses. Following operations on the Channel Front, the Zerstörer later saw action over the Balkans where machines of ZG 26 and ZG 76 flew bomber escort and low-level attacks against maritime targets. By this time, a number of Knight’s Crosses had been awarded to Zerstörer ‘aces’ for their considerable achievements.

The Bf 110 also saw subsequent major deployment in the North African and Mediterranean theatres where as a ‘workhorse’, the type was used for bomber escort, as a heavy fighter and fighter-bomber, while other units moved to the East where, in the early phases of Operation Barbarossa, the Zerstörergruppen accounted for significant numbers of Russian aircraft destroyed in the air and on the ground.
John J. Vasco
Ian Allan
ISBN 1 903223 58 X

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The Club Library is an open resource for all Club Members. All the books listed are available for general reading or as an aid to modelling research. Any Member can borrow any amount of the listed books — just email the Club Secretary with a list of the titles required and you can either collect from the Secretary’s home address or at the next Club meeting.

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