Specialized Anti-Armor Aircraft of the Eastern Front: 1941-1945 2000-01-5516
This paper surveys the development and, to a lesser extent, the operational history of anti-armor aircraft of the German Luftwaffe and the Soviet Red Air Force during World War II. Though there were numerous types of specialized ground attack aircraft developed and used during the First World War, this category of combat aircraft received little attention until the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936 and underscored the vitally important role of the ground attack aircraft.
This paper examines the development of a select group of ground attack aircraft: those specialized and designed for anti-armor operations. More specifically, the focus is on those aircraft used in support of the vast tank battles on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. The primary aircraft discussed are the Henschel Hs 129 Panzerknacker and the Ilyushin II-2 Shturmovik, which were built in huge numbers. The Henschel Hs 123 Fliegender Büchsenöffner, Junkers Ju 87G-2 Sturzkampfbomber and the Ilyushin II-10 Shturmovik will also be reviewed to a lesser degree.