Junkers Ju87 Over The Mediterranean (Aircraft Of The Aces 2)
By John Weal
Publisher: del Prado 1999 65 Pages
PDF 14 MB
For the first year of the war the Junkers Ju 87 dive-bomber had enjoyed a fearsome reputation. In conjunction with the Panzer divisions on the ground it formed the very core of the Blitzkrieg concept; spearheading the Wehrmacht's rampaging drives through Poland, the Low Countries and France. The unmistakable crank-winged silhouette of approaching Ju 87s - the banshee wail as they tipped over into their near vertical dives directly overhead - was enough to unnerve all but the most disciplined of troops. The mere mention of the word 'Stuka' could spread panic among the columns of civilian refugees thronging the roads of Belgium and France in the early summer of 1940.
It was not until Reichsmarschall Goring ordered his Ju 87 Gruppen across the Channel to attack targets in southern England in August of that year that the Stukas' seemingly unstoppable progress was brought to a halt with all the suddenness and finality of a car slamming into a brick wall. The myth was shattered. The Luftwaffe's planners had to face an unpalatable truth: in hostile airspace, against determined and organized fighter opposition, the Ju 87 was fatally vulnerable. Never again would serried formations of Stukas prowl at will in the daylight skies of northwest Europe.