With combat operations against the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain proving to be close to catastrophic for Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 110 heavy fighter units, you could be forgiven for thinking that the months which followed the fighting over the UK to be a time spent licking wounds and making good losses. In actual fact, even though the Luftwaffe were at the advanced stages of testing a replacement twin engined design, combat operations from 1941 onwards would actually prove to be much better suited to the fighting strengths of Goering™s Destroyer force. With the ability to fly long patrols and possessing impressive firepower, the Bf 110 proved to be an excellent long range fighter, maritime patrol and light strike attack platform, ensuring the type would remain in service for the majority of WWII. When the Luftwaffe were forced to send aircraft to support faltering Italian Army operations in North Africa, the Messerschmitt Bf 110s of Zerst¶rergeschwader 26 were amongst the first to be sent to this theatre, tasked initially with providing fighter protection for Stuka units engaged in halting Allied ground advances. The aircraft™s desert deployment would also prove significant for another operational reason, its first use in a role at which it would prove to be incredibly successful, that of nightfighter. On the night of 22nd/23rd May 1941, the Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighter was first pressed into the night interception role over the desert.