IXO Models IXJ200620 German Junkers Ju 87D-5 Stuka Dive-Bomber - Sturzkampfgeschwader V/St.G5, Eastern Front, January 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"Guns before butter. Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat."
- Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, Head of the German Luftwaffe
During the early to mid-stages of the Second World War, the Stuka (short for "sturzkampfflugzeug" or dive-bomber) struck terror in the hearts and minds of soldiers and civilians alike. The Stuka was a rugged machine, designed to swoop down and destroy its target using 500-lb bombs or tear into them using 37mm flak guns mounted underneath the wings.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Junkers Ju 87D-5 Stuka dive-bomber that was attached to the Sturzkampfgeschwader V/St.G5, then deployed to the Eastern Front during January 1944.
Wingspan: 7.5 inches
Length: 7 inches
Release Date: February 2007
Historical Account: "Trumpets of Jericho" - As it turned out, it was a Ju 87 that achieved the first Axis air victory during World War II, when, on September 1st, 1939, a Luftwaffe Ju 87 pilot shot down a Polish PZL P.11c fighter aircraft, piloted by Capt. Mieczyslaw Medwecki.
Although sturdy, accurate, and very effective, the Stuka suffered from low speed and maneuverabilty, with little defensive armament, making it highly vulnerable to enemy fighters. The Germans learned during the Battle of Britain that air superiority must be obtained before ground attack aircraft could be effectively used. After the Battle of Britain, the Stuka was little used in western Europe, but it remained effective further south where Allied fighters were in short supply, perhaps most notably in the Battles of Crete and Malta. Perhaps the prime example of its vulnerability to fighters was the shooting down of five Stukas in the space of a few minutes, by the Australian ace Clive Caldwell in a P-40 Tomahawk on December 5th, 1941, over Libya. Stukas were used in vast numbers on the Eastern Front, although the steady rise in Soviet airpower as the war progressed meant that Stuka squadrons suffered very heavy losses by the final stages of the war.