The Blitzkrieg was particularly noted by two technological innovations which petrified both Allied soldier and civilian alike. One was the armored spearheads led by the panzers, which cut miles into Allied lines and separated units from one another. And then, most terrifyingly, were the squadrons of Stukas, which dived down upon the retreating Allies and sowed chaos with their wailing sirens.
By Seth Marshall
In the second half of the First World War, the importance of ground attack and close air support became increasingly important roles for air forces to provide to armies on the ground. By 1918, dedicated ground attack squadrons had been formed in the Luftstreitskrafte, and numerous designs had been put into production whose sole purpose was attacking ground targets in support of advancing troops. In the interwar years, some air forces, particularly the US Army Air Corps and the Royal Air Force both placed more emphasis on the development of doctrine, tactics, and aircraft which would fulfill the role of the strategic bomber. The Luftwaffe however placed a greater importance on aircraft which would provide direct support to advancing troops on the ground. The Junkers Ju 87 was developed in the 1930s to fulfill this role.
In 1933, Walter Wever was appointed the Commanding General of the Luftwaffe. Among the objectives listed by Wever as being the purpose of the as-yet unannounced air force was this:
“3. To support the operations of the army formations, independent of railways- i.e. armored forces and motorized forces, by impeding the enemy advance and participating directly in ground operations.”
To this end, it was decided that a dive bomber would be bested suited to meet the needs of a modern German army. Dive bombing was a practice which had begun to be put into use during the late 1920s- US Marines had used dive bombing with success in operations in South American in 1928. Dive bombing, which involved diving at a steep angle from a high altitude, was seen as the best means of attaining accurate bombing results against fixed targets, and to a more limited extent against moving targets. The requirement for a dive bomber was issued by Wever’s staff in 1933. Development of a new dive bomber was driven by Ernst Udet, a successful fighter pilot during the First World War who had been impressed enough by an dive bombing demonstration by Curtiss Goshawk Helldivers in the US to buy his own two aircraft. He then carried out a demonstration of his own in Germany, resulting in the dive bomber requirement. Despite concerns from another World War I fighter pilot, Major Wolfram Freiherr von Richtofen (the cousin of the Red Baron), Wever ordered that development of the new dive bomber continue on. The new aircraft would have to be capable of withstanding a dive at 360 miles an hour and have dive brakes to enable a steep pull-out at lower altitudes. It was to be called a Sturzkampfflugzeug (diving combat plane), abbreviated simply to “Stuka”.
By April 1935, four firms were at work on prototypes- Arado, Blohm and Voss, Heinkel, and Junkers. Among the competing designs included Arado’s Ar 81 biplane, Blohm & Voss’ Ha 137, Heinkel’s He 118 and the Junkers Ju 87. The Ju 87 was designed by a team led by Hermann Pohlmannn. Initially, the aircraft was designed with twin tailfins rather than the single tail structure seen in production models, and was powered by a Rolls-Royce Kestrel engine. The first prototype aircraft made its first flight in October 1935. Junkers previous experience with foreign dive bombers proved useful- it surpassed the performance of its competition. However, the development program was not without its problems. In early 1936, the twin-tail design lost control and crashed, killing pilot Willy Neuenhofen and an observer in the rear seat. Subsequently the design was modified to incorporate a single tail fin. Further prototypes would include a sloped nose to improve visibility, a more powerful Jumo 210Ca engine with 675 horsepower, a larger rudder, and revised covers over the landing gear (known as “pants”). The final prototype, the V-4, was put into preproduction as the Ju-87A-0. The last competitor to the Ju 87, the He-118, broke up during a test flight with Ernst Udet at the controls- Udet was forced to bail out. The failure of the Heinkel and success of the Junkers during flight testing ended the competition in favor of the Ju 87.
While flight testing on the Ju 87 was carried out, Luftwaffe commanders were developing doctrine to use the new aircraft in conjunction with army units. Wever ordered the creation of numerous air-ground liaison positions- officers and communications teams were sent forward on the ground with army units to provide better coordination between aircraft overhead and their ground counterparts. These officers were called Fliegerverbindungsoffizier – frequently shortened to “Flivo”. Flivos frequently collocated their motorized command posts with corps or division headquarters. To help ease the communications between army and air force, Flivos were usually Ju 87 Staffelkapitans- squadron commanders. Overall command of tactical air support was placed under a more senior officer at a local Luftwaffe command- the Nahkampffuhrer, or Close Air Support Leader. Wever also encouraged Luftwaffe units to conduct combined arms training with local army units, and to establish direct communication with the army without first confirming the decision with Luftwaffe High Command, in order to streamline the process. In this way, he hoped that the army would have a better understanding of the air force’s roles and capabilities.
