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Me 210/410 Zerstörer Units

Me 210/410 Zerstörer Units Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review October 2019 Title Me 210/410 Zerstörer Units
Author Robert Forsyth Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2019 ISBN 9781472829108
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $24.00


Robert Forsyth examines largely unsuccessful successors to the Messerschmitt Bf 110 in Me 210/410 Zerstörer Units – 131st installment in Osprey’s extensive “Combat Aircraft” range.

Spanning 96 pages, text summarizes the saga in six, chronologically arranged chapters.

Sleek and advanced, both sported heavy offensive armament, remotely controlled defensive weapons, and provision for bombing. And the book’s first half recaps the dreadful gestation and sorry service of Me 210s.

Intending as replacement for Luftwaffe Bf 110s in “destroyer” (Zerstörer) roles, the Me 210 could also undertake fighter-escort, dive-bombing, ground-attack, and other missions.

The study’s second half surveys the comparatively more successful Me 410 – a modified Me 210 derivative – in the same range of roles.

But the Me 210’s notoriety almost fatally poisoned perspectives. And Forsyth reports that Generalluftzeugmeister Erhard Milch himself, “perhaps hoping to expunge the memory of the Me 210 for good”, imposed the Me 410 designation change.

In the end, Forsyth, citing General Josef Kammhuber, recaps the Me 210/Me 410 debacle on Hitler’s Third Reich: “‘Years of fruitless effort were expended in trying to improve these models, and in the meantime we missed the chance to develop, in time, the one machine which possessed all the necessary qualities – the Me 262.’”

Period photos and 30 color profiles illustrate the account. Extended captions, action accounts, and anecdotes further supplement the study. And appendices and an index wrap things up.

But a colon – not a semicolon – properly precedes body quotes. And instead of “conciliation”, does Forsyth mean “consolation” on page 42?

Most importantly, extensive quotations and claims pepper text. But not a single one is annotated. Nor is a selected bibliography provided for readers seeking further study.

Both omissions remain troubling: Osprey fulfills market needs for affordable, dependable histories. Disregarding basic attribution standards might mar that trust.

Still, Forsyth’s compact chronicle competently covers both problem-plagued machines. Make it your introduction to these luckless Luftwaffe designs.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!