Tactics vs Rocket Shells

The high losses suffered some time ago by the USAAF during its raid on Schweinfurt were largely caused by German fighters, mainly FW-190s, carrying rocket shells.

German tactics had been to fire the rocket shells into our close Fortress formations from a point just outside the range of our .50-cal guns. The Nazis had initial success due to the element of surprise, but since then losses have dropped considerably as we developed defensive tactics.

It is reported that the discharge and trajectory of the rocket shells can clearly be seen and that a slight change in our formation's course and altitude results in complete misses. Further, the shells are fired from ponderous under-wing launchers which cut the speed and maneuverability of the Nazi fighters, "setting them up" for destruction by our escort fighters.


More data on the Me-410, which superseded the 210 and 110:

Equipped with two Daimler Benz 18-cyl [sic] engines of 1,800 hp at 20,000 ft, it is reported to have a 390-mph top speed and 1,000-mi range. Armament has not been changed, though armoring has been improved.


These news clips were originally published in the "Aviation Abroad" column of the January, 1944, issue of Aviation magazine, vol 43, no 1, p 297. The Me-410 data were in the "International Briefs" section.
Note: The "two Daimler Benz 18-cyl engines" is either an error or a typo. Me-410s all used DB-600-series 12-cylinder inline liquid-cooled engines. —JLM