Many of these practices were put to use during the Spanish Civil War, which would be the Ju 87’s first use in combat. Three Ju 87A-1s were sent to support the Kondor Legion, Germany’s expeditionary forces fighting on the side of Franco’s nationalists and were put to use in ground support and anti-shipping missions. The Stuka’s first mission over Spain came on February 17, 1938. Around the same time, the Luftwaffe began replacing the Ju-87A series, of which some 200 had been built, with the Ju-87B-1. The B-1 Stuka had been improved with Jumo 211Da engine which provided nearly 1200 horsepower. A second 7.92mm MG 17 machine gun was added to the left wing, providing two forward-facing machine guns. The fuselage was strengthened and the tailfin enlarged even further, and the fairings over the landing gear were streamlined. The Ju-87B-1 was capable of carrying one 1,100lbs (500 kg) bomb on the center mount or a 550lbs (250kg) on the center mount and four 110lbs (50kg) bombs on wing racks. The rear gunner retained a 7.92mm MG 15 machine gun mounted in a flexible position to defend the aircraft. The B-1 had a maximum speed of 242mph, a ceiling of over 26,000ft, and a maximum range with a full load of 373 miles. Five Ju 87B-1s were sent to Spain to join the three earlier models. The Kondor Legion appreciated the work of the Stukas, which often flew between two to four missions a day. One Stuka was lost in combat during the Spanish Civil War.
Despite the highly useful experiences gained in Spain with the Kondor Legion, the Luftwaffe’s policies on tactical air operations and coordination with the army for operations was not made doctrine until further combat experience had been gained during the first two years of World War II. Additionally, while Stukas had been successful in Spain, dive bombers and crewmen to man them were in short supply leading up to the war. In August 1938, the Luftwaffe had 300 authorized slots for dive-bomber crewmen- just 80 were occupied. However, Stuka unit strength was ramped up in the following year. By the time that Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, the Luftwaffe had 366 Ju-87s organized into nine Sturzkampfgeschwader (dive bomber wing). Stuka units were composed of three groups with a headquarters unit. Earlier in 1939, the Luftwaffe’s second Chief of Staff, Hans Jeschonnek, decided to consolidate more than half of that force into a specialized task group called the Nahkampfdivision (close combat division), with the objective of providing close air support to ground units. Curiously, a previous critic of the Stuka, Wolfram von Richthofen was placed in command. Each Stukagruppe (Stuka group) had three Staffeln (squadrons) and one Stab (headquarters flight)- each Gruppe consisted usually of about 40 aircraft, which individual squadrons equipped with about twelve aircraft each. During the final years of the interwar period, the Luftwaffe continued to develop its tactical air power doctrine. Flivos, detached on a temporary basis from their squadrons, began taking part in Wehrmacht exercises in 1937.
As stated previously, when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, over 350 Stukas were in service with the Luftwaffe. Among the Stuka units which participated in the Poland campaign were I./StG 2, III./StG 51, I./StG 76 and I./ and II./StG 77, which were part of Luftflotte 4. At the outset, the Stuka proved itself as a highly valuable asset in conducting a successful Blitzkrieg. In the opening days of the war, Stukas sank most of the ships in the Polish Navy, annihilated train yards, and attacking enemy units blocking the advance of German infantry and tanks. Stukas encountered relatively little resistance in the air- the Polish Air Force was outnumbered and generally equipped with outdated aircraft which were swept aside by escorting fighters. Eight months after the end of the Polish campaign, Stukas were again a key component in the air campaign, this time against France and the Low Countries. 380 Stukas were concentrated into Fliegerkorps VIII, under the command of Richthofen. By this time, B-model Stukas had been equipped with a prop-driven siren fitted to the landing gear, known as the “Trumpets of Jericho.” The wailing sirens of diving Stukas terrorized Allied troops, bombing them repeatedly as they retreated to Dunkirk. German ground units repeatedly called on the Stukas, with some units flying as many as nine sorties per day. As panzer units outpaced their support elements, the Stukas were increasingly used as a sort of aerial artillery. During the first four days of the invasion of the West, only four Stukas were shot down. At Dunkirk, Stukas were among the principle antagonists which continuously rained bombs down on the BEF as it evacuated, sinking numerous ships in the process. As had been the case in Poland, the success of the Stuka was due in part to the success of Luftwaffe fighter units providing effective escort to the dive bombers. However, the ominous presence of RAF fighters lingered above Dunkirk, providing a glimpse at what was to come during the late summer of 1940. Through June and July, Stukas were primarily engaged in targeted Channel convoys. During July 3-4, 90 Stukas of StG 2 attacked a convoy traveling through the Channel, sinking three ships totaling 10,000 tons without loss. Stukas attacking shipping operated with escort, but RAF fighters began making their presence known in July. On July 25, a group of Me 109s escorting Stukas were attacked by about 20 Spitfires from three different squadrons- five of the attackers were shot down, but not before two Me 109s and two Stukas were also destroyed. Things became much worse for Stuka crews in August.
August 1940 brought a change in targets for the Stukas. Shifting away from Channel convoys, Stukas would now focus on radar stations and military targets inland. In August 1940, the Luftwaffe’s Stuka strength consisted of II./StG 1 and IV./StLG.1 in Luftflotte 2, II Fliegerkorps, while in Luftflotte 3’s VIII Fliegerkorps, the bulk of Stuka units were concentrated- Stab, I., and II./StG 1, Stab, I./, and II./StG 2, and Stab., I./, II./StG 77. At the start of the Battle of Britain, 280 Stukas were serviceable in the Luftwaffe. In August, that figure dropped dramatically. On August 8th, 10 Stukas were shot down by RAF fighters. Five days later, on August 13, thirteen Spitfires from No. 609 Squadron attacked a group of Stukas escorted by Me 109s headed to bomb the RAF airfield at Middle Wallop. “On the way the Spitfires dive through five Me 109s, breaking them up, Pilot Officer D.M. Crook sending one spinning down into a field of fire. The whole Stuka formation broke up with nine falling in flames or with the crews dead… the remaining Ju 87s missed their target, Middle Wallop, and scattered their bombs over three counties.” The losses would continue on August 15th, with seven shot down, and on the 16th with nine more Stukas lost. A pilot from 5./StG 2 who survived an attack by RAF fighters gave this account:
“The enemy fighters came out of nowhere. The cockard-marked aircraft dive almost vertically against us and we make sharp evasive maneuvers and close our formation even tighter in order to allow the radio operators/rear gunners to give more concentrated fire. They form a dense barrage, which the attackers must pass through. Amidst the cacophony of clattering machine guns, I suddenly hear a shrill cry. “Fighters below!” I turn around quickly and see Spitfires in a steep climb. And what is even worse: I see that my radio operator is badly wounded. His machine gun is unattended. He clenches his teeth, trying to control himself. Through the internal communication, he informs me about each attacking Spitfire. And the attacks seem to never end… This time the Tommies are numerically superior. One after the other breaks through our formation and disappears downwards. Large flames emerge from its hit tank. Shortly afterwards two parachutes blossom in the sky… More automatically than consciously, I control the rudders and we begin the descent towards the airfield. The diving has a calming effect on us. We focus only on our target. From 4,000 meters altitude our aircraft bolt at lightning speed towards the target. The Spitfires have no chance to follow suit. Only now do we discover that the anti-aircraft fire is not moderate at all, but this doesn’t bother us now. We are caught by the strange magic of flying in a steep dive. Our bombs explode in a series of bright flashes. Thick smoke is rising from several hangars. Apparently a fuel storage has also been hit… When we fly back at low altitude above the sea, our Staffel is positioned in the rear of the formation. And suddenly the planes with the peacock eyes under the wings are among us again! The British seem to be completely consumed by combat excitement. A Spitfire that manages to approach quite close to me despite all my evasive maneuvers recovers from a dive too late, hits the water surface and is torn to pieces. But several others have taken its place. Two Spitfires take turns to attack me. The pilots of both these planes seem to have realized that my radio operator is “neutralized.” I try every trick in the book to get rid of my pursuers. Sharp turns is the only thing left available to me. As I perform these desperate turns, I involuntarily touch the mercilessly chased and my aircraft becomes severely damaged. I also am hit… Eventually our own fighters arrive and put an end to the wild fight. Despite the enemy’s numerical superiority, some of our fighter pilots managed to fight their way out and rush to our aid. And the Spitfires, which by that time must have used up most of their ammunition, leave. Finally we can breathe!”
