air battles of the Second world war? Because everyone thinks of the great air battles between the Western allies and the German Empire. On the subject of Red army a tank like the T-34 fall organs or volley guns such as the Stalin. That Moscow had a strong air force and, among other things, the most successful allied fighter pilot, Ivan Nikitowitsch Koschedub, was a Soviet, know the least.

In this case, the most built aircraft in the world comes even from the USSR. It is not the British Spitfire and the American P-51 and not the German fighter Me-109 – it is the Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik. Of your tell-tale 36.163 copies were built.

Weltkieg: more Deadly than the German Stuka, the Ilyushin IL-2 “Sturmovik” Fullscreen

Ilyushin IL-2 over Berlin in 1945.

©Commons, The Sturmovik decided battles

Without Exaggeration, one can say: This propeller machine was decisive for the war. The US-Bomber B17 played a crucial role in the bomb war on Germany. The Sturmovik decided whole battles and became the nightmare of the German soldiers. In the battle of the Kursk salient in 1943, the Germans made for the first Time in a large-scale acquaintance with the iron bird. After that, it was over with the German air superiority in the East.

to destroy

the Ilyushin was anything other than fast. With a speed of only 430 km/h was slower than any fighter and only marginally faster than the German counterpart, the Ju-87 “Stuka”. To her, the Russian model had a huge advantage. The crew sat in a kind of tub made out of armoured steel, and the plane was extremely sturdy. It resistance also heavy attack, even hit a 20-mm cannon was the Sturmovik survive. The Soviets called it the “Flying tank” or the affectionate “Ilyusha”. The Germans also had a nickname for you: you have been called Il-2 “concrete plane” or “iron Gustav”.

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This meant that Stalin lost during the war of 23,000 aircraft. This corresponds to about 45,000 man flying personnel. However, it is only “8000 crew members found” the death. Most survived the crash of your machine in your tank.

at the Beginning of the battle plane was easy prey for the German fighters, which approached him from behind and fired. But as a rear machine gun installed, it was over. But without the accompanying protection of the Ilyushin could exist in the air fight hardly against the Messerschmitts and Focke-Wulff-fighter of the German. Your actual chance of Survival lay in the robustness of the design. Frustrated, the German pilots had to notice that the concrete plane MG-put hit.

bombs-Bünderl against tanks

compared To the German dive bomber Ju-87, the concept had its drawbacks. The German machine could fall from a great height, almost perpendicularly into the depth. So the target could be targeted precisely. Just before reaching the ground, the Pilot pulled the little Bomber back to the top. The IL-2 was not designed for this type of dive, the pilots had to attack your target from low altitude and shallow angle. The on-Board Arsenal of weapons corresponded to the German machine. There are also copies with weapons nacelles for the 37-mm cannon NS-37 were equipped.

With a comparable armament of the most successful fighter pilot of the war, Hans-Ulrich Rudel achieved his successes. More effective was, however, a special Soviet armament: Sturmovik threw groups of hollow-charge bombs, which could destroy a tank. In individual cases, six tanks were turned off with a touch. This weapon was so successful that the Germans were forced to change the tactics of their battle tank, the attacks now concentrated groups. Of the German aircraft, the Focke Wulff was 190 F, the Ilyushin.

The German leadership and the German defence had underestimated the capabilities of the USSR in aircraft construction solid. Under the German onslaught, the Soviet arms industry had to be relocated in haste to the East of the country. However, as the produced under unspeakable hardships, and with great Sacrifice in the vast expanses of the East, works published, produced, you significantly more planes than the Germans in the whole of Western and Central Europe. In a few months of the war year of 1943, a month 1000 aircraft were delivered – about a quarter of the Sturmovik.

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With their Armoured units had defeated the Germans, the infinite Russia. After the shock of Stalingrad, they wanted to break with an Offensive of the Russian resistance. Never again, the Wehrmacht was able to muster so strong troops. However, they failed.

Gernot Kramper

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