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Over 43,000 Il-2/10s were built between 1941 and 1955, more than any other combat aircraft in history, making this one of the most important Soviet aircraft deployed in World War II. Built originally as a two-seater, the Il-2 had lost the rear gunner's position by the time it started to reach frontline units. Armed with ground-attack rockets, the aircraft proved deadly against Wehrmacht panzers as pairs of Il-2s roamed the frontline at low level. However, the Shturmoviks (armoured attackers) were vulnerable to attack from the rear by enemy fighters, so Ilyushin reverted to the two-seat layout in September 1942. Oleg Rastrenin provides a fascinating account of the complex development history of a plane that was crucial to Russia's defence. From Stalingrad to Kursk to Berlin, this book charts the aeroplane's vital contribution to the most famous battles of the Eastern front.
An illustrated technical history of the most famous Soviet warplane of World War Two, the Il-2 Shturmovik. Built in larger numbers than any other aircraft, the Il-2 ground-attack and close-support aircraft was perhaps the most important aircraft on the Eastern Front in WW2. The different versions of the plane, from the prototypes to the final aircraft of 1945 are described and illustrated; all the changes in specification, equipment and performance are recorded. Drawings and data from the original technical manuals, full dimensional details and photographs of surviving examples preserved in aviation museums illustrate all aspects of the airframe, inside and out. Wartime photographs and many pages of color illustrations complete the book's comprehensive coverage. About 100 color profiles. Profusely illustrated with photos, including walk-around section showing all aspects of the airframe, and diagrams from official manuals. Includes 1/72nd scale plans, and color profiles showing camouflage and markings applied to the Shturmovik by its users.
Soviet bombers were a varied lot during the Second World War, ranging from single-engined biplanes such as the 1920's era Polikarpov U-2 to the excellent and modern twin-engined Tu-2 medium bomber. Although the use of four-engined strategic bombers was mostly limited to use of the huge Pe-8 bomber, the Soviets used many other aircraft for both strategic and tactical bombing. As the bombers of the Red Air Force were mainly tasked with supporting the Red Army, most of the bombers were used for tactical bombing, attacking tanks, troop convoys, trains, and airfields. This book will deal with both strategic bombers and tactical bombers, but will concentrate on the smaller tactical bombers, as this is where the Red Air Force's emphasis lay. Such types as the Il-4, the Su-2, the aforementioned Tu-2, and the most important bomber of all, the Il-2 Shturmovik attack bomber, will be described in great detail, including not only details on the aircraft themselves, but how they were deployed in combat. The one truly strategic bomber, the Pe-8, will not be forgotten, and neither will the comparatively tiny U-2 biplane, which was so effective in its use as a night-time "nuisance" raider that the Germans copied the tactic wholesale. Accurate colour profiles in some number will accompany the text in this comprehensive work on Soviet bombers.
Although airplanes were used to some degree in conflicts prior to 1939, World War II was when military aviation truly became a vital component of war plans. Many sophisticated warplanes were developed, increasing the power and accuracy of aerial bombing and tactical air support. This resource provides an in-depth look from every angle at aircraft such as the P-51 Mustang and Boeing B-29 Superfortress, demonstrating how these planes contributed to how each nation waged war during World War II.
Written by more than 100 international scholars and experts, this encyclopedia chronicles the individuals, equipment, and drama of nearly a century of aerial combat.
In the light of new archival material the editors take a fresh look at Russian aviation in the twentieth century. Presenting a comprehensive view of Russian aviation, from its genesis in the late czarist period to the present era, the approach is essentially chronological with a major emphasis on the evolution of military aviation. The contributions are diverse, with appropriate attention to civilian and institutional themes.

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