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Showing results for tags 'Croydon Raid by Erpro 210'.

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  1. An interest in the 1940 exploits of Erprobungsgruppe 210 (Erpro 210) highlighted for me the lack of intelligence during the early summer of 1940 of how this unit employed Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4/B fighter-bombers in support of the rest of the group, which generally flew the Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighter-bombers with some success from July through to early August. In many ways, the tactics developed by Erpro 210 over this period laid the groundwork for fighter-bombers in many theatres of war today, obviously using much faster and more advanced aircraft. Uniquely in this early BoB period, Erpro 210 operated a number of Bf 109 fighter-bombers within their 3rd Staffel and these aircraft were regularly employed bombing targets around Britain's coasts alongside their comrades in the twin-engine fighter-bombers when they were often mistaken for Ju 87 Stukas, such was the regard for these dive-bombers during the German invasion of the Low Countries and France, as well as during the Dunkirk evacuation. Although British Intelligence carefully examined the wreckage of German aircraft that landed in Great Britain, it wasn't until the autumn that they were able to evaluate a Bf 109 fighter-bomber that had crashed on British soil. Typical results of this mis-identification was perpetuated in the well-known Battle of Britain film when the raids on the Chain Home radar sites on 12 August was shown as being undertaken by Stukas. These raids were in fact by Errpo 210 with one of the radar sites attacked by 3 Staffel's Bf 109s. Nevertheless, during Erpro 210's unfortunate raid on Croydon airfield during the evening of 15 August 1940, one of the unit's Bf 109 fighter-bombers that had dropped its 250 kg bomb on Croydon had the misfortune to be shot down south of Tunbridge Wells, foorcing the pilot, Leutnant Horst Marx to bale out to spend the rest of the war as a POW. His aircraft, Yellow 3, crashed around Frant in East Sussex and disintegrated, leaving little to suggest it had been equipped with an ETC 500 bomb rack. Some time back, I decided to try my hand at a diorama depicting the sort of camouflaged aircraft shelter that was often used at the fighter airfields in N France. Having just completed an Airfix 1/48 scale Bf 109 as Yellow 3 might have been, I decided to recycle my original diorama, modifying it with additional figures and equipment to depict Yellow 3 being "bombed up" in preparation for the evening raid on Kenley - they missed Kenley in low visibility and bombed Croydon by mistake. Little did he realise it at the time, but this was to prove Horst Marx' final war flight. Horst Marx and his Bf 109 E - 4/B "Yellow 3" Painting figures is much more difficult than I imagined!
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