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Blitzkrieg Bomber

A Shot in the Dark:

Night Harassment

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Yolune l0 Issue 120

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Ground altack aircraft played a vital rcle in the victorious
&rzman campaigzrs of 1939-41. The @rman atmy's BHlz;Iuieg
docftine involved elose integration of tactical air lnwer and
mechanized army unib, and fftis comDin ation of Panzer
mobility and airbotae artillety firepower seemed to be
utrstoppable. ?lre,funkers,fu 87Stu.ka becarne a fearsome sr:grfi t for Allied ground troops in
the tirst two years of the war. The close co-ordrh ation of Luftwalfe ground
attack aircraft with the Wehrmacht mechanized djyt'srbns was in sharp
One of the most significant aspects of the history of land warfare in conlrast witi tfterhler-seryjce rivalry characteristic of their enemies.
Europe during World War II was the inexorable change in the relative
air power of the Axis and Allies over the battlefielG. When the war replacement, the Germans were forced to persevere with this weap,::_
started the German army was the principal weapon of aggnession, to and thereby sulfered catastrophic losses. Such efforts as they were a;-e
which all else played a supporting role; its tactic was Blitzkrieq, the to extemporize tended to be set-piece expedients, planned a:d sr-
smashing of all opposition by assault troops with fast-moving armour ecuted by the Luftwaffe, rather than continuous support that cc;j :e
continuously supported by tactical aircraft. So long as the l:uitwaffe called up by the ground forces in a moment of emergency a::3
possessed air superiority over the ground battle, the German army held mediately appreciated by the hard-pressed soldier. Once the Gen:;:=-
the initiative. This had been the pervading doctrine that dictated the army no longer saw friendly aircraft continuously overhead, Bli'zceg
swift expansion of Germany's armed forces which followed the Nazis was impossible,
taking power in 1933. No other Axis air force had been as closely integrated with'he -a:,a
By contrast the Allies had ajmost totaily ignored air support of their forces as the Luftwaffe. The Aliies were quick to appreciate the pa--
armies, other than to provide very limited tactical reconnaissance. This mount importance of assuming air superiority over the ground ba:-le s:
proved a major cause of deieat after defeat during the first two years of much so that after the pendulum of fortune swung back after Sta.,u:g:aa
the war as Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, and EI Aiamein the British, Soviet and American armies were a-foraea
France, Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete fell to the smashing blows of powerfirl and continuous air support. In truth the l:uftwaffe no longer:raa
Blitzkrieg. it in its power to dispute AIIied superiority in the skies above the Ger=-a:
Inevitably, the mounting losses suiiered by the Luitwafie on the East- army,
ern Front and in the Mediterranean (as Allied strength increased every-
where) deprived the Luitwafle of air superiority over the land battle, The A tr,rro-seatlilrlrtersimijarrh conceptto tieMess erschmittBf t 10, theKawaj#'ti
Ki-45 followed a similar careerpa ttern lo tie Germ an aircraft and was
traditional weapon of Blitzkrieg, the notorious Stuka (the Junkers Ju 87), modified tor both night-fighting and ground attack. In the latter role the K45
could no longer attack at will, being faced by formidable fighter opposi- KN carried a variety of major-calibre cannon, including a 75-mm (2.95-in)
tion almost everyrivhere. Yet in the absence of a more advanced Stuka- weapon.
o Mitsubishi Ki-30

F-bo','e: A :Y: isu b is hi K i 4a o f th e 2 nd C hu tai, I 0 th H ikos ent ai, in I I 4 2. A

t-a',a sea rer :!gl t bom ber, co d e- n a med' A n n' by Allie d force s, the K i- 30
er,rol'eC som e s u cc e s s ov e r C hin a bu t prov ed hopeles s ly vulner able to hos tile
Eghter atctaft unless closely escotted.

duction eni=c : :--'- :: :-::,-::-
tured by the F:s: -1:::-,--r-: -:-::,::-. 1:
Tachikawa, a:.: :::, :: -:.=.: =:.:=:
therr days rn a i:':-2. . :: : t-i--.1
the closinq siages :- --:-: -r'::

Tlpe: two-sear i- J',-'.'. -::: a:
Powerplant: ::.: -'. : - r-,' :'- - :.:; -.

Nakajima Ha-i l{:- :::---: -.-::

Performance: r::::':::-':::- ; =: : 12 : -c-
h(263 mph)a:-r--- :-
-: --: -
spee: : : : <:- --- - l: ::
cruisLng :.
servtcecetlir.l :: -, :. .1 - -: .

range l70O kl
i - -:: :-:s
Weights: empr..':::. <; = '-::: :.:
maximum take- : - :2.-. . t; : Armament: one wrng-mounted 7.7-mm Above: By the time productionended
Dimensiors: spar: -. l- ..1: :.
--:: 1- 3C3-ln) machine-gnrn and one Qn;n of in I 94 I over 700 Ki-30s had been
Ienglh l0 35 m,:: :. - - =-':. :.+-;-:.- ::e same calibre on trainable mount in produced and the Upe had largely
3 65m(11 iI 1.. r','.r-i::=: :ear ccckprt, plus amaximum been relegated to second-fine use.
30,58 m2 (329 17 sr -. r::::blcad of 400 kg (BB2 Ib)

I Mitsnbishi Ki-SI
kW (1 500-hp) Mitsubs:i -= ,',.ere used in kamikaze lenqth 9,20 m (30 ft 2,2 in); height
gdne, retractable lancirng qeal :,'.-: 2,73 m(B ft 11 5 in); wingarea24,02 m'
wing-mounted 20-mm --a:-:-: :- :,-.: (258,56 sq ft)
olher reflnements, but no plc j-::-::- Specification Armament: two wing-mounted 7. 7-mn
examples were built. Mitslrbrshi Ki-s1 (0, 303-in) machine-guns (early
Allocated the Allied cod::-ir:-: Type: :,',-: -seai grround-attack/ production) or tvro wing-mounted 12.7-
'Sonia', the Ki-51 was used tnt:ial1y -: aircraft mm (0,S-in) euns (late production), and
operations aqainst Chrna, and tvas cie- Powerpla-nt: cne 70 I -kW (940-hp) one 7,7-mm (0,303-in) enrn on trainable
ployed against the Allies untii the end N.ts':-cs:- Ha-26-ll radial piston mount in rear cockpit, plus a bombloac
of the Pacrfic war. In more intenseiy of20O kg (44 I 1b) increasing to 250 kg
contested areas the fairly slow Ki-5Ls Perf ormance : maxrmum speed (55 1 Ib) in kamrkaze role
were easy prey for Allied fighters but 42c W:-i i2e,4 mph) at 30OO m (9, 845 ft);
in secondary theatres, where an abtlity semce ceilr-rg 8270 m (27 130 ft); Slow and vulnerable, the Mitsubishi
to operate from rough and short fields j
range 135 kn (659 miles) Ki-5 I
nevertheless served
was valuable these aircraft gave Weights: empty 1873 kq (4, 129 lb); thtoughout the war, mainly in
essential close support in countless op- ma-)anum take-otr 2920 kg (6, 437 lb) secondary theatres, where its rough
erations. In the closing staqes of the Dimensions: span 12. 10 m (39 ft 8,4 in); landing capability was a valuable asset.

Kawasaki Ki-45
In early 1937 Kawasaki was instructed
by the Imperial Japanese army to initi-
ate the design and development of a
ftvin-engine figrhter that would be suit-
able for longT-range operations over
the Pacific, The concept derrved from
army interest in developments taking
place in other countries, and particu-
larly in the Messerschmitt Bf 110, The
flrst Kawasaki Ki-45 Tornr (draaron kil-
ler) prototype flew in 1939, a cantilever TheKawasakiKi-45 KNcwas the night-fightervariantof this highly successful twin-enginedfighter-bomber.
mid-wing monoplane wrth retractable Carrying one forward-firing and two obliquely-mounted upward-firing cannon, this is a machine belonging to the
tailwheel landing gear, A slender I st Chutai, S?rdSentar, basedat Matsudo in early I 945.
fuselage provided enclosed accom-
modation for two in tandem, Problems dard armament comprised one 20-mm one ol the most successful Japanese (1,243 miles)
followed with the engine installation, cannon in the nose, a forward-firing arrcraft in thrs category, Ki-45 Torlrs Weights: empty 4OO0 kq (B,B lB lb)
and lt was not until September 1941 37-mm cannon in the fuselage, and one remained in sewice until the end of the maximum take-off5500 kg (12, 125 1:
that the Ki-45 KAIa entered produc- rear-firing 7.92-mm (0.31-in) machine- Pacific war, production totalling 1,701 Dimensions: span 15,05 m (49 ft 4. o -:
tron Armameni of th]S initial sedes ver- gnrn, plus the underwrng provision for including prototypes, being used for Iength 1 L00 m (36 ft 1. I rn): heigh-
sion compnsed one forward-firing 20- drop tanks or bombsi a number of the defence of Tokyo, and in the Man- 3.70 m (12 ft 1,7 in); wing area 32.ii ::-
mm cannon, two 12,7-mm (0,S-in) alternative weapon rnstallations were churia, Burma and Sumatra areas of (344.46 sq ft)
machine-quns in the nose, and a 7,92- tried experimentally, including the use operations, Armament: cannon and machrne- -:-;-:
mm (0,31-in) machine-gnrn on aflexible of a 75-mm (2.95-in) cannon for attacks as listed in textt all versions had
mount 1n the rear cockpit; there was on shipping, Specification provision for two drop tanks or fl-;:
also provisron to cally two drop tanks The Ki-45 KAIa was, for its daY, Kawasaki Ki-45 KAIc 250-kq (551-lb) bombs on under.', :.:
or two 250-kg (551-lb) bombs on heavily armed and proved effective Type: two-seat night-flghter racks
underwing racks, The type entered against the USAF's Consoldlated B-24 Powerplant: two 805-kW ( 1, 080-hp)
sewrce in AuWst 1942 but was first Lrberators and, when these bombers Mitsubishi Ha- 102 radial prston H e avily armed by J ap ane s e
r,rsed in combat durinq October 1942, were used more extensively lor night englnes standatds, the Kawasaki Ki-45 was
soon being allocated the Allied code- operations, the Kr-45 was adapted to Performance: maximum speed developed as a long-range fighter. Ir
name 'Nick'. The Ki-45 KAIa was attack them. Thus the night-fighting 545 kn/h (339 mph) at 7O0O m douhled as a ground attack aircralt.
joined by a new version developed capabrlity of the type was discovered, (22,965 ft); climb to 5000 m (16,40S ft) rn one model being fitted with an
especially for the grround-attack/anti- leading to development of the Ki-45 6 minutes 7 seconds; service ceiling experimental 7 5 -mm (2.9 5 - in) mount
shipplng role, the Ki-45 KAIb Stan- KAIc night-fighter, which proved to be 10000 m (32 810 ft); ranqe 2000 km for the anti-shipping role.