In an effort to stem the losses, Reichsmarschall Herman Goering ordered that every Stukagruppe would be escorted by three fighter Gruppen; one would fly in advance of the bombers to attempt to draw out the RAF fighters, one would fly alongside the Stukas, and the third would provide top cover by flying several thousand feet above. Even with this new policy, losses continued to pile up. On August 16th, two formations of Stuka targeted the RAF sector airfield at Tangmere and the Ventnor radar station. Stukas from Stab and III./StG 1 were successful in their attack on Ventnor radar station knocking it out for a week. The Stukas heading for Tangmere, from I. and III./StG 2, had some success by damaging or destroying a small number of Hurricanes, Blenheims, and a Miles Magister training aircraft. They paid heavily for this small victory- nine Stukas were shot down, another six heavily damaged. The final straw came on August 18th- 85 Stukas from StG 77 headed across the Channel with an escort of 200 Me-109s. Spitfires from No. 234 Squadron attacked the escorting Me-109s, while RAF fighters from other squadrons hit the Stukas. The losses were staggering- StG 77 had 16 Stukas shot down, while another two aircraft crashed on their return to France. Several Me-109s were lost as well. During the whole month of August, 62 Stukas were destroyed. It had become abundantly clear that the in a combat environment where air superiority had not been secured, the Stuka was more of a liability. On August 19th, Goering ordered the transfer of Fliegerkorps VIII out of the combat zone, ostensibly to save the remaining Stukas for the coming invasion of England. With 220 of the 280 Stukas in the Luftwaffe a part of this unit, the withdrawal of Fliegerkorps VIII effectively ended the aircraft’s participation in the battle.
Despite the obvious obsolescence of the Stuka, development of a replacement dive bomber was not a priority for the Luftwaffe. Instead, Stukas continued to be used in other theaters.
In the Mediterranean, Stuka units continued to demonstrate the dive-bomber’s prowess in the anti-shipping role. The first two Stukagruppen arrived in the theater in 1940 and scored their first success on January 10, 1941 when they scored six hits on the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious. Despite serious damage, the carrier was able to limp to Malta, where the Stukas still attempted to sink her. The admiral in command of the carrier, Admiral Cunningham, described the attack of the dive bombers: “I can still see clearly a German bomber diving through that terrific curtain of steel, followed by a Fulmar [Royal Navy fighter]. The bomber dropped his bomb and proceeded to sneak his way out through the harbor entry only a few inches above the water. He was so low that he had to rise to clear the breakwater, which is only some 15 high.” In May 1941, Stukas operated in support of the invasion of Crete in their old role of flying artillery. In operations around Crete, Stukas sank several Royal Navy warships attempting to evacuate troops- the destroyers Juno, Greyhound, Kashmir, Kelly and the cruiser Gloucester were all sunk around the island, while the destroyer Fiji was damaged. However, the Stuka’s success in the Mediterranean corresponded with the lack of enemy fighter opposition, just as it had in Western Europe. Even in the invasion of Crete, 8 Stukas were lost during a three-day period from May 22-May 24. The Stuka’s success in North Africa and the Mediterranean began winding down after numerous aircraft were lost during the siege of Tobruk in late 1941, and the type’s decline in the area only worsened with ever increasing numbers of Allied fighters.
When Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, the Stuka was yet again called upon to fulfill the close air support role. At the start of Operation Barbarossa, the Luftflotte had three air fleets, Luftflotten 1, 2, and 4, positioned against the Soviet Union. These Luftflotten had among them 900 dive bombers, including 270 Stukas. These dive bombers were heavily used during the opening phases of the invasion to achieve the breaches through which the Wehrmacht’s forces would drive. On the first day of the invasion, it was not uncommon for crews to fly 7-8 missions. As the panzers moved forward, it was a common practice for Stukas to fly above the tanks and wait for targets of opportunity that could be seen from the air or were reported up by the Flivo. Even when the dive bombers were not directly overhead, it generally did not take more than two hours from the time the Flivo made a request for air support to when the Stukas had dropped their bombs. With Soviet fighters either being destroyed on the ground or swept from the air by German fighters, Stukas found success again early in the invasion. From June 24-25, Stukas and level bombers attacked Soviet armored concentrations in the Kuznica-Odelsk-Grodno-Dabrowa region, destroying 105 tanks in the process. In September, Stukas returned to the anti-ship role by attacking Soviet warships in Kronstadt, diving from 15,000 ft at a 70-80 degree before releasing at 1,000 ft to avoid as much anti-aircraft fire as possible. One pilot, Hans-Ulrich Rudel, was able to drop a 1,000kg bomb on the battleship Marat on September 22, blowing the battleship’s bow off and causing it to sink.
