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Junkers Ju87 Stuka P1.

The Junkers Ju87 Stuka was already an old, obsolescent design before the start of World War 2, no match for modern fighters or well defended targets.

But initially the Ju87 fought mostly in inadequately defended areas, against even older designs of fighters or against relatively soft, in a de quat ley defended targets.

There is n doubt that the Ju87 was a superbly effective aircraft in these situations and if the Stuka could be adequately protected by close fighter escort, then they could deliver a deadly payload, extremely accurately.

Following the fall of France, the Stuka was pitted against very aggressively defended targets in Britain and as a result suffered tremendous losses. Up to half an entire attack formation could be wiped out in one raid. Obviously two such raids and that is the end of your operational ability.

Stukas were almost totally withdrawn from the Battle of Britain, at least as far as daylight operations were concerned. Stukas did continue night operations against Britain, but many went to the Eastern front where once again they performed spectacularly effectively until the Russians could mount strong opposition.

There were may different versions of the Ju87 Stuka, the most common being the Ju87D. The JU87 Stuka illustrated here carries a heavy bomb load in addition to two very substantial external fuel tanks.

There was even a Stuka which had two pods fitted, one above each wing. Agents or saboteurs would sit in these pods, two to a pod, and at the right moment, a parachute would be deployed which whisked the pods, and occupants, away for a soft landing i enemy territory.

Medals all round, just for trying, I trust!

Junkers Ju87 Stuka
Stuka dive bomber luftwaffe ju87
Junkers Ju87 Stuka dive bomber
Junkers Ju87 Stuka
All images Copyright Avery Little