-*l fi"*"r"ki Ki-48

Imperral Japanese Army aircraft con-
n'onted by the Soviet-built Tupolev SB-
2 bomber provrding support for the
Chinese during 1937, were rudely sur-
prrsed by ils capabilily. its maximum
speed being such that Japanese army
nghter aircraft were virtually unable to
rncercept it Almost at once the army
rnstructed Kawasaki to begin the de-
siqm of a twin-engine light bomber of
even better capability, specifyinq a
maximum speed of about 485 km/h
(301mph), Work on what was to be-
come known as the KawasakiKi-48 be-
gan inJanuary 1938, the result being a
cantilever mid-wrng monoplane with
conventional tail unit, retractable tall-
,,^rheel landing qear and, in the type's

In 1937 theJapanese encountered

the Tupolev SB-2 in Chinese hands ,
and w ere very impressed as fhe
Soviet aircraft could outgace
' Japanese fighters. The Ki-48 was
J apan's reply : a light bomber of
similar appearance.
Kawasaki Ki-48 (continued)

prototype form, two 708-kW (950-irp) ginning ofthe Pacific war revealed thal Unfofiunately for the Japanese army. Naka;rma Ha- I l5 radial piston engdnes
Nakajima Ha-25 radial engines their superior performance was illus- when the Kr-48-lI was introduced rnto Performalce: maximum speed
mounted in nacelles at the wing lead- ory, Codenamed 'Lily' by the Allies, operational service its speed was still 505 kn/h (314 mph) at 5600 m
ing edges. The fuselage provided this inittal production verston had a too low and its defensive armament (18,375 ft); service cerlingr 10100 m
accommodation for a crew of four (the number of deficiencies for the diffe- inadequate. Attempts ro increase (33, 135 ft); maximum range 2400 km
bombardier, navigator and radio- rent kind of operations then required, amament merely upped the overall (1,491miles)
operator each doubling as gnrnners) and it was fortunate for the Japanese weight and speed suffered prop- Weights: empty 4550 kg (10,031 lb);
and incorporated an internal bomb army that an improved version was ortionalely: it was clear by the summer maxrmum take-off 6750 kq ( 14, BB I lb)
bay, already under development, This had oJ 1944 that the day of the Ki-48 had Dimensions: span 17,45 m (57 ft 3 in);
Ki-4Bs entered servicein the sum- the company designation Ki-48JI and passed, and in October it was de- lengrth 12.75 m (41 ft 10 in); heiqht
mer of 1940, becoming operational in differed from the earler model by in- clared obsolescent. 3.BO m(12 ft5 6 rn); wrngarea40.00 m2
China during the autumn of that year, troducing a slightly lengrthened fusel- (430,57 sq ft)
In China their speed gave the Ki-48s age, protected fuel tanks, armorr pro- Specification Armament: three 7,7-mm (0.303-in)
almost complete immunity from tection for the crew, increased bomb- Kawasaki Ki-48-IIb machine-guns on trainable mounts in
enemy defences, but thet deploy- load and more powerful Nakajima Ha- Type: four-seat light/dive-bomber nose, dorsal and ventral positions, plus
ment aqainst Allied aircraft at the be- 115 engines, Powerplant: two BSB-kW ( 1, 150-hp) up to 800 kq ( 1,764 lb) ofbombs

Kawasaki Ki-102
Derled from the Ki-96 twin-engrne delivered to the army before the wal held in reserve in Japan, 3,70 m (12 ft 1,7 in); wingarea34,00 m2
single-seat fighter, development of ended, The design had also been re- (365,98 sq ft)
which was abandoned after three pro- vised to produce a night-flghter ver- Specification Armament:one 57-mm Ho-401 cannon
totypes had been completed, the sion under the desigmation Ki- I02c, but KawasakiKi-102b in the nose, two 20-mm Ho-S cannon m
Kawasaki Ki-102b was lntended as a there was only time to complete hvo Tlpe: hvin-engine grround-attack the underfuselage, and one l2.7-mm
two-seat attack flghter for primary de- examples, These had lncreased wing arrcraft (0,5-in) machine-gn-rn on a flexible
ployment in the close-suppoft role, span, a lengthened fuselage, rede- Powerplant: two I I 19-kW (1, 500-hp) mounting in the rear cockpit, plus tlvo
Some assembhes of the Ki-96 pro- signed tail surfaces, prrmitive AI radar, Mitsubishi Ha- I 12-ll radial piston 200-litre (44Jmp gal) drop tanks or twc
totypes were incorporated into the and armament comprsrrg nrio 30-mm engmes 250-kq (55 llb) bombs carrred on
three Ki-102 prototypes, the flrst of Ho-lOS cannon in the u:iderfr.rselage Performance: maxrmum speed underwinqracks
which was completed in March 1944, A and two 20-mm Ho-S calnon mounted 580 km,tr (360 mph.tat 60Ob m
cantilever mid-wing monoplane with a obliquely in the fr:selage to fue for- (l9,685 ft)i service ceiling I 1000 m The Ki- 1 02b in its ground attack {orm
conventional tail unrt, retractable tail- ward and upward, Ki-102b aircraft, (36,090 ft); range 2000 km (1,243 miles) entered service around N ovem ber
wheel landing gear and two Mitsubishr which were allocated the A-llied code- Weishts: empty 4950 kg ( 10,9 13 lb); 1944, afew seeing actionatOkinawa
Ha-112-ll radial engines, the Kr-102 name 'Randy', saw comparatively llttle maximum take-off 7300 kg ( 16094 lb) but the majority being retained to
accommodated its two-man crew in service, some being used in action Dimensions: span 15.57 m (51 ft I in); defend the homeland from the
separate enclosed cockpits in tandem, over Okinawa, but the majority were lenslh I 1,45 m (37 ft 6,8 in); heiqht expected invasion.
Completion of the prototypes was fol-
lowed by the constructlon of 20 pre-
production aircraft and in October
1944 the type was ordered into pro-
duction, With the Imperial Japanese
fumy still anxious to procure a twin-
engine high-altitude fighter, Kawasaki
modif:ed sx of the preproduction Ki-
l02s to serve as prototypes of such an
interceptor This differed from the
attack fighter by having improved two-
seat accommodatron, a revised tail unit
and Mitsubishi Ha-1l2-llru engines
wrth turbochargers, Successful testing
of this version in mid- 1944 resulted in a
high-priority productron order, but
problems with the turbocharged en-
gine resulted in only about 15 being

Gt i"proni Bergamaschi Ca 306/Ca 309/310/314

At the 1935 Milan Exhibition there
appeared the prototype ofthe Caproni
Bergamaschi Ca 306 Borea (north
wind), a sx-passenger low-wing trans-
port, Although built only in small num-
bers, the Borea was important as the
progenitor of a range of light twin-
engine aircraft manufactured for a
wide variety of roles, The first of these
was the aptly-named Ca-309 Ghibli
(desert wind), 78 of which were bullt
for use in Libya, The military versrons
were used as light transports or recon-
naissance bombers with a lengthened
glazed nose, bomb racks, cameras, Ca 3I0 Libeccio (south west wind), rb seen rn Norwegrian seryjce based at Sola airfield near Stavanger.
and with armament compnsing three Other countries to acquire the Ca 3 I 0 included Peru and Yugoslavia.
7.7-mm (0,303-in) machine-guns,
Another model featured a fixed for- wered by two 350-kW (470-hp) Pias- the following Ca 3lL As bullt they through a ventral hatch, A modified Ca
ward firing 20-mm cannon, Seven gio P,Vll C,35 radial engnnes, Export were similar to the Ca 310bis, but most 310 wrth hvo Isotta-Fraschini Asso 120
squadrons equipped with Ghiblis deliveries went to Norway, Peru and were later modified by the introduc- IRCC 40 engrnes sewed as the Ca 313
were operatronal when Italy entered Yugoslavia, and this last nation also ac- tion of a stepped windscreen, then prototype, first flown on 22 December
the war in 1940, quired 12 more under the designation being redesignated Ca 3IlM, Defen- 1939, but France had already con-
Developed in parallel with the Ghib- Ca 3l0bis; this variant differed primari- sive amament of thls verslon compns- firmed an order for 200 ofthese aircraff
li, the Ca 310 Libeccio (south west ly by having an unstepped extensive- ed a Caproni Lanciani turret with a on I October, followed ciosely by Brit-
wind) was structurally similar to the ly-glazed nose, single 7, 7-mm (0.303-in) machine-gun, ish and Swedish orders for 300 and 64
earlier machine, but was provided The prototype of the Ca 3lObis complemented by one machine-gun in respectively, However, Italy's entry
with retractable landing gear and po- served as a development aircraft for the port wing root and another firing aft tnto the war prevented delivery ofany

Caproni Bergamaschi Ca 306/Ca 309/310/314 (continued)

of the Brrtish machines and France re-

ceived only five Ca 3i3F models, the
remainder being diverted to the Regia
Most extensively burlr versron was
the Ca 3I4, Variants included the Ca
3I4A or Ca 314-SC (Scorta), a convoy
escorVmaritime patrol aircraft, the Ca
3l48 or Ca3I4-RA (Ricognizione Aero-
siluranti) torpedo-bomber and the
qround-attack Ca 314C

Specification This Caproni Ca 310M of the 8" Escuadrilla, Grupo I I, Agrupacion Espanola (the Nationalist air force), operated in
CaproniCa3I4A Spainduringlate 1938.
Type: convoy escort and marttime
patrol aircraft lenqth 11 B0 m (38 it 8,6 in); height
Powerplant: two 544-kW (730-hp) 3,70 m (i2 fi L7 rn): wingarea39,20 m'
Isotta-Fraschini Deita RC, 35 I 2- (421,96 sq ft)
cyhnder inverted-Vee piston engtnes Armament: two I 2, 7-mm (0, S-in)
Performance: maximum speed machine-gnrns in the wing roots and
395 knn/h (245 mph) at 4000 m one 7,7-mm (0.303-in) gmn in a dorsal
(13,125 ft); cruisingrspeed 320 kn/h turret, plus a bombload of 500 kg
(199 mph) at 4200 m (13,780 ft); service (1,102 ]b)
cerling 6400 m 121000 fi) maxrmum
range 1690 km (1,050 miles) The Caproni Ca 3 I 4 was the last and
Weights: empty 4560 kq (10,053 1b); most widely built of the series, and
maximum take-otr6620 kg (14, 595 lb) was used inmaritimeroles aswell as
Dimensions:span 16.65 m (54 ft 7,5 in); for g:round attack.


Breda Ba.65
lntended as an aeroplano di combat-
timento, capable of fulfilling the roles
of intereceptor fighter, Iiqht bomber
or reconnaissance/attack aircraft as
required, the prototype Breda 8a.65
made its initial flight in September
1935. Experience in Spain indicated
that the Ba,65 was suited only to the
attack role, and the type served
thenceforth with most of the eight
squadriglie attached to the two Regia
Aeronautrca assault slormi (wrngs), the
5" and 50", A second series of 137 air- This Breda 8a.65 was flown by the Aviazione Legionaria on the Nationalist side
craft was bullt by Breda (80) and Cap- duringtheSpanishCivilWar. *-r,
roni-Yizzola (57), before production
ended in July 1939, They differed from
the first production batch by having
Fiat A,B0 engines, Six Fial-powered
Ba.65s and four more of the Gnome-
Rhdne-powered version were sent to
the Aviazione Legionaria in Spain in
Following ltaly's entry into World
War II in June 1940, Ba.65s were in-
volved in the fightlnq in North Africa
against the British, They had a low ser-
viceability rate in desert conditions
and put up an unimpressive perform- Spanish experience showed the 8a.65 to be suitable for ground attack only, although 25 two-seaters were sold to
ance, The last serviceable aucraft was I r aq, where they sewe d in N o. 5 (F ighter ) S qu adr on.
lost during the Britlsh offensive in
Cyrenaica in February 1941, November 1939, A single Fiat-
A larqe number of the Ba,65s serv- powered productron aircraft was
ing with Italian units were of two-seat tested with an American Pratt & Whit-
conflgnrration, with an obsewer/grun- ney R- lB30 engine in June 1937 in anti-
ner in an open cockpit above the tratl- cipatron of an order from the Chinese
ing edge of the wing, A smaller num- Nationalist government, but this failed
ber of the type had a Breda L type to matenalize, The iraqi Ba,65s saw
turret, but in either case the obsewer/ limited action against the British dur-
gunner operated a single 7.7-mm ing the 1941 insurrection in that coun-
(0.303-in) machine-gmn, While offen- try,
sive armament could theoretically
compnse up to 1000 kg (2,205 lb) of Specification
bombs, the load usually carried was up Breda 65/4.80 (single-seat version)
to 300 kg (661 lb) in the fuselage bomb Type: ground-attack aircraft
bay or, alternatively, up to 200 kg Powerplant: one 746-kW (1,000-hp)
(441 Ib) on underwing racks, Fiat A BORC.4 I radial piston engtne
Exports included 25 Fialpowered Performance: maximum level speed
8a,65 hvo-seaters to Iraq in 1938, ttrio of 430 km,/h (267 mph); maximum level Iensth 9.30 m (30 ft 6 i in): height TheBredaBa.6S servedwith most of
them dual-control trarners and the re- speed, two-seat verslon 4 1O km/h 3 20 m (10 ft 6 in): wing area 23.50 m' the eight squadrons of the two Regria
mainder with Breda L turretsi 20 Ba,65s (255 mph); service ceiling 6300 m (252,96 sq ft) Aeronautica assauJf Stormi (wihgn).
with Piaggio P,XI C,40 engines to Chile (20,670 ft)i ranse 550 km (342 miles) Armament:two i2.7-mm (0 S-in) and These aretrom theoilginal batch of
later in the same year, 17 of them singt- Weights: empty equipped 2400 kg two 7,7-mm (0,303-in) Breda-SAFAT 8l aircraft.
1e-seaters and three dual-control train- (5,291 lb); maximumtake-off2950 kg fixed forward-flring machine-guns in
ers; and 10 Fiat-powered two-seaters (6 504 rb) wings, plus up to 300 kg (661 lb) of 200 kg (441 Ib) of bombs on undelr',:::g
with Breda L turets to Portugal in Dimensions: span 12, 10 m (39 ft 8,4 in); bombs in fuselage bomb-bay and up to racks (usually alternatively)

