Schlachtfliegerby Christian-Jacques Ehrengardt, Martin Pegg, Chris Goss
One of the defining images of World War II is that of a Ju 87 Stuka dive-bombing a target. For the Luftwaffe, ground-attack aircraft represented an essential part of the German air force's contribution to the offensive capability of the nation's armed forces. Throughout the war, the Luftwaffe made use of these aircraft in both offensive and defensive actions. The aircraft contributed to the German victories early in the war and helped delay defeat once the Allied forces started to advance on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. While the Ju 87 was probably the most immediately identifiable aircraft used by the Luftwaffe in ground-attack operations, it was by no means the only type.
Prior to World War II, the Luftwaffe developed these tactics using aircraft manufactured by Henschel, Arado, and Heinkel. During the Spanish Civil War they were tested in real combat conditions with the Heinkel He 51 being used in support of Franco's forces. Ground-attack aircraft were used by the Germans in most theatres of the war, including tank-busting Ju 87s on the Eastern Front and missile-fitted Focke Wulf Fw 190s after D-Day. Night Harassment Units using either Ju 87s or Fw 90s were also deployed to attack after darkness had fallen.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews