The Messerschmitt Bf 110 (Me 110) was a German World War II fighter aircraft. It was nicknamed the Eisenseiten (Ironsides) by Hermann Göring. As it was a heavey twine-engine fighter, the Bf 110 lacked maneuverability and during the Battle of Britain these planes suffered considerably when they encountered the agile Spitfire fighters. Nevertheless the Messerschmitt Bf 110 proved to be a good strike aircraft used for ground support to German infantry and armored units in the North African campaign.
The Messerschmitt Bf 110 was designed by the German engineer Willy Messerschmitt and was manufactured by the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke. The prototype was finished in may 1936 and entered into active service in 1937. Assigned to the Night Fighter-Wing 1 (Nachtjagdgeschwader 1), the Bf 110 had its baptism of fire in the Polish campaign, escorting German bombers on attacks on Polish military units. From 1937 to 1945, 6,200 planes were produced in several variants. In 1942, it was partially replace by the Me 210 and later by the Me 410, but it kept playing different roles until 1945.
The Messerschmitt Bf 110 C-4 had a wingspan of 53 ft 4 inches, a length of 40 ft 6 inches, and a crew of 3. It was powered by two Daimler-Benz DB 601B-1 liquid-cooled V-12, 1,085 hp engines. It could reach a maximum speed of 348 mph, had a range of 1,500 miles and a service ceiling of 35,000 ft. The Bf 110 was armed with two 20mm-caliber MG FF/M cannons, four 7.92 mm MG17 machine guns, and one 7.92 mm MG15 machine gun. It could carry up to 220 lb of bombs.