Breda 8a.88 Lince

A propaqanda triumph when its
appearance was trumpeted by Musso-
lini's Facist regime in 1936, the Breda
8a.88 Lince (lynx) was a sleek all-metal
shoulder-wing monoplane, In April
1937 it established two world speed-
over-distance records, Regarded as
an aeroplano di combattimento, suit-
able for attack, long-range reconnaiss-
ance or bombrng operations, the Ba,BB
then had its mrlitary equrpment and
weapons installed, Immediately, per- A Breda 8a.88 of 7" Gruppo, 5" Stormo, based at Castel Benito in Libya.
formance and flight characteristics fell
off dramatrcally, but by then produc-
tion orders were already be:ng ex-
On 16 June 1940, just after ltaly's dec-
Iaration of war on France and her
allies, the Ba,BB had its fust taste of
action, TWelve aircraft from the Regia
Aeronautica's 19" Gruppo Autonomo
made bombingr and machine-gun
attacks on the principal airfields of
Corsica; three days later nine Ba,BBs
made a repeat attack, Analysis of these
cperations showed that the Ba,BB had
cnLy limited value, and any remaining
Coubts were settled when Ba,BBs of the
Gruppo Autonomo joined action in
rlcya against the British, Fitted with
sald filters, the engines overheated engdnes were replaced by Fiat A.74s, aircraft In spite of its sleek, powerful
and faried to deliver their designed nose armament was increased to four Powerplant: two 746-kW ( 1, 000-hp) appeatance, the 8a.88 was
power, Attacks on targets at Sidi Barra- 12,7-mm (0.S-in) machlne-guns, and Plaggio P,XI RC,40 radial piston somewhat less than successful, since
ri had to be aborted in September dive brakes were instailed, These Bre- engmes the excellent prototype performance
-340, the aircraft failing to garn suf- da Ba,BBMs were delivered to the 103' Performance: maximum speed declined dramatically once in
lcient altitude or maintain formation, Gruppo Autonomo Ttlfatori (indepen- 490 km/h (304 mph); service cei[ng operationai trim. Indeed, so bad was
and reaching a speed Iess than half dent dive-bombing gnoup) at Lonate 8000 m (26,245 ft); ranse 1640 km the Lince's combat performance that
].Iat clalmed by the manu-facturers, Pozzolo on 7 September 1943. They ( miles)
1,019 within five months from the start of
By mid-November 1940 most surviv- were flight-tested by Lufhvaffe pilots, Weights: empty 4650 kq (i0,251 Ib); the war suruivors of the initial batch
-:g Ba.BBs had been stripped of useful but that was the last heard of the Breda maxrmumtake-off6750 kg (14,BBt Ib) of80 were gutted and used as
:quipment and were scattered around Ba.BB which represented, perhaps, the Dimensions: span 15,60 m (51 f12.2 tn), ground decoys on airfields.
:peratronal airfields as decoys for most remarkable failure of any oper- length 10,79 m (35 ft 4,8 rn) herght
a:achng British aircraft, ational aircraft to see sewice in World 3 I0 m(10 it2 in): wi,rgarea 33 34 m'z on trainable mounting in rear cockpit.
Three Ba,BBs were modifled by the War IL (358, BB sq ft) plus up to 1000 ks (2,204 Ib) of bombs
-:-qusta plant in 1942 to serve as Armament: three fixed forward-firing in fuselage bomb-bay or, altemativelli
lz:und-attack aircraft, Wing span was Specification I 2. 7-mm (0. 5-in) Breda-SAFAT three 200-kg (441-lb) bombs carried
-::reased by 2.00m (6ft 6,75rn) to BredaBa.SS machine-gn-ms in nose and one 7,7-mm semr-exposed in individual recesses
.-'e!'1ate wing loading problems, their Type: fi ghter-bomberrreconnaissance (0, 303-in) Breda-SAFAT machine-gnrn in the fuselage belly

g iuni."rr Ju 8z
::lever deprecated as a Nazi terror
;,3aDon, the Junkers Ju 87 (widely re-
to as the Stuka - a contraction of
::-: word Sturzkampfuugzeug) was
:-:;efiheless an imagrnative weapon
:: :cnsrderable accuracy when oper-
a:::g rn skies clear of enemy fighters,
l.::-celed as a form of support artil-
-::-_.' for the Wehrmacht's Blitzkrieg
,:3-*cs the Ju 87 was first flown in 1935
:- :nall number of Ju B7A-Ls and Ju
- 3- ls being flown by the Legdon Con-
::r:r Sparn in 1938-9, To support the
asion of Poland the Luftwaffe
:e-eed a]l flve Slukagesc.hfilader thus
-:: equrpped with Ju B7s, and it was in
campaign that, with little effective
:ppcsitiori rn the air, the Stuka's legend
,';- born. With sirens screaming, the
::a:ked-wing dive-bombers wrought Russian front, and appeared in North aircraft The Stuka established its reputation
:-a',-cc among Poland's helpless troops Africa the following year The Ju 87G, a Powerplant: one 1044-kW (1 400-hp) in the hands of the Condor Legion in
civiiians, effectively destroyingr
--j country's specialist anti-tank aircraft featured a JunkersJumo 21 lJ-l inverted-Vee Spain. Here aformationof Ju 878-1s
:e lines of communications pair of 37-mm guns under the wings piston engine approaches its tatget.
.:-jges, railways and airfields During and achieved spectacular success Performance: maximum speed
--:-e drficult Norwegian campaiqn the particularly in the East. Unquestion- 410 km/h (255 mph) at 3840 m
--: 37R with underwing fuel tanks was ably the greatest exponent ofthe Stuka ( 12, 600 ft); crursing speed 320 krr/h (343,38 sq ft)
-:::cduced to cope with the great dis- was Hans-Ulrich Rudel whose person- (199 mph) at 5090 m (16,700 ft); service Armament: two 7, 92-mm (0. 3 l-in)
:--:es involved, and in the Battle of al tally of a battleship cruiser and a cerling7290 m (23,915 fr); maxrmum forward-firing MG .17 machine-guns in
3:-.a:n thrs versron and the Ju BZB were destroyer sunk, and 519 tanks des- range 1535 km (954 miles) wings and twin 7.92-mm (0,31-in) MG
:-:arily committed until wrthdrawn troyed, far exceeded any other Total Weights: empty equipped 3900 kg B 1Z machine-gruns in rear cockpit, plus
-:l:porarily as a result of losses suf- Ju BZ production was said to be 5,709, (8, 598 ]b); maximum take-off 6600 kg a maximum bombload of one I B0O-kg
:::ei at the hands of British flghter (14,551 lb) (3,968ib) bomb beneath fuselage, or
! l:= At the end of 1941 the Ju BZD, a Specification Dimensions: span 13 B0 m (45 ft 3,3 in); vadous alternatrve loads beneath
::-::.: cleaned-up version with an up- Junkers]u 87D- I Ienqrth 11,50 m (37 ft 8,75 in); helqht fuselage and wings, including anti-
r::ei Jr-rmo 21 1 entered servrce on the Type: hvo-seat dive-bomber/assault 3,90 m(12 ft9.5 in); winsarea3l.90 m2 personnel bombs
Blifzkrieg Bomber
The Junker's J u 87 Stuka became the
symbol af the BlitzkrieE, its deadly,
ae curate dive - bombing r endered even
more terrifying by the addition of sirens
ta the Landing gears.It later became a
fearsonze an ti- tank we apan.

Designed by Dipl,lng. Hans Pohlmann rn 1934,

ihe Junkers Ju 87 was a remarkable weapon,
iestrned to become the most hated manifesta-
:ron of German ruthiessness in the years ol
liitzkrieg dunng 1939-41. Yet it was a weapon
:o:cerved rn the beiref that Germany's armed
;irces rryould conquer and dominate Europe
,-,'lrhln the space of two years while no effective
:ppcsitrcn could be mustered to contest the
-.Jt"vaffe's supremacy in the air So long as
.nere was no such opposition, the Stuka (con-
.:acted hom Sturzkampfflugzeug) proved to
:a an extremely accurate weapon, capable of
:.r-krng relatively small fixed targets when de-
,- . :rrng its bombs from a steep fixed path dive.
,-'as rn effect intended for use as hrghly
:-:nile battlefield ariillery and as such was an
:-..egral part of the panoply of Blrtzkrreg and
::::resentingt the spearhead of Goerings
':: ,-;erirl Luftvraffe, the elite Sfukageschwader
r-le to be sta{fed by many favoured members
- .:e Prussian aristocracy in positions of senior
,'iIhen the Lu-ftwaffe embarked on what was
:..:rded to be the bombardment leading to a
-r:ss-Channel rnvasron of the Bntrsh Isles in
.,=, l-ou-ever Ju BZ formauons were set ..Lpon
," ::rrtish flghters with devastating effect long
:,=-:re even the half-way stage had been
==::red Goering felt cbhered to withdraw
.-.-:-:st all his Stukagruppen from the battle to
- :.s:rve his 'air artillery' for the flnal land bat-
',',-nrch -rrras
never fouqht
l:eairon of ihe Ju 87 Sturzkampffliegerver-
, .-'-:e (Crve-bombing unrts) took place durrng
,: 3 the
-'_ 3 Llle lilsl
first JU
Ju Ol1{-rS being erltlusteLr
87A-1s rjelrrg entrusted to LL)

:.1 152 'lmmelmann for evaluatron and evoiu

. :-
-.- ccmbat tactics; three of the unrt s aircraft
=:: sent to Spain where, wrth irttle effective
by !L^
the D^"^--Lll^^-
Republican a^-^^^
.. =-,- prcved highly effective rn their role as 'air
, - ..,:ry Guidinq light of the Stuka concepi at
..: :-me was the famous German pilot, Ernst
-::. ihen heading the l,uilwaffe's Technrsche
.r::.. (.echnical administration) Followrng the
:, r-ess in Spain, Wolfram Frerherr von Rich-
. - :l
. who had originally considered lhe Ju 87
, :. loo slow and vulnerable in mociern com-
-.. bLrt who eventually commanded German
-,3s ln Sparn, loined Udet rn hrs enthusrasm
: .ie aircraft,
--espite what became known as the
..=-nammer Disaster (when 13 Ju 87 crews of
, S .C 76 vrere kiiled on 15 August 1939 during a
:.-.'e-bombrnq rehearsal for the attack on Po-
-=ncj. when fog suddenly obscured the ground
:-:ar Sagan), the Slukagruppen contrnued to
:iuitiply, so that by the date of Germany s
aitack on Poland the Luftwaffe fieldeC nrne
such Gruppen. Not only were lhe.v rn-
s:rumental in destroying much of the Pcl,sh atr

While the Messerschmitt Bf laSs kept Allied

ighters at bay, the Stukas had a field day over
France and the Low Counties, leading Allied
graund troops towonder where their aircraft had
got ta.
Blitzkrieg Bomber
force on its airfields, but succeeded also in
blockrng numerous bridges as well as sinking
two Polish warships in Hela harbour on 3
September, A number of successful attacks on
Brrtish shrpping during the Norwegran cam-
pargn of April and May 1940 brought the first
awards of the Knrght's Cross to Ju 87 pilots
Gerhard Grenzel, Paul-Werner Hozzel, Martin
Mobus and Elmar Schaefer (a11 ol StG l)
The German attack in the West, which
opened on 10 May of that year, was accompa-
nied by frequent dive-bombing attacks in sup-
port of the advancing German armoured col-
umns, The reiatively small number of occasions
on which Stuka attacks upon legitrmate milttary
targets, such as road bridges, involved wide-
spread casualties among the crowds of fleetnq
civilians, merely fuelled the accusations that
the hated dive-bombers were being dehber-
ately used to spread terror, Nevertheless, de-
spite the inevitable loss of life among the crvt-
lians who congested the roads in the path of the
advancing Panzers, the Germans drd employ
sirens (the 'trumpets of Jericho') in their Ju 87s
with the obvlous purpose of terrorizing those
on the ground. Despite the frequent involve-
ment over the battlefields of Britrsh and French
frghters, which were usually kept at bay by the
excellent Messerschmitt Bf 109E escorts, the Ju
87 managed over France to perpetuate its myth
rf invrncibility. heavy rards (occasionally devastatrng) were The usual load of aJu 878 was an 5C500 500-kg
launched, particularly on the airfields at Tang- 00-lb) bomb mounted on crutches, which
( 1, I
Stuka inthe Battle of Britain mere, Lympne and Hawkinqe, on the naval swung out from.the belly to release the weapon at a
safe distance from the propeller.
The Stuka's fortunes changed radically dur- bases at Portland and Portsmouth, and on the
-rg the great Battle of Britain when it became radar stations at Ventnor, Pohng, Dungeness
recessary to provide strong flghter escort for and Dover, The greatest efforts, however, attack on the UK, although isolated raids, partr
:-!nost every rald by German bombers, with were made to destroy Brttish coastal convoys, cularly in the Thames estuary, continued for
re inevitable result that seldom more than a notably Convoy Peewit on 8 August, Convoy some weeks,
:.<en screen of flghters was available to pro- Booty on 11 August, and Convoys Agent and If the Battle of Britarn represented the Luft
.::: the vulnerable dive-bombers. With oniy Arena on 12 Augnrst, It was in a series of healry waffe's frrst major setback of the war, it alsc
-::j:ed range available to the Stuka, rts attacks dive-bornbrng attacks on targets between constituted a sharp reminder of the Ju 87's fatal
-,',-ere confined to the southern fringe of Eng- Selsey Biil and the Isle of Wight on 18 Augmst flaw when confronted by determined fighter
--:-j. and between 8 and 18 August a number of that the Stukas sulfered their heaviest casual- prlots, to whom the steadily diving Stuka was a
ties, StG 77 alone losing 17 aircraft (more than dead duck in their gmnsights.
ju 87Bs of StG 2 'lmmelmann' parade at a Balkan 50 per cent ofthe attacking force). The loss of
airstrip during 194 I . Stukas took a heavy toll of 66 dive-bombers and their crews in I0 days,
Mediterranean operations
oy aJ N avy ve s s e ls off C r e te ; indeed, lft e Sluka
credited with sinking more ships than any other added to more than a dozen in the previous In January i94i two Stukagruppen yStG I
atczalt in history. Stukas carried an automatic month, represented about a quarter of the en- under Hozzel and ITSIG 2 'lmmelmann' led by
Ci-,,e control set by the pilot to a chosen pull-out lire Stukaverb,iinde tn the West, and decided Walter Enneccerus (who had won the Knighi's
teight. Goering on wrthdrawal of the Ju BZ from the Cross following the French campaign), began
Ground Attack Aircraft

Possibly the firstJu 878 to drop

bombs in action, this early B- I model
serredrh Spain with the S taffel
Jolanthe, a very active unit of the
Legion Condor. The direct inj ection
fuel system of the J umo 2 I I D a engine
fitted to the B- I prevented engine-
cuts in inverted flight or negative-g

Right: The Ju BZR was a long-range

versionwith two 300-litre (66Jmp
gal) external fuel tanks under the
wings, outboard of the dive brakes,
with an additional I5j-litre (33-lmp
gal) tank in each outer wing. This
machine flewwith7./StG 77 in the
B alkans from early I 94 l. T he yellow Below: After the'Glory Days'of the Polish and
areas were theatre markings for the French campaigns, the Stukas suffered prohibitive
EasternFront. ,losses agarnsl th e RAF in the Battle of Britain.
However, the Mediterranean theatre offered new
opportunities: once again there was only weak
fighter opposition and the Ju 87 triumphed.

rperating in the central Mediterranean,

on a string of successes by httting
crippling the carrier HMS lljuslnous at
l-lalta on I0 January and sinking the cruiser
-]{S Southampton on the followtng day, In-
ieed Enneccerus was to gain a considerable
:sputation as a 'ship killer', his Gruppe la|er
:-:-rng the carrier HMS Forrrudable and des-
::;:er HMSI'/ubian in May, the month 1n which
:-e cruiser HMS Gloucesler was sent to the
i,::om by the Ju 87s of VSIG2,
As with all branches of the Luftwaffe, the
S-:kaverbande's greatest trials and achieve-
:::=:lts accompanied Germany's mammoth
r=]l]paigm rn the East, compared with whtch all
::=-.rous triumphs and tribulations paled to re-
--.-;e obscurity Of all those achievements
:-.:= approached the extraordlnary prowess
::::e man, Hans-Ulrrch Rudel, unquestionably
j-: most illustrious of ali Germany's Stuka

Above: Hitlers' favourite pilot, Hans-Ulrich Rudel,

was Germany's most highly decorated officer, sole
holder of theGoldenOakLeaves to theKnight's
Cross. He flew 2,530 combat mtssions in the Stuka,
was creditedwith over 500 Soviet tanks destroyed,
andwas himself shot down 30 times.

Iunkers lu UG-l
The lastcombatmodelof theJu 87 tobe producedwas theJu 87G-1 anti-tank
version, carrying apair of Flak 18 BK 3.737- cm(1.45-in) gruns.Thisvariant
was largely the brainchild of Hans-Ulrich Rudel, the renowed Stuka pilot
whoseexploits are the stuff of legend. Five times wounded and recipientof
Germany's highest award for gallantry, Rudel fought on the Eastern Front for
the duration of thewar and specialized in tank-busting missionsas lieSovjefs
qained the upper
gained uooer hand. The 37-mm gans quns weighed
weiqhed over 363 kgt (800 lb) and
lcg @00
did IilUe for the Stuka's llying characteristics, but with a muzzle velocity of
tt) per second it was a devastating weapon. The
50 m ( 2,7 89 tt)
8850 87G - I cou.
The J u 87G- could
carry a useful bombload in place of its cannon, but was not fitted with dive
Blitzkrieg Bomber
: -:s, despite the fact that the now-ageing Ju 87 flew eight sorties but in the course of the last, Leaves to the Knight's Cross, havrng destroyed
::an already been shown to be fataily flawed, foliowing an attack on a bridge over the Dmestr 463 Soviet tanks and completed 2,400 missions,
P..udel had originally been trained as a Ju 87 river, he spotted a Ju 87 ofhis unit that had force Rudel narrowly escaped death on 8 Febru-
:bsewer/gnrnner before the war, but by the landed in enemy-held territory and landed ary 1945 when his Ju 87 was hit by 40-mm flak
-a:;nch of Operation 'Barbarossa' (the attack on alongside to pick up lts crew. His own alrcraft near Lebus, and he was wounded rn the leg,
:e USSR) had reached the rank of Oberleut- became bogged down so he was forced to His gunner, Geschwaderarzt Dr Ernst Gader-
::ani as a pitot of VSIG 2 on the central sector of swim the river, despite being shot in the shoul- mann, saved him from bleedrng to death, but
re front, On the first day of the campaign he der, to regain the German lines 50km (31 shortly afterwards he had to have his right foot
=e-r hrs first four combat missions. mrles) distant, His observer, Erwin Hentschel amputated at a Waffen SS hospital. Neverthe-
in an attack on the Soviet isiand naval base at (holder of the Knrght's Cross and veteran of less, despite an open wound, Rudel returned to
Krorstadt, flying as technical officer of IIyStG 2 I,490 missrons), drowned in the river. his Geschwader six weeks later and resumed
P;de1 scored a direct hit on the old Soviet flyrng, destroying 26 further Soviet tanks before
iaitleship Maraf, causing it to partially capsize; Gallantryaward the war ended. His flnal tally of 2,530 combat
:r later attacks on the base he also sank a On 29 March Rudel was awarded the Dl- missions and score of 519 tanks destroyed (plus
:rurser and a destroyer. Shortly afterwards he amonds to the Knlght's Cross, and at the begin- 800 other vehicles and the naval vessels srink.
-,';as awarded the Honorary Cup and German ning of June, when he was flying operations nine air victorles and countless other targeis
Oross in Gold, and in January 1942 received the near Yassy in Romania, his ta1ly of enemy tanks destroyed) placed him in a category ofhis oum
khrght's Cross having flown more than 400 destroyed reached 300 and the number ofsor- among the combat pilots of history, He had
:ombat missions, almost all of them in the Ju ties flown topped the 2,000 mark, The last nine been shot down no fewer than 30 times, had
8TB After a speil as Sfa-f,rbJkapil;in of 9,/StG 2 in months of the war were punctuated by short rescued six aircrew members from hostile
re Caucasus and Black Sea sector in mld-1942 visits to hospital foliowing wounds suffered in territory and had been wounded f,ve times.
:re was transferred to I Staffel as its Sla.ffelkapl- combat. In October 1944 he took over com- Yet Rudel's personal experiences and
rin, also in the Southern Sector, and on l0 mand of StG 2 'lmmelmann'as an Oberstleut- achievements, astonrshing as they were, sym-
:ebruary 1943 completed hrs 1,0O0th combat nant and, following a bullet wound tn the thtgh, bolized the bitterness of the flghting in the East
:t1ss10n. 'escaped' from a Hungarian hospital to rejoin no less than the extraordinary tenacrty with
his unit in a plaster cast, On New Year's Day whrch the Stukaverb?inde flew their Ju 87s in
Anti-tankversion 1945 Rudel was summoned by Hitler himself to the lnexorably changing battles against the
During the spring of 1943 Rudel began flytng receive the unique award of the Golden Oak Soviet armies.
ire dedicated anti-tank version of the Stuka,
Ju 87G with two 37-mm guns, with this type
Cestroying some 70 Soviet landing craft in the Junkers Ju 87D-3 cutaway drawing key 47 Pi ot's seat (reinforced 67 Additiona (external) side
rperations over the Kuban bridgehead. At the ' Sprnner 21 Heotrgpoill wlth 4-mm side and B-mm armour with cut out for
-rme of the great battle of armour at Kursk he 2 P tc1 cr"^qe meLl'd1 sr 25 Auri io1 "i' rtaLe rear armour) hand grip
housing 26 Balljontbulkheadfixing 48 lnter cockpitbulkhead 68 lnterna s de and head
ntroduced the Ju 87G to the Belgorod sector, 3 Blade hub (upper) 49 Sliding canopy handgrip armour
4 Junkers VS 1 constant1 27 8u khead 50 Externalsidearmour 69 Sldngcanopysecton
Cestroying 12 T-34 tanks in the course of his first speedpropeler 28 Oiltank(6.Blmpga/31 itre 51 Pllot's back armour (B mm) (shown part open)
Cay's operations. By the end of October his 5 Anti v bration eng ne capacity) 52 lleadrest 70 Bing and beadgunsights
mountinq attachments 29 Orl iller point and
f marker 53 Aft-s iding cocl p t canopy l1 Iwinl.g2 mm MauserMG
personal score of tanks destroyed stood at 6 Oi fillerpointandmarker (lntava 100) (shown part open) B1 Z machine gun on GSL-K
around IO0, the award ofthe Oak Leaves ear- / Au' ion orl rdri {5 I lmp 30 [rel 'i er cap 54 Radiomastcut-out B1 mount
oa.26.8 rt e capacrty) Jl SelLsea r-g-an(starbod'o 55 Ant crash hoob
Lier in the year being followed by the Swords B Jurlers ,uao21lJ 1 odler frel (33 Tpgd, (magnesrum casting)
'2 cy roe, rn\ened vea
cn 25 November, In January 1944 he particr 150 | t'a.apartl\) 56 Radio mast
lqurd.ooleo eiq re 32 UndeMinq borbs wilh 57 Radro equipment {Fuce 16)
pated in the Battle of Kirovograd, taking a gMagnesumaloyforged D/ena,'tslabpercussion compartment
healry personal toll of tanks of the Sovret 67th enolne mount rods
1O Co-olant (Glvsant n wated 33 Pitot head
Tank Brrgade, heoop ar. 34 Sohe .dlo,\ger bo tles
In February he was appointed to command I tte! -o' e' hdJSI ILbs 35 Winq sl ir n.rg

l2 l-Le ^e.rronurrthou"ng 16 Sl"'bodroldvrgdlollgll

IIyStG 2 and promoted maior, On 20 March he 13 lnoLctiorarcooie- .7 Aleronnas:b"latro
14 Armoured radiator 38 'Double wing'aileron and
15 lnertia startercrankingpo nt flap (starboard outer)
16 Ball joint bulkhead fixing 39 Aileron h nge
Even atthe outbreak ofwar, theJu BZ was (lowed 40 Corrugatedwngribstaton
recognized by the Luftwaffe as a dated design 17 Tubularstee mount 4l Reinforcedarmoured
which would need replacement, but its stunning support strut windscreen
18 Ventral armour (B mm) 42 Ref lector sight
success r'n the fi r s t ye ars of the w ar ens ur ed that 19 Ma n oi tank (9.9 lmp gal/ 43 Padded crash bar
production would continue. Its influence was so 45 tre capacrty) 44 Sgnalfaretube
10 Or f I i.g po rt 45 Braced [u-p ogema.r'ran e
gireat that subsequent bombers like the Dornier 46 Fronl spdr -JSe age
2 I rdn5\erse suppor 'rdne
Do 2 I 7 and Heinkel He I 77 were mistakenly 22 Rudderpedals attachment Doint
de signed for dive- bom bing. 23 Contro column

58 Add tronal ( nternal) s de

59 Canopytrack
60 Handhold/footrests
61 Braced fuse age
62 Rearspar/fuseage
attachment point
63 Rddro operator/qunner's
seat (fo ding)
64 F oor armour (5 mm)
65 Armoured bulkhead (B mm)
66 Ammun tion magaz ne

Meeting eftective fighter opposition
came as a disagreeable surprise to
lfi e Sf ukas dep loyed against B ritain
in I 9 40. F orty- one were shot down in
the period 1 3- I I August, and on ) 9
August the Stukas were withdrawn
from the battle.ThisJu BZB-2 crash-
ianded nearSelsey on I 6 August
after bom bing T angmere. As s igne d
to 3./StG 2'lmmelmann', itspotts the
Gruppe emblem and the coat of arms
of the city ofBreslau.