Despite the Stuka’s success in the opening months of Barbarossa, the Luftwaffe quickly found itself becoming stretched thin as the lines lengthened with the advance of the panzers. Initially eager to help their counterparts on the ground, the staff of Luftflotte 4 found that they could not answer every request made by the ground troops; “In view of the manifold tasks of the Air Fleet, the troops must not count on the same type of support that they have grown accustomed to in previous campaigns. Officers and men must be aware that the Luftwaffe may support the operations of Army Group South only in the immediate Schwerpunkt (center of gravity) of the attack. The tendency to call in a Stuka attack at the first sign of enemy resistance must from now on be resisted at all costs.” To help better meet the Wehrmacht’s missions, at the end of the summer of 1941 the posts of Close Air Support Commanders North and South were created.
By this time, the most-produced version of the Ju 87, the Ju 87D, was arriving at frontline units. This Stuka had the most-powerful engine yet fitted to the type, a 1400-horsepower Junkers Jumo 211J, allowing the Ju 87D to carry up to 1200kg of ordnance. Range was extended by expanding the internal tanks to carry 800L of fuel, with the option of carry 300L wing tanks. Ultimately, 3,639 examples of the Ju 87 would be built. Even with the improvements, the limited number of Stukas at the front could never fully meet the needs of the Wehrmacht, no matter what the state of their maintenance or absence of Soviet fighters. The overtaxed Stukagruppen flew several sorties per day for every aircraft- typical of these units was StG 77, which by July 1942 had flown 30,000 sorties along the Eastern Front. Numerous Stuka pilots amassed sortie totals of over 1,000 mission during the whole of the war on the Eastern Front.
During the Battle of Stalingrad, Stukas were called upon to perform especially-close air support, a necessity of the nature of the close combat taking place in the city. On November 1st, Richthofen, who by now commanded a Luftflotte, remarked in his diary that the Stukas were dropping their bombs within hand-grenade range. For missions against the Soviet positions in buildings such as the infamous tractor factory, Luftwaffe armorers loaded the dive bombers with one armor-piercing 500kg bomb one the centerline mount and a 250kg bomb on each wing. The commander of one Stuka group, Major Hozzel remarked, “We could not risk making a dive-bombing attack from 4,000 meters altitude of the wide area of bomb dispersion. We had to fly a slant range attack, releasing the bombs directly over the roofs. We had to push the bombs into the target like loaves of bread into an oven, with one plane succeeding the other.” Stukas also again performed anti-shipping missions at Stalingrad, strafing and bombing boats bringing Soviet infantry across the Volga River.
Based on the experiences thus far in the war against the Soviets, the Luftwaffe made further modifications to the Stuka to increase its deadliness alternatively against infantry and tanks. SD-1 and SD-2 containers carrying either 180 2kg or 360 1kg fragmentation devices were developed to be fitted to the underside of the wings to be dropped over troop concentrations and soft-skinned vehicles. Additionally, a final version of the Stuka was developed, the Ju 87G-2. This aircraft completely discarded the role of dive bomber in favor of the anti-tank role. Two 600lbs 37mm cannon pods were attached, one on either wing. These cannons fired tungsten-core shells, specially designed to punch through tank armor. Ju 87G-2s became known as Kanonenvogel (cannon bird) or Panzerknacker (tank cracker). A special unit formed around these Stukas and cannon-armed Henschel Hs-129B in early 1943, called the Versuchskommmando fur Panzerbekampfung (anti-tank command). By the time that the Wehrmacht was ready to launch Operation Citadel (the Battle of Kursk), the two Luftwaffe task forces which would support Wehrmacht operations, the 1st Air Division and 8th German Air Corps, had four and six groups of Ju 87s respectively at the start of July 1943. On the first day of the offensive, Stuka dive bombers were used to attempt to punch a hole in Soviet defenses-
“As they approached high over Butovo, the German dive-bombers began crashing their bombs into the Soviet first line of defense. Then another Staffel came in, and another, then a fourth an fifth and in no time at all 2,500 bombs had been dropped on a strip of ground just two miles long and 500 yards deep. At 1500 the Stukas finished and the German artillery took over.”
The cannon-toting Stukas went to work against the Soviet armor formations, but had limited effects on halting their progress. By this stage in the war, Soviet fighters were attacking German aircraft in ever-increasing numbers, and large numbers of Soviet anti-aircraft guns were making life extremely hazardous for the Stuka pilots- these factors had serious impact on the number of Stukas in operation. By the end of July, the 8th German Air Corps alone had lost 55 Stukas in combat, and another 24 in non-combat accidents.
