Junkers Ju 87 Stuka
The German Junkers Ju 87 Stuka was a dive bomber in World War II used by the German Luftwaffe. Produced roughly between the years of 1935 and 1945, there were around 6,500 total built by Junkers.
The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka had gull-like wings, very similar to the later arriving American fighter F4U Corsairs. The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka was used in many operations, including the invasion of Poland, the Battle of Britain, the eastern front and most European theaters.
During these operations, the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka was usually accompanied by faster and more maneuverable Messerschmitt BF 109 escort fighters, because the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka was slower and vulnerable to British or allied fighter aircraft.
The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka was also equipped with a siren called the Jericho trumpet, that gave it that unique shrill winding sound, as it dived, bombed and terrorized its targets. If you are from the World War II era or have seen movies of World War II, that sound when they dive bombed targets was actually a real sound.
The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka was powered by a Junkers Jumo V12 and had a top speed of over 370 mph. The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka had a service ceiling of almost 27,000 feet and a range of over 300 miles with a bomb load.
The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka was armed with two 7.92 machine guns in the front and one in the rear. The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka carried one 550+ bomb under its fuselage and carried one 100+ lb bombs under each of its wings.
Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on January 19, 2017:
Hello again Phoenix, nice - if all-too-brief - piece of writing here on one of the most feared of the Luftwaffe's assault aircraft. When it was used against sites in southern England, such as the radar installations in Kent and Sussex, it was in its element. It couldn't do much further inland as its fighter cover risked grounding through lack of juice.
Attack from below, rearward was the best way of getting at it, as I learned from a documentary. British pilots tended to wait until the fighter cover left for fear of running out (ditching in the Channel was something nobody relished), and weigh in. Stukas weren't widely used in the BoB, as their heavier counterparts could go much further at night and inflicted more damage.
Pictures are interesting again. Like the ones on their bellies in the desert (possibly Tobruk).
CJ Kelly from the PNW on April 15, 2016:
Interesting hub. Shared.
I could never understand why the Germans did not improve upon this design by installing retractable landing gear in new versions. Upgrade the power plant and the Stuka would have been more effective later in the war. Could you imagine a faster Stuka attacking shipping and landing craft at Normandy? While not stopping the invasion, it would still have caused further delays.