AJu 878-2 is seen in Luftwaffe

M edi ter r a ne an cam oufl age, with
white theatre band. This particular
Stuka flew with I .lStG 3 in Cyrenaica
in 1942. Stukas had earlier appeared
in N or th Atric a in I tali an hands,
leading to the erroneous belief thatit
was being manufactured in ltaly by

12 Canopytrackfa rlng B3 Tailplane bracrngstrut B9 Rudder

13 Peil G lV D/F equipment a4 Fuselage skinning 90 Rudder tr m tab controls
74 Circular Piexig as access B5 Control runs 91 Rudder trim tab
panel B6 Tailfin attachment fairing 92 Rudder contro rnkage
75 Back-to-back L-sect on 87 Tailfin structure
stringers (fuselage 88 Rudder horn ba ance
hor zonta break)
16 First aid stowage
11 Z section fuselage frames
1B Radro aerial 93 Rudderpost
19 Farred e evator mass 94 Rearnavigation ight
ba ance 95 Elevatortab
80 Starboard elevator 96 Porteevator
81 Ta lplane structure 97 Fairedelevatormass
a2 Tallplane brace/spa.r balance
attachment point 98 Tailpanefrontspar
99 Contro puleycircuiar
access panels


124 Corrugated wing rib

125 ETC bomb racksupportbar
126 ETC bomb rack undeMing
tarr ng
'127 Portoutboardflap
111 Non-slip wa kway (aft '128 Port a eron
section externa meta 129 Aileron mass balance
stra kes) 130 Rearspar
100 Rudder lower hinge fairing 112 Fuel flller point 131 Wing rib
101 Tailplane bracrng strut 113 Non-slip walkway (foMard 1 32 Port nav gation light
102 Emergency tailsl d sect on composite surfa€) '133 Frontspar
103 Tar whee 114 Leading edge structure 134 Wing leading edge
144 Tailwheel leg 115 Seif-sealrng port rnnerw ng 135 UndeMlng bomb load (two
105 Jacking po nt fuel taol (52.8 lmp qal/240 1 0- b/50-kg bombs) on
106 Fuselage stnngers lrtre capacity) multi-purpose carr er
107 Master compass
116 Wirg-joint external cover 136 Bombshackes
Crew entry step (port and stnp 1 37 D iena ftstab petcussion rod
111 Bal -and-socketwing attachments
109 Entry step support (with attachment polnts 138 ETC 50/Vlll fairino
control run cut-outs) 118 Armoured coolant radiator 139 Arr bral e (extend6d)
110 Wing root fairing (port and starboard) 140 A r brake activating
19 inboard flap structure mechanism
124 Flap hinge 141 A r brake (retracled)
121 Rheinmetall-Borsig MG 1 7 142 Landing amp
machine gun of 7.92-mm 143 Wheel spat
calibre (port and 144 Fork/spat attachment
starboard 145 Port mainwheel
122 Ammunition tank (1000 Brake reservoir f i ler point
rounds capaclty) lnboard of 1 41' Cantilever fork

rib 144 Leather shroud

123 Port outer self-sealing fuel 149 Oleo pneumatic shock
tank (33 lmp gal/150 itre absorber
capacity) 150 Mainwheel leg
151 Siren {a ring
152 Barrel of MG 17 machrne
1s3 Wind driven siren
154 Starboard wheel spat
155 PVC ventral bomb rack
156 Bomb cradle
151 Starboard wheel fork
158 Starboard mainwheel
159 Bomb release trapese
160 551 -lb i250-kg) bomb with
@ Pilot Press Limited D€narrstab attachment

re! iu"i."rt Ju 88P
Although the Junkers Ju 88 was origi-
nally rntended to perform the dual
roles of level and dive bombing, the
early versions were seldom employed
rn the grround-support role in the same
manner as the Ju 87 dive-bomber,
being largely confined to ievel bomb-
ing attacks for which its excellent per-
folmance rendered it ideally suited, It
was not until 1942, with the increastng
ferocity of fighting on the Eastern
Front, that attentron focussed on a de-
dicated grround-attack version, the Ju
88P, The prototype Ju 88P VI, modified
from a standard Ju BBA-4, featured a
single 75-mm (2,95-in) KwK 39 gun
housed in a large fairing under the
flxeiage, and dunng trrals against cap-
tured T-34 tanks at Rechlln in 1943
promislng results were obtained. A
small number of Ju BBP-I aircraft fol-
lowed, featudng the 'solid' nose of the
C-series Zerstorer, armour protection craft's use by Erprobungskommando an BB-mm Diika B.B U-boat gnrn as well The J unkers J u 88P-3 featured
fcr the engdnes and the more suitable 25 as a bomber-destroyer; the aircraft as various types of flame-thrower; increased armour protection for the
semi-automatic PAK 40L 75-mm anti- had lost the necessary manoeuvr- none of these reached operatronal un- crew and it packed a devastating
iank gun; production amounted to ab- ability for air combat, however. The Ju its, however, and by the time that NSGI punch of twin 37 -mm cannon in the
out 40 arcraft, these beinq distributed 88P-3, with further rncreased armour 2 was moved to the West late in 1944 ventr al faidng. I t was delivered to
between the Versuchskommando fur protection for the crew, was delivered few, if any, Ju BBPs remained in ser- .live Nachtschlachtgmrppen.
Parzerbek6mpfu ng, the Panzerjdger- to one Slaffei in each of the Nacht- Vlce,
sta-ffel 92 and 6./KG 3 for operational schlachtgrmppen (night gnound-attack miles)
:rals and development of tactics as groups) I, 2, 4, B and 9 for combat use Specification Weights: empty about I1080 kg
laln-busters, this role becoming tn- on the Eastern Front, in northern Nor- JunkersJu 88P-3 (24, 427 Ib); maximum take -off about
:reasingrly important on the Eastem way (NSGr B) and Italy (NSGI 9). Some Type: rhree-crew ground attack 12670 ks (27,932 Ib)
ilont. success was achieved by these units, aircraft Dimensions: span 20.00 m (65 ft 7,5 in);
The Ju BBP-I proved both cumber- but in an effort to improve the aircraft's Powerplant: 999-kW ( 1, 340-hp) lenqth 14.85 m (48 ft 8,5 in); height
scme and lrrlnerable, and was soon performance the Ju 8BP-4 was intro- Junkers Jumo 21 U-2 lnverted V- 12 4.85 m ( 15 ft I I in); winq area 54,56 mz
:cllowed by the Ju 88P-2 with a large duced with a much smaller gn:n farring piston engines (587.30 sq ft)
iarlng oilset to port under the fuselaqe mounting a single 5O-mm BKS gmn, and Performance: maximum speed Armament: two 37-mm BK Flak 1B
r::olrnting a pair of 37-mm BK 3,7 can- at least one Ju BBP-4 was equipped 360 hn/h (224 mph) at 1600 m (5,250 ft); cannon in a fairrngT under the front
icn. The higher muzzle velocity with a 6.5-cm RZ 65 solid-fuel rocket- climb to 2700 m (8,860 ft) in 10.6 fuselage, and up to sx 7.92-mm (0.3 l-
proved more effective against Soviet launcher wirh a 22-round magazine, minutes; sewrce ceiling about 5500 m in) MG 17 machine-gmns on trainable
almour and also prompted the air- The Ju BBP-4 was also planned to mount (18,045 ft); normal ranqe 1580 kn (982 mountings in the cockpit

EI"-wulf Fw leo
A caltilever low-wing monoplane of
stressed-skrn constructron, the pro-
:oqpe Focke-Wulf Fw I90 was rolled
cut rn May 1939 and the first flight took
piace on I June 1939. A second aircraft,
-re Fw 190 V2, flew in October 1939,
armed with two l3-mm (0,51-in) MG
i31 and two 7.92-mm (0.31-in) MG 17
machine-gmns. Initial productton ver-
slon was the Fw 190A-I which, flown
by 6,4G 26, flrst clashed with RAF Su-
pemarine Spitflres on 27 September
-941 Fighter-bomber versions tn- TheFocke-Wulf Fw 190A-5/UB was the long-rangefighter bombervariantof theFw l90A-5 introducedinearly 1943.
cluded the Fw 190A-5416 and the long- Engine overheating,whichhad been aproblemwith previous models, had been overcome by theintroductionof a
rarge Fw I90A-5ru8, and the Fw I90A- new mounting which positioned the engine further forward.
S/UII close-support aircraft carried a
30-mm MK lO3 cannon beneath each
rvrng. The Fw I90A-5/UI4 and Fw
I90A-5/UI5 were both torpedo-
bomber variants, able to carry an LT
FSb and LT 950 torpedo respectively,
and a 30-mm MK 1OB cannon mounted
m the outboard wing position was stan-
dard for the Fw 190A-5A]16.
In late 1943 several Fw 1904-7s
'rvere modifled by the irstallation of
Junkers Jumo 2l3A V-12 engdnes to
serye as Fw I90D-0 prototypes, Thus
lvas denved the Fw I90D-9 production
version, known popularly as the 'long-
nose l9O'or 'Dora 9', A 3OOlitre (66-lmp
gal) drop tank or a 250-kg (551-1b)
bomb could be carried on each under-
r...rlg rack. Variants included the Fw
l90D-12, which was essentially a
lround-attack aircraft with additional
The Fw 1 90 was modified to produce
a series ofhighly successful fighter-
bombers. This taxiing Fw I 904-5 / U8
caniesa crew member to give
widance to the pilot inside.
Focke-Wulf Fw 190 (continued) Axis Ground Attack Aircraft
=rTnour protection for lhe engine and last of the Fw 190s, and a specialized
=rned with two MG 151/20s in the
ground-attack versron lke the F-serres
and a single Mk iOB cannon whrch it preceded rnto service, the Fw
-ring through the spinner. However, l90G-l flghter-bomber was derrved
re Fw l90D had been preceded into ftom the Fw l90A-5, but carried a 1800-
service by the Fw l90F-1, a special- kq (3,968-lb) bomb which necessrtated
zed ground-attack version which was the introduction of strenglhened land-
rtroduced in early 1943; generally ing gear; wing-mounted armament
sunilar to the Fw 190A-4, it differed by was reduced to two MG 151/20 cannon,
:avrng additional armour protection and the Junkers-desigmed u'tng racks
.r the cockpit and powerplant, the accommodated two 300litre (66lmp
:utboard 20-mm cannon deleted and gal) drop tanks,
ar ETC 501 bomb rack installed be-
reath the fuselage, The Fw I90F-2 in- Specification
:oduced a bubble canopy, and the Fw Focke-Wulf Fw I90D-9
190F-3 could carry a 250-kg (551-lb) Type: single-seat fighter-bomber
bomb beneath the fuselage and, in the Powerplant: one 1324-kW ( 1, 776-hp)
Fw I90F-3/RI and Fw 190F-3,/R3 ver- Junkers Jumo 2 13A-l inverted-Vee
srons, four ETC 50 underwing bomb piston engrne
racks or two similarlyJocated 30-mm Perfofmance: maximum speed maximumtake-off4840 kg (10,670 tb) Two Fw l90F-8s set off on a bombing
MK 103 cannon The Fw 190F-8/U2 and 685 kdh (426 mph) at 6600 m Dimensions: span 10,50 m (34 ft 5.4 in); mr'ssrbn in flre US,Sft in 1944 carrying
ihe Fw I90F-84J3 were fitted with the (21,655 ft); climb to 6000 m (19,685 ft) in length 10,20 m (33 fr 5,6 in); heioht 250-kgbombs.
TSA bomb sight for anti-shipping 7 minutes 6 seconds; service cetling 3,35 m (1I ft O in); wing area 18,30 m2
strikes with, respectively, a 700-kq 12000 m (39,370 ft); ranse 835 km (519 (196,99 sq ft)
(1,543-lb) BT 700 ora 1400-ks (3,0861b) miles) Armament: two 13-mm (0.5 l-in) MG 15l cannon, plus one 500-kg (1,102-lb)
BT 1400 weapon. Alphabetically the Weights: empty 3490 kg (7,694 lb); 131 machrne-gruns and two 2O-mm MG SC500 bomb