The serious losses at Kursk spelled the beginning of the end of the use of the Stuka in large numbers. The Luftwaffe began retiring Ju 87s from front-line duties and replacing them with Focke-Wulf FW-190F fighter-bombers, which were faster, could carry a diverse load of ordnance ranging from bombs, rockets and cannons, and could defend themselves more adeptly than the Stukas. On October 18th, the Luftwaffe formally abandoned the previous distinctions it had made between different types of attack units- dive-bombers (Stukagruppen), fighter-bombers (Schlachtgruppen) and anti-tank units (Panzerjagerstaffeln) were reorganized into Schlachtgeschwader. Many Stukas were relegated to training squadrons or to night attack squadrons (Nachtschlachtgruppen) in the face of overwhelming Allied air power. In December 1943, Fliegerkorps IV ended operations as a close air support force and became an exclusively strategic bombing force, further reflecting the Luftwaffe’s recognition that the Stuka was completely inadequate in the face of the Allied air forces facing it on every front. In 1944, the replacement of Stukas with fighter-bombers increased as the German Air Ministry made fighter production the top priority for aircraft construction. By June 1944, of the 19 Schlachtgruppen along the Eastern Front, half were flying FW-190s. As a result, Junkers and its affiliates ceased production of the Ju 87 in September 1944, with a final number of 5,709 aircraft built.
Despite the relegation of most Stukas to duties away from the frontline, the Stuka soldiered on in a limited role during daylight operations. Pilot Hans-Ulrich Rudel eventually rose to command a unit equipped with Ju 87G-2s which specialized in attacking tanks. Rudel became the most well-known Stuka pilot of the war- by the end of the war, he had claimed the destruction of 519 tanks, nine aircraft, and several warships. He flew over 2,000 missions along the Eastern Front and was awarded the Knights Cross to the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds. He was shot down 30 times during the war and wounded 8 times, the most serious of which occurred in February 1945, when his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire which forced the amputation of one of his legs. Surprisingly, Rudel resumed flying in April. An ardent Nazi, Rudel fled to South America after the war and died in 1982. His unit was likely the last to be operating the anti-tank Stukas during the war. One of the Stuka’s last notable combat missions came in March 1945, when Stukas from Nachtschlachtgruppe 2 attacked the American bridgehead at Ludendorff bridge.
Owing to the extreme attrition experienced by Luftwaffe units, only two Stukas remain intact today. One is a Ju 87R-2 Trop, a long-range version of the Ju 87B-2, was found by British forces abandoned in Libya in 1941. After being placed on display for American war bond drives, the aircraft was permanently installed in the Museum of Science of Industry in Chicago- in a fitting move, the museum installed a Spitfire positioned directly behind the Stuka. The second Ju 87 was originally built as a Ju 87D-5 but modified to the Ju 87G-2 standard. The aircraft was captured at the end of the war and placed on display at the RAF Museum at Hendon.
The Stuka was one of the most effective aerial weapons in the early part of World War II. It remains an important aircraft in the history of military aviation as one of the first aircraft designed for close air support to be placed into production. Equally important was the system developed to ensure that the pilots flying the Stukas coordinated effectively with Wehrmacht troops on the ground, a system which was later duplicated by the British and Americans. However, the Stuka’s most lasting legacy is that of a terror weapon- a wailing siren screaming down from the sky which would be forever remembered by Allied soldiers.
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 P.89- Air War Over Russia
 P.50- War Over the Steppes: The Air Campaigns of the Eastern Front 1941-45
 P.131- War Over the Steppes: The Air Campaigns of the Eastern Front 1941-45
 P.211- Stopped at Stalingrad: The Luftwaffe and Hitler’s Defeat in the East, 1942-1943
 P.211- Stopped at Stalingrad: The Luftwaffe and Hitler’s Defeat in the East, 1942-1943
P.181- The Defeat of the Luftwaffe: The Eastern Front 1941-45- A Strategy for Disaster
 P.129-130- Air War Over Kursk: Turning Points in the East
 P.180- The Defeat of the Luftwaffe: The Eastern Front 1941-45- A Strategy for Disaster
 P.138- Air War Over Kursk: Turning Points in the East
 P.185- War Over the Steppes: The Air Campaigns of the Eastern Front 1941-45
 P.199- War Over the Steppes: The Air Campaigns of the Eastern Front 1941-45
 Fighting Aircraft of World War II
 P.111- Luftwaffe Schlachtgruppen
 P.100- Luftwaffe Schlachtgruppen