One of the fundamental aviation debates, during the 1930s, concerned the need for an aircraft that could provide a long-range escort. Governments and manufacturers believed that the next war would be largely conducted in the air with heavy bombers flying over enemy territory. They would release bombs that would destroy land forces and strategic sites before an invading army had the chance to mobilize. It was generally assumed that this long-range escort would be a twin-engined, two-seater aircraft that would accompany the bombers and protect them from interceptions. With the exception of Britain most countries equipped themselves with such machines. The Luftwaffe was among the first with this type of aircraft, which they called the Zerstoerer (destroyer), as the Bavarian aircraft manufacturer, later to become Messerschmitt, had developed a prototype Bf 110 that first flew on May 12th, 1936. Although under-powered, with two 730hp Jumo 210Ga engines, the first production version was supplied in July 1938. Despite this initial lack of engine power the heavily armed Bf 110 proved to be the progenitor of an outstanding warplane. The inability to dogfight in combat with highly maneuverable fighter aircraft put the Bf 110 at a grave disadvantage and although it was used in most theatres of German operations it rarely appeared over Britain after September 1940. However, the Messerschmitt Bf 110 came into its own when, equipped with radar, it became the supreme night-fighter aircraft and the preferred mount of pilots such as Lent, Schnaufer and Wittgenstein.
Book in good condition with clean pages throughout and securely bound. Some foxing to the top edge of pages. Dust jacket in very good condition and protected by a plastic wrapper. Published in 2003, first edition.