Henschel Hs 123
Desigmed to an offlcial requirement for
a dive-bomber, issued in 1933, the
Henschel Hs 123 srngle-bay sesqur-
plane was of all-metal construction,
with fabric covering used only for the
rear portions ofthe wings and the con-
irol surfaces. Powered by a 485-kW
(650-hp) BMW 132A-3 radial engine,
the prototype flew in 1938 and quickly
established its superiority over the riv-
al Fieseler Fi 98. The third prototype
was the flrst to be armed, carrying two
fixed forward-firing 7,92-mm (0,31-in)
MG 17 machine-gmns in the fuselage
:op decking, The first three aircraft
'!'r'ere flown to Rechltn for testing in
Above:TheHenschelHs 123 dive bomber entered sewice in ig36. butwas
Auqust 1935, in the course of which s-oon overshadowedby theJu 87 Stuka,which joined the Luftwaffe the
activity two of them were destroyed following year. Tested in Spain, it saw operational sewice in poland and in the
,,.rhen therr wings came off in dives, A campaign in the West in I 940.
iourth prototype tested successfully
-he structural changes introduced to
cvercome this problem and initial pro-
Cuction orders were placed for the Hs
I23A-I, which retarned the blistered
cowling of the second and third pro-
iotypes, rather than the NACA cowling
cf the first. Power was provided by the
BMW 132Dc radial enqine and, in
addition to the two fixed MC 17
machine-gmns, a mountinq for a 250-kgr
(5511b) bomb or an external fuel tank
-was included beneath the fuselage,
and four 50-kq (1101b) bombs could
be carried on underwrng racks, The
Hs 123 was built at Henschel's
Schonefeld and Johannisthal factories
rn Berlin, but although the company
built two prototypes of an rmproved Hs
I23B version with the 716-kW (960-hp)
BMW 132K engine, the second having Above : An H s I 23A of 7. S tattel,
iwo additional MG 17 machine-gmns S tukageschwader I 6 5' I mmelm ann'
and an enclosed cockpit, the Lu-ftwaffe in 1937. Plans for an Hs 1238 with
expressed its satisfaction wtth the increased armament and enclosed
Junkers Ju 87 and production ended. cockpitwere cancelled after theJu 87
The Hs 123A first entered service with wasintroduced.
]./StG 162 in the autumn of 1936, Specification
although its career as a front-line dive- HenschelHs 123a-I Weights: empty 1500 kg (3,307 lb);
bomber was short-lived because the Type: dle-bomber/close-support maximum take-off 2215 kg (4,883 lb)
Junkers Ju B7A Stuka began to replace aircraft Dimensions: span, upper 10.50 m (34 ft
rt in 1937, Pive I23As were supplied to Powerplant: one 656-kW (BB0-hp) 5.4 in) and lower 8,00 m (26 fr 3 in);
the Legion Condor in Spain in Decem- BMW I 32Dc radial piston engine leng,th 8.33 m(27 fi4 in); heiqht 3 20 m
ber 1936; the type also saw operational Performance: maximum speed (]0 ft 6 in); wingarea 24,85 m2
semce as a close support arrcraft in 340 Isr/h (211 mph) at 1200 m (3,935 ft); (267.49 sq ft)
Poland during the closinq months of cruising speed 3 15 kmih ( i96 mph) at Armament: two fixed forward-fl ring
1939 and in the camparqns in France 2000 m (6,560 ft); seruice ceiling 7,92-mm (0,3l-in) MG l7 machine- Three Henschel Hs 123s pose for the
and Belgium during the spring of 1940, 9000 m (29,530 ft); ranse 855 km (53 l qnrns, plus provision for 450 kq (992 lb) camera in pre-war colours.
It was withdrawn finally in 1944, miles) ofbombs Production ceased after only one year.

A Shof in fheDark
In 1942 the Soviet air force had sustained such colossal casualties at the hands of the
Luftwaffethatdaylightattacks had to be all butabandoned.Instead, theSoviets
resorted to irritating night raids, at low level and often using obsolescentaircraft.
The Germans promptly followed suit, and for the rest of the war ageing aeroplanes
took off nightly to harass the Sovietfrontline.
he resort to widespread night harassment by skampfstaffeln (provisional bombing squad-
German aircraft during the great campaign in rons), These were regularized in November as East was virtually unique tn World War II Stdrkampfstaffeln (literally disturbing bomber
but, for exactly the same reason of loss of air squadrons), with units assigned to specific sec-
superiority, came to be adopted almost l0 tors of the front, such as Behelfsnachtkampfstaf-
l'-ears laler by the Communist air forces over leln Don and Volga; of these the task of the TheHeinkelHe 46 was in sewiceonly as a trainer
Korea, Yet for all their extemporized nature, former was, for instance, to harass the Soviet in 1939, but in common with many types was attacks over the Eastern Front in World night workers in the Stalingrad munitions fac- pressed into sewice as a night harasser. Thts
War II proved to be extremely effort-effecttve torles. Flying such obsolete aircraft as the aircraft operated with Nachtschlachtgruppe 7 in
anci a number of Axis pilots became highly Gotha Go 145 and Arado Ar 66 biplanes, many the Balkans, under the orders ofFliegerfiihrer
proficieni ln these unorthodox tactics, olthe priots were past the normal age accepted Kroatien.
Indeed the German-sponsored expedient it- for combat or, at the other end of the scale,
self developed from Soviet tactics tn 1942 young pilots awaiting posting to regular com- (the Ailies having wrested the lnitiative in the
',.ihen, having never achieved an inltiative in bat units. Later, as greater skills were deman- East and in the Medtterranean), and the harass-
."le air since the launch olOperation 'Barbaros- ded and casualties among the young pilots ment units were renamed Nachtschlachtgrup-
sa', Soviet pilots started flyrng Polikarpov Po-2 were deemedwasteful, volunteer pilots among pen (night assault groups): NSGr I with Go 145s
lighi biplanes (ly'dmasciinen, or 'sewing redundant flyrng instructors were eagerly and He 46s on the Eastern Front untrl mid-1944
nachines', as they were dubbed by German accepted, when it moved to France with redundant Junk-
soldiers) over the advancing German forces, Throughout I 943 the Behefska mpfverbiinde ers Ju 87Bs; NSGr 2 wrth Bti 13ls and Go I45s on
These operations, whiie scarcely ever achiev- proliferated, and wrthtn a year the number of the northern sector of the Eastern Front until
ng the slightest damage by their haphazard aircraft to whrch the Bucker Bu I3l Jungmann, mid-1944 when it moved, flrst to northern Italy
nature and with the trny bombs carrted, dtd Focke-Wulf Fw 58 Weihe, Heinkel He 46 and and then to the West with Ju 87Ds; NSGr 3 wlth
nevertheless act as an abrasive on the nerves He 51, Henschel Hs 126 and Siebel Sl 204, as Ar 66s and Go l45s on the central sector of the
of the Germans, so that even before the front well as the Dutch Fokker C,V, Italian Fiat CR,42 Eastern Front; NSGr 4 with Go 145s, and later Ju
began to stabilize towards the end of 1942 the and Caproni Ca 3 14 had been added, had risen 87Bs, on the central and southern sectors of the
Luitwaffe had itself created a number ofBeiell to around 300. On 18 October that year the Eastern Front; NSGr 5 with Go 145s on the
Luftwaffe's entire'ground-support arm' under- southern sector ofthe Eastern Front, and later
AHenschelHs I 23 roars out of the darkness, went complete reorgantzation to adapt it more ln Romania and Hungary; NSGr 6 wlth Go l45s
dropping four SC - 5 0 5 0 - kg ( I I 0 -lb) bombs fr om its closely to the demands oi defensive warfare in italy; and NSGr 7 wlth Hs l26s tn Croatia,

l: ..
Axis Ground Attack Aircraft
S,con afterwards NSGr l I was formed wrth Bii
-3ls, He 66s and Hs 126s flown largely by Esto-
:-ran pilots, as well as NSGr 12 with Bii 13ls and
--:s 126s flown by Latvian pilots.
The operations by these units were carried
- lt with the utmost bravery, not to mention the
:Lfficulties involved, In many instances the
!ilots flew their old aircraft from dirt roads,
:fren (through lack of radio and dependence
:n map reading as their only means of naviga
--cn) being unable to frnd their 'base' and, hav-
rg landed, to contact their scattered support
personnel, Bearlng in mind that almost all therr
::rissions were flown in darkness, the successes
=:hieved by the 'night assaulters' provide am-
ple testimony of their devotion to duty.
One of the 'old hands' was the veteran NCO,
lberfeldwbel Ludwig Bellof who became a
lrlot in 1941, jorned NSGr 3 as one of its original
prJots in December 1942 and flew the Ar 66 in
::ght operations against resisting forces on the
-eningrad front, and later around Vrtebsk and
?clotsk ln northern Belorussia, On one occa-
:ron, after a mght attack on a village 97 km (60
:des) north of Minsk, Bellof returned with liter- area. TVro names stand out rn these operations: The Fiat CR.42 was soon outmoded in the deserr
Oberfeldwebel Josef Flogel and Hauptmann waL but like the Germans the ltalians saw a use !c:
=Jy hundreds of buliet holes in hrs old biplane,
--:e survived the war, having flown about 800 Franz-Karl Theyerl. Fldgel was a veteran of them in night harassment. These examples are
:cmbat missrons with the harassment units and operations in Ar 66s and Go i45s on the south- about to launch a night attack on a British columt
:eing awarded one of only seven Knight's ern sector; he flew numerous'courier' flights to
lrosses given to the night assaulters, the beleagnrered forces in the Hungarian capit-
Not all the operations were of a strrctly offen- al and won the Kniqht's Cross before being tented encampments, Many prlots also ca::_=-
s:ve nature, as witness the use of NSGr 5 with taken prisoner by the Soviets when the crty feli, panniers of hand grenades in ther c. l-r=
-neir Fieseler Storch short-field aircraft in sup- Theyerl was a younq Austrian, and flew more which they would toss out as lhey flev.'-c','. : .--:
pcri of the German pocket of resistance at than 500 harassment missions in Ar 66s, Fw 58s, enemy troop concentrations. There -r,'er= . ..-
3udapest in February i945, a necessary expe- Go I45s and He 46s; Theyerl was captured by recorded instances of fairly large iue- ::--
jient followinq the loss of all airfields in the the Soviets in Budapest but managed to escape ammunition dumps being destroyed sin:p--.-: .

from the train in which he was being taken to the use of Molotov cocktails thrown frc:: .:--
the East and reached his home rn Bavaria short- cockprtsl Attacks were almost invanab--; :-
ly after the war; he not only held the Knight's rred oul by relaysofsrngle aircrall throu;:. : -' .
Cross but also the German Cross in Gold, single ntght, seldom returning to :he s=:-=
Until 1944 the ly'ach/scftlachtgruppen were target on successive nights so as to a;c-j ;:--
able to deliver only very small weapons against necesary losses from strenqthened and a-=r = {
the enemy, these being conflned to an occa- flak defences,
sional50-kg (110-1b) bomb, or perhaps three or A new chapter in the affairs of the :-;:.
four 20-kg (44-1b) bombs, The favourite assaulters began in 1944 when most cf --:-e --
weapon was, however, the 2-kg (4 4-1b) SD 2 87D-equippe d S chlachtfl iegergescht a ::
fragmentation bomb, most of the old biplanes (SG) begran converting to the grounci a-a:,,=:
being racked to carry up to 20 such weapons versions of the Focke-Wulf Fw I90 Apar :':-
for attacks aqainst Soviet truck parks and the dedicated anti-tank Ju 87G which :iar :
remain in service as being highly ef;e:--.-=
N ight-time nuisance raids were seen as highly
cost-effective operations, hampering enemy troop ,Successfu,lrards were short, brutal affairs :
movements and denying rest to units in the line. loitering over alerted Soviet defences in slow.
Operating under the cloak of darl<nest lfi e fragile aircraft was not a recipe for victory. Over
relative lack of pedormance of the lesswell protected rear areas, more leisurei','
Nachtschlachtgrnrppen macftines was not a serious h ar as sme n t was feasib I e -

