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vppelt68

Was the Bf 110 ever operated against shipping...

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...and if was, was there ever any success, even minor one? I know it was not a known ship-killer aircraft, more used as a convoy escort, but was there an exception to the rule? V-P

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IIRC, after its failure as a heavy fighter during the BOB, it was used quite successfully in the Jabo/ anti-shipping role all around the British Isles.

The -D model was specifically a long-range version for strikes against distant targets in Norway and for use for long-range anti-shipping strikes, fitted with larger liferafts in the tail 'canoe' for over-water flights.

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Lt RJ Cork was credited with destroying a Bf110 during Operation Pedestal Aug-42.


12.08.42. Ju88 Destroyed, Bf110 Destroyed, 2x S-79s Destroyed, Ju88 shared Destroyed, R2001 Damaged. 
880 NAS HMS Indomitable Hawker Sea Hurricane I Z4642(?)/7*K(?).

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Thank you all for your replies! Crete... Thanks Graham, I'll have to dig deeper into this. Mediterranean would fit 100% to what I'm looking for. V-P

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I thought I'd caught a reference to a Bf110 hitting a "major" British warship off Crete when recently reading the 4 (so far!) volumes on the Med. Air War, but couldn't find it again.  It does refer to the earlier Air War over Greece, Crete and Yugoslavia, but all I could find in a quick look was success against smaller launches, boats etc, for which the cannon would have been sufficient, and even preferable.  (No, I wasn't confusing it with the Bf109 which sunk Fiji.)  Maybe it wasn't Crete?

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On 2/23/2019 at 11:11 PM, vppelt68 said:

...and if was, was there ever any success, even minor one? I know it was not a known ship-killer aircraft, more used as a convoy escort, but was there an exception to the rule? V-P

 

Z./ JG 77 was deployed on defensive duties along the coasts of Norway. The unit's 110s escorted Bismarck on 21 May 1941 as far as their range allowed. Bf 110 E-2 WNr. 3761 coded ‘M8+YE’ of Hptm. Gerhard Schaschke from Stab./ZG 76 is pictured in the latest 'Luftwaffe Gallery' with 15 rudder “kill” markings that included 3 ship silhouettes. Schaschke was KIA in August 1941 and his unit incorporated into 1.(Z)/ JG 77

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Graham Boak: HMS Warspite was hit off Crete by an Bf109E (of III/JG77); could this be the incident you are recalling?
Hth, Richard

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No.  It was definitely described as a Bf110 which is why I recall it, as it came as a surprise.  But if it can't be found, it doesn't count.  I'm wondering what else I could have been reading at about the same time, but nothing appropriate comes to mind.

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John "Knights Cross" Weal in Osprey's Messerschmitt BF 110 Zerstorer Aces of World War 2, writes on p.78, "In addition to 20 aircraft shot down, [Oberleutnant Johannes Kiel] had destroyed a further 62 on the ground, plus nine tanks and 20 artillery pieces, as well as sinking one submarine, three MTBs and a transport vessel!"

110s were also used in Russia to interdict river traffic.

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Michael Ziefle, "Messerschmitt Bf110 - Die Rehabilitation eines Flugzeuges", p. 179f lists "the most successful destroyer pilots (i.e. daytime, on Bf110) and their claims". Apart from Johannes Kiel, with "25 aerial victories, 8 of them in the West; 62 strafing kills, 10 tanks, 1 U-Boot, 3 MBTs", no success against shipping is mentioned in a list of 38 pilots.

Hth, Richard

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