Ju-87 (“Stuck”) – the most famous German dive-bomber of World War II. It was manufactured from 1935 It was one of the most reliable, robust and powerful fighting machines Luftwaffe. Speed, agility, four machine guns, including in the rear hemisphere, making it difficult to target for fighters. Ju-87 had a high precision bombing in nearly a vertical dive. Range and bomb load allowed him to make a very effective raid on the enemy’s rear.
From the very beginning of World War II, in full German air superiority in the air squadron “Junkers” became one of the main problems of the Soviet command. They bombed the city and transportation arteries, railway stations and communications nodes, the location of military units and industrial plants. It was the German bombers that caused confusion in the operations of the Soviet troops in the summer of 1941, largely to ensure the promotion of Wehrmacht into the Soviet territory.
During this period the “Junkers” and often flew to the fighting positions defended by the Red Army, paving the way for German tanks and infantry.
Yet Junkers-87 aircraft could not act in direct support of ground troops. To this end it lacked the speed, and most importantly, almost completely lacked armor protection. Therefore, if the operations were storming the German bombers suffered heavy losses from the fire of not only anti-aircraft artillery, but also from small arms. And from 1943 “Yaki” and “shopkeepers” began to successfully attack squadrons of Ju-87 and at medium altitudes. Since then, the “Junkers” preferred to operate in small groups to apply sudden shocks and try to escape the Russian fighters.
Hans-Ulrich Rudel (2 July 1916 – 18 December 1982) was one of the best Luftwaffe military aviators, a ground attack pilot credited with the destruction of 519 tanks, as well as a number of ships. He also claimed 9 aerial victories, and the destruction of more than 800 vehicles of all types, over 150 artillery, anti-tank and anti-aircraft positions, 4 armored trains, and numerous bridges and supply lines. He flew 2,530 ground-attack missions exclusively on the Eastern Front, usually flying the Junkers Ju 87 “Stuka” dive bomber, and 430 missions flying the Fock-Wulf Fw 190.
Rudel flew 2,530 combat missions on the Eastern Front of World War II. The majority of these were undertaken while flying the Junkers Ju 87, although 430 were flown in the ground-attack variant of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190. He was credited with the destruction of 519 tanks, severely damaging the battleship Marat, as well as sinking a cruiser, a destroyer and 70 landing craft. Rudel also claimed to have destroyed more than 800 vehicles of all types, over 150 artillery, anti-tank or anti-aircraft positions, 4 armored trains, as well as numerous bridges and supply lines. Rudel was also credited with 9 aerial victories, 7 of which were fighter aircraft and 2 Ilyushin Il-2s. He was shot down or forced to land 30 times due to anti-aircraft artillery, was wounded five times and rescued six stranded aircrew from enemy held territory.