.i'.=.::i1]i t,r.,:t: :1

, , e-i*}

A Shot in the Dark

ASiebelSi204E of 2./
Nachschlachtgruppe 4, based at
M alaclq, S lov aki a, in N ovember
1944. Such aircraftwould have been
used in what would now be called
'psy-war'including such tasks as
leallet-dropping as well as in the
more usual role of Staffel orGruppe
com m u nic a tion s air cr af t.

against the mass of Sovlet armour desplte enor-

mous losses among the 'old hands', almost all
the redundant Ju 87s (Bs and Ds) were distri-
buted among the ly'acifsch/achtgntppen, par-
i:cularly NSGr 9 which achieved a measure of
success against the British and American
forces in ltaly. NSGr 1 and 2 eventually flew Ju
87s in ihe West, but the most outstanding of all
-,vas NSGr 20which was formed outof IIVKG 51.
Ii was at that time that a new name rose to
promrnence among the nrght assauiters. Kurt
Dahlmann had been an experienced bomber
c-1ot almost smce the beginning of the war
beicre commandinq the fast bomber Gruppe,
SKG l0 Under his command this fighter- Gotha aircraft did not match their combat exploits The Biicker Bii I 3 I was, along with the Gotha Go
c,:nber r.rmt flew the Fw 190G-l in mght/bad- of WorldWar I, but thetwo-seatGo 145 basic I 45, one of the m ains tays of N achs chl achtgruppe 2
r;ea:her attacks against southern England, trainer was extensively used on the Eastern Front on the northern sector ofthe Eastern Front,
-erq renamed IIVKG 5l and then NSGr 20 in for nightnuisance raiding, continuing in this role operating against Leningrad, amongst other
l,:;ember 1944 when based at T\venthe in the until the end of the war. locations. Tie Gruppe rara s eventually transferred
l.:jrerlands. Led by Dahlmann (who had re- to the west and equipped with redundant J u 87 s.
:=:-,-eci ihe Knight's Cross earlier in 1944), smal1
seio:rs oi Fw I9Os, each carrying a l800-kg surely, was the very essence of night harass- Rhine and on Allied airflelds in the Low Coun-
j :aE-iic) bomb, carried out sneak night raids, ment, Major Dahlmann htmself survlved to re- tries but, aiter suffering heavy casualties, were
:::3:r jr appalling weather, against key targets ceive the Oakleaves on 24 january 1945, eventually grounded through fuel shortage.
;::rd the Allied lines, including headquar- One other Gruppe remains to be mentioned, Alas, on account of the hastily improvised na-
:r:s c',:rJdings, tank parks, road and rail junc- Followrng attempts by NSGr 20 to destroy the ture of so many of Nachtschlachtrzerb?inde's op-
-,:s. bridges and lock gates. The attacks were vital bridge over the Rhine at Remage:r in erations, the vast proportion of their work went
=i<-iully planned and executed, and consider-
March 1945, some Junkers Ju 88P-3s were unrecorded and remains only in the memory of
r:-e Camage was done in dozens of instances, assembled from NSGr 4 and 9 (with pilots from a dwindling number of survrvors.
-:,e A-llied authorites not always aware that an IV/NJG 2 and KG 3) and formed into NSGr 30 for
Many captured aircraft were impressed into night
-i a:tack had been responsible slmply be- operations agalnst the American and Brittsh
fiarassmenf servrbe, such as this Dutch-built
:a.:se only a single bomb might have been forces in the West. Flying at low level by niqht FokkerC.V-E. The aircraftwas takenfrom the
i:pped, On at least one occasion the destruc- in pairs (one of the atrcraft iliuminatlng the Danish air force and used on the Eastern Front in
:::- cf a fuel dump in Belgium was ascribed to target with flares) the Ju 88 crews carried out a I 943 , from where it was flown to neutral Sweden in
-:e -rork of saboteurs, but it is now clear that lt score of attacks in the closing weeks of the war, October 1944 by four Estonians and eventually
r;^s caused by one of Dahlmann's pilots, That, particuiarly agarnst crossing points on the returned to Denmark in I 947.


. i3B

Henschel Hs r29
Henschel was one of four companies I29 with grreater flre-power, leading to
(the others being Focke-Wulf, Gotha the Hs 1298-2 series which was intro-
and Hamburger Flugzeugbau) to duced into service in the early part of
which, in April 1937, the Reichsluftiahr- 1943, They included the Hs IZ9B-ZRI
:ministerium rssued a specification for which carried two ZO-mm MG 151/20
a twin-engine ground-attack aircraft. It cannon and two 13-mm (0.51-in)
required to carry at least two 20- machine-gnrns; and the Hs I29B-2/R3
rm MG FF cannon and to have exten- with the two MG l3s deleted but
s-ve armour plating protection for equipped with a 37-mm BK 3.7 gmn,
:rew and engines, The two Cesiqns for Final production varrant was the Hs
','.-jllch development contracts were l298-3 ol which approximately 25 TheHenschelHs 129 was designed to a 1937 specification for an armoureti..
.-xarded on I October 1937 were the were built and which carried an elec- twin-engined ground attack aircraft. Far superior to Allied equivalens. it
; rcke-Wulf Fw lB9C and Henschel Hs tro-pneumatlcally operated 75-mm BK showed howmuch importance theGermans attached toclose air support.
i29. The latter was a Friedrich Nico- gun,
-:.:s design with a light alloy stressed- (12,565ft);serviceceilingg0OOm 3,25m(10ftBin),wingarea29 -- :-:
:-cr fuselage of triangrular section. It Specification (29,525 ft); ranse 560 km (348miles) (312,16 sq ft)
:-':-.'aLned a small co:kpi: '^-::h a r?s- HerschelHs 1298-Ln2 Weights:empty3Bl0kg(8,4001b); Armament:two20-mmMGlol 2-
:-:ied view necessi'tat.l:g the removal Type: single-seat ground-attack maximumtake-off5110 kq(11,266 lb) cannon two7,92-mm(0.31-Lr)\13 --
-: sorne :ts:t-ilT-enis :c :-:e tnboard arrcraft Dimensions: span 14,20 m (46 ft 7. I in); machine-qnrns and one 30-mn i,k - - -
-.1^^ -:^
^i ^--.*^ TL^
^^-.-t.*-^ Powerplanr: two 522-kW (700-hp) Iength9,75 m(31 ft 11,9 in); height cannon .
'.-.:iscreen was ri-raOe
:, armoured glass and the nose sec-
oi Z;-mir (Z.gS- Gnome-Rh6ne 4M radial piston
1 :.\ t{

:: was manufactured fuom armour Performance maximum speed


;-:ring. Nose armament comprised 407 km/h (253 mph) at 3830 m

..';: 2O-mm MG FF cannon and two
- l2-mm (0,31-rn) MG 17 machine-
.s Although the Henschel aircraft :L:iil!!:t.1.=:tF:rr$I:\.ii;.::+ r,:ir:+: ::::r:r:nr::tir\

":.q considered to be underpowered , h..

.:=-i to have too small a cockpit, the
:::rpany was awarded a contract for
=-;rt pre-production aircraft, two of
'::-ch were converted at Schonefeld
: =ccept Gnome-Rhdne 14M 4/5 radial
:---:xnes. It was with this powerplant
:-r: 10 Hs I29B-0 development aircraft
'::le delivered from December l94l;
-l--:ament compnsed two 20-mm MG Above:AnHs 1298-I of 8./SG I onthe
-: - 20 cannon and two 7,92-mm (0,31- Russian front, February I 943. Later
:, MG 17 machine-guns. The produc- models carried increased armament
-::- Hs l92B-I series became oper- to deal with heavily- armoured S oviet
.::ral on the Eastern Front, where the tanks.
-"':e was to be used most widely
-:-ough rt sewed also in North Africa
--='.' and in France after the D-Day
l7 the end of 1942 the growrng capa-
: 1r of Soviet tank battalions made it
=::.ntlai to develop a version of the Hs

-:venty-five HenschelHs l29s mounted a 75-mm (2.95-in) gun capable of destroying even the mostwell-protected enemy AFVs.

Messerschmitt Bf I I0
so many German aircraft which
-' adaptation for sewice rn
-:::ational roles other than those for
T:-3h they were originally intended,
:: Messerschmitt Bf lI0 Zerstorer
::siroyer, or heavy fighter) had
:::';ed unsuitable in the role of day
:::::ber escort when confronted by
:-: jern lnterceptor single-seat
--;::-:ers but came to be widely used in
':: ground attack/flghter-bomber
:--: During the Battle of Britain Bf
--,ls and Ds of V(Z)/I,G I, IYZG 26
---::s: Wesel', VZG 76, and L and 2,/
:::31 210 carried out numerous
-;::er-bomber attacks, the latter Slaf-
'=-: being components of a Gruppe
.,::cifically created to introduce
-;:ier-bombing/pathf,nding tactics to
':.: under Hauptmann Wal-
-: ?,lbensdorffer (who was killed fol- USSR on 22 June 1941, These were Zer- Above: the Messerschmitt Bf I 1 0G-2
- 7,lg a raid on Croydon on 15 Augnrst storergeschwader 26'Horst Wessel' was widely used in the ground attack
and Schnellkampfgeschwader (fast role. This is an aircraft ol II/ZG I over
-:e first dedicated flghter-bomber bomber wing) 210, the latter having Italyin 1943.
=::-on of the Bf I 10, after the Bf I 10C- been created out of ErpGr 210 ex-
-: -!d D-2 sub-series adaptatrons, was panded Io Geschwader proportions Right : A close-up of the BK 37 -mm
= Bf IIOE serres, and this version and equipped with Bf 1I0E-I aircraft ( 1.45-in)anti-tank gun fitted to some
*;-_pped the two gnound-attack units following the failure of the Me 210 to Bf 1 I0G-2s. No heavier weapons
--;-:yed in the East when Operation meet operational demands These were introduced, as the Bf I l1s were
: --:::rossa' was launched against the were soon joined by Bf I 10E-equipped diverted to the night-fighter role.
Messerschmitt Bf I I0 (continued)

II/ZG I, and were heavily

Staffeln of
committed during the early fast-
advancing offensives, attaclang Soviel
aucrafi on theu airfields as well as soft-
sknrred transport vehicles with de-
luges of fragmentation bombs,
The E-series was joined early in
1342 by sub-variants of the DB 6058-
powered Bf llOG-series, The Bf llOG-
2 -ras widely used in the qround AMesserscftmittBf I108 of 8./ZG 26basedatBerca,NorthAfrica,inSepternberI942.Itis armedwiththepowertul
a:iack/antilank role, the RI, R2 and R3 MK 1 0 I 30-mm cannon, for user'n tie lan&-busting role.
:ustsatz field kit introducing 37-mm
:lak 1B and 30-mm MK iOB cannon to ing offensive by RAF Bomber Com- Specification WeishG: empty 5200 kq (] 1,464 lb);
:e Bf llO's amament. Towards the mand. Only in the closing weeks of the Messerschmitt Bf I l0C-48 maximumtake-of 6910 kg(15,234 Ib)
::C oi 1942, however, these gmns be- war, when the Allies were jamming the Type: two-seat grround attack fighter- Dimensions:span 16.28 m(53 ft
lal to fail to penetrate Soviet tank night-fighters into helplessness, were bomber 4.75 rn); lengith i2. I0 m (39 ft 8.5 in);
:lilorrr, parhcularly in the case ofthe the suwivinq Bf I lOs ordered to pursue Powerplant: tlvo 895-kW ( I 200-hp)
, heiqht3.Sl m (1 1 ft 6 in); wingarea
a:::rval of the T-34 tank, and much less niqht ground-attacks against the Daimler-Benz DB 601N inverted V- 12 38.37 mz (413.0 sq ft)
::Lance came to be placed on theZer- advancing Allied armies, but by then pistonengiines Armament two 20-mm MG FF cannon
::alerg,ruppen in the grround attack the RAF de Havilland Mosquitoes Performance: maximum speed andirur 7.92-mm (0.3l-rn) MG l7
-:-cton. ln any case alrnost all Bf ll0 ruled the night skres over Germany. 473 kn/h (294 mph) at sea level; climb machine-guns in the nose and turin
pr:ductron was by then being distrt- to 1650 m(5,415 ft)in3.Bminutes; 7.92-mm MG B I quns in the rear
:::ed among rught-fighter units for the service ceiling 8300 m (27,230 ft); cockpit, plus racks icr two 250-kg (55 I -
:::erce of Germany against the grow- normal ranqe about 790 m (490 miles) lb) bombs under the wing roots

