Every major attack by the Afrika Korps was preceded by an intensive dive-bomber bombardment designed to flatten all resistance. Ever since the fall of France, the scream of a Stuka's dive sirens struck fear into Allied soldiers, heralding a deadly-accurate attack from the sky.
The aircraft was easily recognisable by its inverted gull wings and fixed undercarriage. Upon the leading edges of its faired main gear legs were mounted the Jericho-Trompete ("Jericho Trumpet") wailing sirens, becoming the propaganda symbol of German air power and the Blitzkrieg victories of 1939-1942.
The Stuka's design included several innovative features, including automatic pull-up dive brakes under both wings to ensure that the aircraft recovered from its attack dive even if the pilot blacked out from the high g-forces.
The Ju 87 operated with considerable success in the close air support and anti-shipping at the outbreak of World War II. It spearheaded the air assaults in the Invasion of Poland in September 1939 and the Norwegian Campaign in the following year. In May 1940, the Ju 87s were crucial in the rapid conquest of the Netherlands, Belgium and France against all targets.
Under normal circumstances, the pilot would locate his target via a bombsight window in the cockpit floor. Using a combination of pilot skill and automatic systems built into the aircraft it would then complete a 180 degree roll and dive at 60 to 90 degrees towards the target.
Once the aircraft reached the appropriate height the pilot would then release the bomb and initiate the automatic pull-out mechanism. Once the nose was above the horizon, dive brakes were retracted, the throttle was opened, and the propeller was set to climb. The pilot regained control and resumed normal flight.
Please note: Miniatures are supplied unpainted and some assembly will be required.
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