The Messerschmitt Bf-110C-1 was designed as a long -range multicrew twin engine heavy fighter. In keeping with German air strategy it was also called on to serve in long-range escort fighter, fighter-bomber, reconnaissance, ground attack and nightfighter roles. The early C-1 model served in the ground attack role during the invasion of Poland but was disastrously mauled in the long-range escort role by Hurricanes and Spitfires during the Battle of Britain. Transferred to the Middle East and the Eastern Front it served adequately in the fighter-bomber and reconnaissance missions but really came into its own as a nightfighter defending against the increasingly large Allied bombing raids. Unfortunately, as German losses rose defending against these raids. the Messerschmitt Bf-110C-1 was increasingly assigned to defend against daylight Allied raids where it proved incapable of handling the P-38 Thunderbolt and later the P-51 Mustang.