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Bf 110
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Bf 110E, Oblt. Theodor Rossiwall camouflage by fjpdll | download here


The Bf 110 was a much maligned fighter in real life and is aptly reflected in game, but in the hands of someone who is disciplined and plays by some simple rules this fighter will dominate the airspace.
 

Me 110 with shark mouth painting.
Bundesarchiv

Named the “Zerstörer” (“Destroyer” in English), a very appropriate name for its mission, to destroy anything that is in front of it. In the early days of World War 2 the Bf 110 did very well in roaming wolfpacks, being superior to the opposition in the skies over Poland and France, but that changed drastically in the Battle of Britain. Mounting bomber losses resulted in the fateful decision to force the 110’s to stay very close to bomber formations, losing position and speed advantages over the RAF fighters. Not surprisingly it resulted in a drastic increase in losses. Faced with faster fighters like the Spitfire it was pulled from front line, only to return in new roles like the “JaBo” fighter bomber. Its most successful role was as a night fighter where additional crew helped spot nocturnal aircraft and there was room for later installations of bulky radar sets, a mission it proved to be quite adaptable to.
 

In game it is one of the fastest fighters in Tier 1 with a speed of 529/534 km/h (AB/RB) (1.43) and a BR of 2.3. It packs incredible firepower with 4x 7.92mm MG’s and 2x 20mm cannons with a copious 360 rounds all in a centreline mount, a hard hitting package that will reach out and swat aircraft far away.
 

Messerschmitt Me 110D-0 fighter with
a 1050 litre "Dackelbauch" (dachshund belly) auxiliaty tank.

What it cannot do is turn fight, and this is where a lot of players make a fatal mistake. Heavy fighters cannot maneuver like a single engine fighter, it has an unusually poor roll rate and loses energy fast, and can unexpectedly snap-roll: rudder control is critical. It is a pure “Boom and Zoom” fighter and like others of its ilk, live by 2 rules: “Speed is Life, Altitude is Life Insurance”, and “Turn to engage (fire at), not follow”. Maneuvers that retain your energy are key, keep your speed and/or altitude up. The 110 really shines in bomber attack or bomber escort where you will have positional advantage and gun solution first.
 

When engaging a target only turn to shoot (less than 60 degree turn), the moment you realize you cannot get a firing solution perform other maneuvers to keep the advantage. For instance if your target turns hard, pull up trading airspeed for altitude while watching what your target does. As you slow in climb you can turn tighter (even use flaps briefly) and position yourself for another intercept. If you find yourself under threat, an unloaded extension (slow pushover) can be employed to efficiently gain speed. The Bf 110 can dive very fast to rejoin friendlies if needed. A team with bomber smacking Zerstörers and maneuverable fighters will decimate the attacking force in Arcade Battles. If you pick up a tail, just remember to maneuver yourself to give your teammate the best chance to taking out your pursuer, and do not count on the gunner.
 

When you first purchase the Bf 110 make sure you research the machine guns and cannons first; those are vital for success. Consider AP ammo for 7.92 and HEI for canon. It is excellent at ground attack as well with guns and bomb selection, but remember that outside of AB, you still start on the ground and have no bomb crosshairs.
 

Master this Fighter/Bomber and you will master the “BnZ”.
 

Joe “Pony51” Kudrna

 

 

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