I complained to Ares about their latest release of planes, and part of the answer I received on the appearance of a bomb on an E-3 variant was that there is documented evidence.
I didn't beleive the reference provided was accurate, despite it being German. Reference: German Wikipedia - Messerschmitt Bf 109
Having access to one of the largest aviation libraries in Western Canada, I went on a pub crawl. Not a definitive collection of books, but there were over 10 specific publications on the Messerschmitt 109. Here is what I consider worth presenting to the Forum for consideration.
The Ausburg Eagle
A Documentary History
by William Green
ISBN 0 7106 0005 4
Jane's Publishing Coy, Page 49
Note: Looking strictly at the image, and if this is used as a source, one would beleive that the Bf 109E-3 carried droptanks and bombs.
However, one must include the caption for the whole story:
According to this publication, no droptanks, nor bombs were ever fitted to an E-3. And being a Jane's Publication, and from my knowledge of the reputation of that establishment for accuracy, I would tend to follow this as definitive.
Then, I found the following abberation:
Despite the captions on these images, I really beleive they are actually of the same aircraft, only a difference in the quality of reproduction and cropping.
Image 2 from this publication:
The Fighting 109
A Pictoral History of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 in Action
Uwe Feist, Norman E. Harms & Mike Dario
ISBN 0 385 05679 6
Doubleday & Coy, Page 21
Image 3 from this publication:
Aero Series Volume 1
by the Aeronautical Staff of AERO PUBLISHING INC.
Scale Drawings by Uwe Feist
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 65-24307
AERO PUBLISHING INC., Page 9(?) Note: Publication not page numbered
Finally, I found this reference chart, the only solid mention of an E-3/B:
Unfortunately, in my opinion, it appeared in this publication:
Messerschmitt Bf 109
Classic Aircraft No. 2
Their History and How to Model Them
by Roy Cross and Gerald Scarbourgh
in colaboration with Hans J. Ebert
ISBN 0 850 59106 6
Patrick Stephens Ltd, Pages 68,69
It was a very detailed book, but for modelers. Therefore, in my mind it would not be as good as a reference by a publication from a known world intelligence company that strives for accuracy in all details for military and political professionals. And, nowhere in this particular publication could be found an image, drawing nor photograph, of an E-3 with a bomb rack.
So, as I have found in the past, when researching anything, you can find opinions and facts to suit your view, if you look hard enough. And, there weren't any bibliographies in most of these publications, nor quoted references. Admittedly, most of the publications I had access to appeared to be modeling publications.
It is up to you whether you want to accept the Bf-109E-3 as produced by Ares as accurate. You can quote any of the above as you choose.
Note: For 109 naming conventions, it is interesting to read the mid-page note on page 69. Not even the Germans during WWII were consistent with the names.
Check the Remarks under the chart on page 69 for a mention of a five MG version of early 109 variants. There were tests for different armament on the 109 throughout the war, and there were MGs put in the engine mounting, instead of the cannon, on occassion. Did they ever fly in combat? What if?