German Junkers Ju-87 ''Stuka'' Bomber

  • Military Aircraft Of The World
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

The iconic German Dive Bomber was a staple of The Luftwaffe Forces in the early years of The War. Originally produced and flown in 1935, a Squadron was Field tested during The Spanish Civil War with great results. Again, in 1939-1940, The Sturzkampfflugzeug (nicknamed "The Stuka"), was the principle attack Fighter during The Invasion of Poland. The "Stuka" was unique on that it was one if the first "Dive" Bombers. Using a tactic devised known as the "drop & snap", involved the plane being able to achieve and maintain an angle of attack of 80 degree or better. Once angled to attack, at a distance between 200 to 400 feet, releasing it's bomb load and pulling up radically or to "snap" The aircraft upwards. This radical attack method was dangerous to it's Pilots - who regularly lost vision or "grayed out" Due to The excessive G-Forces involved. Often, Stuka Pilots called this condition " seeing The Angels" (in reference to seeing "white spots"). Stuka Pilots became a special "breed" unto themselves as a result. The German High Command was not altogether trusting if the tactic (but they did not stop it, either). The Ju 87 was 37 feet long with a 45 foot wimgspan. Even these were unusual. Crimped or "Gull" shaped, they were designed especially for the dive tactic. Capable of crushing speeds of 255 mph, it had a 19,500 operational ceiling. The Stuka was armed with twin 7.92mm wing Machine Guns and twin rear mounted one's for the Observer (The Stuka wad a two-seater). It also featured a 20mm Cannon. As for Ordnance, The Stuka could carry up to 2,000 pounds. Another unique component of The Stuka was a device called "The Joshua Trumpet". A simple aluminium tube which ran from the engine Cowl to the mid section of the fusilage, rushing wind was forced inside and through. The resulting action created a loud shrieking or "buzz". The loud sound was an early attempt at psychological warfare. Often the loud sound was heard even before the Bomber apoeared.  The Stuka was used in The Battle of Britain, when Stuka attacks effectively knocked our British Coastal radio located around Dover. In 1941-42, The Stuka was a primary attacker if Allied shipping in The Mediterranean Sea. Stuka Bombers would see use until the end of The War (1945).