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German Me 110 aircraft of ZG 26 'Horst Wessel' refueling in France, Oct 1940

Caption     German Me 110 aircraft of ZG 26 'Horst Wessel' refueling in France, Oct 1940 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseGerman Federal Archives
Identification Code   Bild 101I-404-0521-19A
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Bf 110   Main article  Photos  
Added By C. Peter Chen

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See Bild 101I-404-0521-19A on Wikimedia Commons

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
22 Jul 2010 11:53:40 AM

Messerschmitt Bf-110C "Horst Wessel"
This unit was named after a common street thug after Horst was killed, the Nazis made him a martyr, and they even had a march named
after him.

September 11, 1940 ZG/26 was assigned to
escort bombers attacking London. This action
cost the Luftwaffe 25 aircraft and 60 crews
killed or captured.
The RAF lost 29 fighters and 17 pilots killed
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
6 Aug 2010 08:52:54 AM

"Fortunes of War"

One of the Messerschmitt Bf 110's that took
part in the September 11th raid on London,
was U8+HL, ZG/26 a war weary aircraft that was used as a squadron hack, and had many parts that were cannibalized from other
Bf 110's.

Feldwebel Hermann Brinkmann climbed into his assigned aircraft, but it wouldn't start not
wanting to miss the days mission, Hermann
and his radio operator, Uffz. Erwin Gruschow ran to the spare Bf 110 coded U8+HL.

Hermann took off and flew formation with the
rest of the squadron. After a battle with RAF fighters over England, one of his engines
seized up, trying to head for the slower
bombers,he was again spotted and attacked by
RAF fighters.

With damage to his other engine, and unable
to make it back to base, he had no choice but
to make a belly landing in England.
His radio operator Erwin Gruschow was wounded
but both men survived to become POW's.
Hermann's Bf 110 was one of 25 aircraft that were lost on that September 11th, 1940 escort
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
7 Aug 2010 09:14:15 AM

"Out of the Night"

After combat with British bombers,and having
engine trouble Oblt. Wilhelm Johnen, his radio operator Lt. Kamprath and gunner
Ofl. Mahle of 5./NJG 5 were unable to make it back to base.

Johnen set course for Zurich-Dubendorf in
Switzerland, and landed on April 28, 1944
the Bf 110G Nightfighter coded C9+EN was interned and the crew was sent back to the

The Germans demanded the return of this aircraft, the Swiss said not so fast, the
Germans threaten to bomb the airfield the
Bf 110 carried advanced electronics and the Germans didn't want the Lichtenstein FuG 220
radar, to fall into Allied hands.

"Cloak & Dagger"

During WWII Switzerland was a haven for both
Allied, and Axis agents and many neutral countries.
Double agents,secret meeting and secret deals
everybody was looking for secrets. American, German, British and many other
foreign countries conducted clandestine
During World War II, both Military and
Industrial secrets were always at risk, even
among Allied, Axis and neutral countries.

"Lets make a Deal"

The Germans put pressure on the Swiss to act
and a deal was made.
The Swiss would blowup the Bf 110G, in the
presence of the Germans, and the Swiss could
buy (12) new Bf 109G fighters, for 6,000,000
Million Swiss Franc in Gold.

Everybody was happy, but what did the Swiss
really get?
The Bf 109G's, turned out to be inferior and
had many technical faults, much rework needed to be done they could fly, but they were not up to maintenance standards for the
Swiss, many of many of the aircraft were kept

"Enter the Swedish"

One last attempt to keep the fighters flying after the war, the Swiss wanted to buy the
licence-built DB 605 engine from Sweden, but
they wanted 191,000 Swiss Francs for one
engine each!
The Swiss turned down that offer, and someone
had the idea to buy war surplus American P-51
Mustangs for $ 4,000 Dollars each, now thats
a deal.
All the surviving 109's were scrapped, and
only one early Bf 109, is on display today
at Duebendorf's Fliegermuseum.

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