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Weapons of World War Two

The German Invasion of Poland (Sep-Oct 1939)

Junkers Ju 87

Version depicted: Ju 87B

Junkers Ju 87

The Junkers Ju 87, more commonly known as Stuka (abbreviation of Sturzkampfflugzeug, namely, dive combat aircraft), had its baptism of fire during the Spanish Civil War. Dive bomber whose precision soon became legendary, it was fitted with a siren known as "Jericho's trumpet" which during the dive produced a frightening whistling which was able to cause the gunners of the anti-aircraft defense to lose their nerves. As war payload it could carry, according to the necessities, between 250 and 1000 kilograms of bombs in the B-2 version. But it soon demonstrated its numerous limitations. Slow, of poor maneuverability, with limited self-defense capability, it had however an advantage: its robustness was such that it could withstand impacts which would have been fatal for the largest part of the aircraft of its type which served in the war. One of its latest versions, the K, was fitted with two 37-millimeter anti-tank cannons, installed instead of the usual armament of 7.92-millimeter machine guns in the wings. With a Stuka armed like that, which fired projectiles with a core of very hard tungsten to increase the penetration power, Major Hans Ulrich Rudel destroyed 519 Russian tanks in the Eastern Front. The Stuka, produced in a large number of versions, fought practically in every front until the last days of the conflict.

Junkers Ju 87
Designer: Engineer K. Pohlmann

First flight/Production year: 1936 in Dessau (Ju 87A); 1938 (Ju 87B-2); 1942 (Ju 87D-7)

Wingspan: 13.80 meters (Ju 87A and Ju 87B-2); 15.00 meters (Ju 87D-7)

Wing area: 31.91 square meters (Ju 87A); 31.95 square meters (Ju 87B-2); 33.68 square meters (Ju 87D-7)

Length: 10.80 meters (Ju 87A); 11.10 meters (Ju 87B-2); 11.13 meters (Ju 87D-7)

Height: 4.16 meters (Ju 87A); 4.24 meters (Ju 87B-2 and Ju 87D-7)

Full load/Empty weight: 3400/2270 kilograms (Ju 87A); 4390/2815 kilograms (Ju 87B-2); 6607/3938 kilograms (Ju 87D-7)

Payload/Crew: 1130 kilograms/2 (Ju 87A); 1585 kilograms/2 (Ju 87B-2); 2669 kilograms/2 (Ju 87D-7)

Engine: Junkers Jumo 210C of 640 horsepower (Ju 87A); Junkers Jumo 211D of 1200 horsepower (Ju 87B-2); Junkers Jumo 211J of 1400 horsepower (Ju 87D-7)

Time to reach 4500 meters of altitude: 10 minutes (Ju 87B-2)

Cruising speed: 285 kilometers/hour (Ju 87B-2)

Maximum speed: 285 kilometers/hour (Ju 87A); 380 kilometers/hour (Ju 87B-2); 400 kilometers/hour (Ju 87D-7)

Service ceiling: 7000 meters (Ju 87A); 8200 meters (Ju 87B-2); 7500 meters (Ju 87D-7)

Defensive armament: Two MG 17 7.92-millimeter machine guns in the wings and one orientable MG 15 7.92-millimeter machine gun in the rear cockpit (Ju 87A and Ju 87B-2); two 20-millimeter cannons in the wings and two orientable MG 15 7.92-millimeter machine guns in the rear cockpit (Ju 87D-7)

Drop armament: Up to 500 kilograms (Ju 87A); up to 1000 kilograms (Ju 87B-2)

Operational range: 1000 kilometers (Ju 87A); 800 kilometers (Ju 87B-2); 1585 kilometers (Ju 87D-7)

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