The Scottish excursion

On the 10th of May 1941 Rudolf Hess, deputy Fürer of the German Reich, climbed up in his Messerschmitt Bf 110 and took off. His aim was to contact Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, the Duke of Hamilton who he erroneously thought lead a party opposing the war. He flew a long round over the North Sea to avoid British radar. Towards the evening he reached north east England and started to zigzagg to find his way. The British sent out several aircraft to find him and Hess continued at high speed and low altitude into Scotland. After flying around to find Dungavel House which was his goal, running out of fuel, he bailed out out close to Eaglesham south of Glasgow. He was attempting to single handedly negotiating a separate peace with Britain before Germany's attack on Russia. Instead he was resolutely put in jail and remained there the rest of the war. Afterwards he was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Nürnberg trials.

The plane crashed  at 23:09, about 12 miles (19 km) west of Dungavel House. Some of the fuselage is still displayed at the Imperial War Museum in London.

The plane

The Messerschmitt Bf110 first flew in 1936. Developed as a heavy fighter and fighter-bomber it saw service in most theatres where the Germans fought through out WWII. Possibly it was most successful as a night fighter defending the Reich. The top night fighter ace of all time, Major Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, flew it exclusively and claimed 121 victories in 164 combat missions.

This is a model in scale 1/48 (Eduard) of the aircraft that Rudolf Hess flew on that fateful night. Read a review of the kit here.

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