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Larry Hickey 17th January 2006 04:23

Crash-landing of Hptm Groth, Gr. Kdr. II./ZG 76 during the Battle of Britain
I've recently acquired a new photo (to me) of a Bf-110 in the air marked with the codes M8+AC, which would be the a/c of RKT Hptm. Erich Groth, Gr. Kdr. of II./ZG 76, probably taken during the period of the French Campaign or the Battle of Britain. The details of the shark's mouth on the nose indicates that this is not the a/c shot down on Sept. 4, 1940, with Oblt. Wrede, the Gr. TO, flying Grothe's a/c (M8+AC). The Nauroth/Held book, "Messerschmitt Bf110 Zerstörer an allen Fronten 1939-45," P. 114, also done by Schiffer in an English translation (P. 115), shows a front view of a Bf-110 with a caption indicating that this is Hptm. Groth's a/c after crash-landing in France after a raid on London during the Battle of Britain. It may have a yellow gun deck cover. The detailing on this shark's mouth indicates that this is the a/c in my photo. Referring to the loss tables in the Vasco/Cornwell book on the Bf-110 during 1940 does not provide a candidate for this crash-landing. Was this an incident that happened, for instance, on August 15, 1940, when the Stab of II./ZG 76 was badly mauled over England, and a new 110, subsequently lost by Wrede on 4.9.40, was assigned. Or is the crash-landed a/c the replacement for the plane lost on 4.9.40? This would be expected if the aircraft in the Nauroth/Held book in fact carries a yellow gun bay cover. Can anybody pinpoint the date of the a/c pictured in the Nauroth/Held book to solve this mystery? Some photos in this book are mis-captioned, and perhaps the crash-landing took place sometime in 1941, rather than during the BoB. Does anyone have any other photos of this Bf-110 after the crash-landing?


carlmu 6th October 2010 08:48

Re: Crash-landing of Hptm Groth, Gr. Kdr. II./ZG 76 during the Battle of Britain
I recently bought the English version of Nauroth/Held's book, and agree that the picture on page 115 does not prove that the pictured plane is M8+AC. Do you know of any proof that Groth actually (ever) belly landed or survived a shot-down?
You might have seen my interset on this forum concerning Groth and his palne(s).As far as I can see, he flew at least three Bf110. The 110c M8+AC and later a 110D M8+KC and the last one a 110E-1 M8+KC, with which he crashed and was killed together with Obfwb. Herbert Muche on 12. august 1941. They were on their way from Stavanger to Kirkenes via Trondheim when they (due to cold and bad weather, maybe icing) crashed in the mountains in Ål in Hallingdal. The crash site is 1500 m above sea level, snowcovered 7 months of the year, very remote, 15 km walk from the nearest road. Only grass grow there, no trees. Therfore, the remains of the plane are still there, not buried but open in the free. Now and then human bones pops up when the snow melts in June-July. I am fascinated by this sad incident and hope to put together the fragments to complete the story.
I was at the crash site two months ago and was overwhelmed by the result of the brutal forces that had torn the plane and its crew to pieces that unpleasant day in August almost 70 yeras ago. Destroyed engines, propellers, fuselage parts, ammunition, machine guns and one of the oleostruts are still there on the ground.
When it comes to Groth and Muche, I do not know very much. Some stuff from Militärarchiv in Freiburg is all. So, Larry, do you have information concerning Groth and/or Herbert Muche? They must have flown together for at least a year when they crashed, maybe from before BoB?
If you are interested in photos I have collected during the work on this history I would gladly send you some if you answer with your private e-mail.

Greetings from Oslo

Carl Müller

PS: Your mailbox at 12 O'clock high is full

John Vasco 6th October 2010 10:09

Re: Crash-landing of Hptm Groth, Gr. Kdr. II./ZG 76 during the Battle of Britain
The photo on page 115 of the book (page 115 of the Motorbuch Verlag edition also, which I have in front of me) shows a Bf 110 E. Air inlet on the MG cowling. With the standard rear fuselage, it is probably a later production machine, probably an E-2.

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