El ti"s"rschmitt Me 210 and Me 4I0

l:-= 3ernans prnned high hopes on mandy iandings and became very ac-
:-: Messerschmitt Me 210, which first tive over the invasion area. Ofthe total
1:;, ::.i 2 September 1939, as an ulti- of I,160 Me 4l0s produced, not more
::-a:: leplacement for the Bf 110. than about 200 ever equipped ground-
i-l:;:;er. affer the prototype (with altack units, the remainder servrng as
-r-:- ::s and rudders, like the Bf I l0) conventional mediumJevel light bom-
:=-a-r.ed chronic instability and later bers, reconnaissalce aircraft and as
::=.:ed duInQI flutter trials (even after bomber-destroyers in the air defence
:1=:r: :3 a larqe srngle fin and rudder), of the Reich.
:=-,-:i:pment was slow, It was not until
::-: ::iof i940 that a few preproduc- Specification
--- :-:craft were delivered to Erpro- Messerschmitt Me 4I0A- I
:-:j:sEfruppe 2i0, the unit that had Tlpe: two-seat fighter/fi ghter-bomber
:-'.::- f:rmed to introduce the aircraft Powerplant: two 1305-kW ( I, 750-hp)
---:, :peratronal service before the Bat- Daimler-Benz DB 603A inverted V- 12 height4,28 m (14 ft0 5 in); wingarea ThisMe2l0A-I of III|ZG I wasbased
--= :: Bntarn. The principal qround
piston engines 36. l9 mz (389.6 sq ft) in ?unrir'a dunhg tft e lina/ stages of
ranants were the Me 2l0A-2 Performance: maximum speed Armament: two MG 15 l/20 20-mm the battle for North Africa, during
lB 60lAa engrines and the Me
-,---:- 638 kr/h (396 mph) at 6700 m cannon and two 7.92-mm (0, 3 l-in) MG April I 943. Thearrcraft were usedin
{10G2 mth DB 6058 engrines; these (21,980 ft) or 549 kn/h (341 mph) at sea l7 machine-gnrns in the nose and tie Zerst6rer/grro und attack role.
:..-:ad to eqlup IVZG I on the Eastern level; climbto6700 m(21,980 ft)in 10.7 single l3-mm(0.5I-in) MG 131heavy
::::-: sholrly after the German attack minutes; sewice ceilinq 10000 m machine-gun in each of hvo remotely-
::- -:-= USSR opened but, followtnq a (32,810 ft); normalrange 1480 km (920 controlled FDL 13 1 barbettes on the Seen during &e aircraflt trr'als, one
:-'-::ier of fatal accidents when pilots mrles) sides ofthe centre firselage, plus a of &e ergft tpre -production Me 2 I 0A-
,,:- ccntrol in shock stails during Weights:empty 6050 kg (13,338 lb); bombload of up to two 1000-kg (2, 205- 0s rb seen r'n form ation with an
the aircraft was quick-
--'j:d attacks,fiom maximum take-off 10530 kg (23,2 15 lb) lb) bombs internally, or up to 10 50-kq Me 2 1 0A- 1, the nearer of the two.
-,'-,';:drawri operational
use, By Dimensions: span 16,35 m (53 ft ( I lO{b) bombs intemally and on in retrospecl tlte crafl ras
----: --lre a remedy had been found, in 7,75 in); lensth 12,41 m(40 ftB.5 in); extemalncks unsuccessfu/ from lie firsl.
::-:--942 (by fittinq wrng slats), some
:,,- a.rcraff had been completed and
-_-= ::ajonty of these underwent mod-
.:- the event no more than 258 Me
2,-s ever reached the Luftwaffe and
::-,'; :f the modified aircraft equipped
..--,--operational ground-attack units,
-:- was because, by 1943, interest
:--:ued on the Me 410 Hornisse (hor-
:=:;. which was in effect a DB 603A-
p':-rered Me 210 with lengrthened en-
nacelles and all the stability-
assoclated modifications found essen-
:d rn the earlier aircraft. By 1943 the
:perahonal distinction between close-
sjppofi and tactrcal bombing had be-
:ome blurred in the Luftwaffe and,
:hough the Me 4I0A equrpped 5.iKG
2 at Lechfeld, and 2, (F)/122 and ilyzc I
-:- lhe central Mediterranean, only the
:perational sorties by the last-named
-:r,rt could be described as'close sup-
poil' of the German army, Another
bomber unit, VKG 5I 'Edelweiss', was
equrpped with Me 4104s in June 1943
-rr night raids over the UK (and, on
account of its excellent performance,
proved a touqh adversary even for the
PdF's de Havilland Mosquito nighl
-ghters); however, VKG 51 switched to
-.:e tactical role at the time of the Nor-

Armed Forces of the World

l' all the Middle East Arab nations. none is more
-:s: eto lsraelthan Syna, Syria sharesasubstantial
::-re' \\'ith lsrael at the mument. but even in the
::S: ,',^:^ :^: :,',: ^3: C^S \\ere Separated geO-
l'::- :: . :l : l-::::' a\:3^: : lslalll' SVria
-- Y_ _ -- :'
:-:-. t-:' :-' -: --: ::-:l -:- l;.:' .'':; I
- - - ----:--':::'-: '"i-:
.=il..= -.---..----. _i;1.=-
=-=-. =.-_-=.:.
. -.= _ : :- - -- ' ---:---. -:- :----:.: r_
--:-: -*:- :-. :,-.:--: ',-'=.-. t'::-::-a::-:
-: : -: :: --:- ::::-:. --'.:', =-:-: ;:---' r.:
. : - . : : .i r
'---::: - a-'= - ::-'::--: :-:: ^:". ^:JS:^:
-: :-e S,' a. aai :3 l3-as:-s, and even partlally
: -:- 3'r<s.ine o'ev cls establ,sned borders in south-
: _UUdI IU I-
Syrian armed forces are still among the most
::,verf ul in the Middie East. To a very great extent
:.'a js also one of the Soviet Union's most recep-
: .: allies in the Middle East, and while the present
-:g me may be regarded as more authoritarian than
',':xlst, the Soviet Union continues to wield con-
:erable inf luence on Syrian policies. As a result the Since the 1 960s Syria has had one of the largest The army is organized along conventional Scr ::
S , ' an armed forces are equipped with all manner of tank forces in the Middle East and crrrently lines and is equipped largely with Soviet weacc-s
S:vret weaponry and are to a great extent organized operates over 4,000 MBTs. T-62s, seen here during There are four armoured divisions, one of tr:*
Syrian intervention in Lebanon in I 976, make up a assigned as an elite Presidential Guard unr:, ar:
:-C conducted along conventional Soviet lines. quarter of the total, with another quarter being the
'.'-Lch of the equipment provided to the Syrians is each armoured division has two armoured brio::gs
new T-7 2 and the rest T-55s.
:: d f or by oil exports, but a large proportion of it has and one mechanized brigade. There are two '-r'e:--
nized divisions, each with two mechanized br g:::s
-:en supplied on a nominal cost basis. Whenever
.^e Syrian armoury has been severelydepleted, as it the Syrian armed forces. The current period of ser- and one armoured brigade. To this main .cr3::
,',:s in the 1973 warwith lsrael, new equipment has vice is 21/z years, but even before that the armed force can be added two independent arTno!13: 3--
:een supplied within days, and even during the forces play a considerable part in the militarytraining gades, four independent mechanized bngaces .-:
"::ent campaign in Lebanon losses were made that reaches down to secondary education level. two artillery brigades. There are five ccrr:-::
;:od within a very short period. Typical of this was The armed forces also figure prominently in the regiments, some of them based in Lebancr. :^: .
,^e situation when all the Syrian anti-aircraft mis- running and operation of the various internal intelli- single paratroop regiment. There are also tr': s--
: es in the Bekaa Valley were destroyed by the gence agencies that maintain a political vigil over face-to-surface missile regiments, one w tl =:a:
s'aeli alr force: these were replaced by new mis- most types of activities within the state. and the other with 'Scud' missiles, Air def ence s :-:
: es flown in directly from the Soviet Union to province of about 26 SAM batteries eqr po:J ,', :-
S" rian airfields. The Syrian Army SA-2, SA-3 and 54-6 missiles.
The Syrians have always been warlike race, and
a The Syrian army has a nominal strength of As noted above, nearly all the equipment JSe: c "

:^e current regime relies on the armed forces not 170,000, of whom only 50,000 are regulars. To the Syrian army is supplied direct from tne S:! =:
:^ly as an instrument of external policy (as in Leba- these can be added a number of other organizations, Union, and current tank stocks stand at \4'e .':'
- :n) but also as an internal political prop. ln retu rn for including the strong Worker's Militia, various gen- 4,000. Most of these are T-54s and T-55s. ::*-
.^ s support the armed forces are liberally supplied darmeries and other border guard units, and even plemented by about 1,000 T-62s and l,000 ---l:
-:t only with equipment but with extras such as two Palestinian Liberation Army brigades led by Despite this numerical strength the Syrrans la,, : ^::
::propriated buildings, vehicles and even control of Syrian officers and equipped with tanks and artillery, shown up well in past conflicts with tne s'::
::rre industries. The use of a widely imposed con- Part of the Air Defence Command also comes under armoured forces, and during the 1973 con' :::-.
::'ption policy further increases the importance oi army control. Syrian army lost what was vilcually its enr re :a-,.
fleet. Control and communication betw,ee' -- :.
still remains an inherent problem forthe S1-r a' ::--
manders, who appear to rely on strict obedien:e ::
orders and rigid planning rather than tactica' ' :\ : -
ity. Maintenance appears to be an eve:-r'ssa^:
problem, even when considering the large :' 'ee:
reconnaissance vehicles (BRDM) and arn ::-o-'e:
sonnel carriers (BMP, BTR-40, BTR-50 3-:{:
BTR-152 and 0T-64).
The Syrian army is also strong in artiller-. ,',-:-
includes nearly all the latest Soviet develcc-:-::
including the self-propelled 122-mm (48-" 2S'
Rocket-launchers of calibres upto240 mrr 9 13 -

Syrian troops patrol West Beirut in BTR- I 5 2 s . the

U.SSR's frrstpost-war APC, which was fu s t s een
parading through the streets of Moscow in I 9 5 i .

WhileSyria possesses over 400 sophisticated B!4P

MICYs, these oldervehicles are more appropria:e
for low-intensity urhan operations.
\p Pe-si (

Syria !-
Although MiG-ZI s constitute the main strength of
the Spian Arab air force, some 85 MiG- I 7s are still
in front-Iine seruice, equipping tour of the fighterl
ground-attack squadrons. The MiG- I 7 pictured
herewas sabotaged by theSyrians shorilybefore
the air base was overrun by advancing Israeli
forces, to prevenf ifs re-use agam st its former

naval bases are at Tartus, Minet-el-Baida and Lata-

kia, but these are usable only by small naval craft,
which is all the Syrian navy operates. Apart from the
two ex-Soviet frigates and the four small corvettes
being delivered from the Soviet Union, nearly all the
vessels are used for coastal duties only. The main
striking force consists of 1B fast attack vessels
armed with missiles and a further eight torpedo-
armed attack craft, Three minesweepers, three
coastal patrol craft and a single large patrol boat
make up the rest of the Syrian navy's numbers.
are widely used, as are heavy mortars with calibres strengths. Four of these squadrons continue to use
up to 240 mm (9.45 in). The artillery includes large the rather elderly MiG-17 'Fresco', three use either Order of battle
numbers of anti-tank guns (which can double as f ield the Sukhoi Su-7 or Su-20'Fitter', and four use the Syrian Army
guns) along with 'Sagger', 'Spigot' and 'Swatter' MiG-238M 'Flogger'. The interceptor squadron 4 armoured divisions, each with two armoured
anti-tank missiles; to the latterthe Milan missile has equipped with the MiG-25 'Foxbat-A' is also used for brigades and one mechanized brigade
been added from French sources. This supply of reconnaissance over lsraeli territory. 2 mechanized divisions, each with two mechanized
equipment from France is a recent development There are two transport squadrons equipped with brigades and one armoured brigade
and A6rospatiale Gazelle helicopters are also in the a mix of Antonov An-24 'Coke', An-26 'Curl', llyushin 2 independent armoured brigades
pipeline. ll-14'Crate', ll-18'Coot'and a small numberof ll-76 4 independent mechanized brigades
Anti-aircraft guns are still widely used for air de- 'Candid' aircraft. Two Dassault-Breguet Mystdre 2 artillery brigades
fence along with the more usual Soviet self- 20s are retained for presldential use. 5 commando regiments
propelled ZSU-23-4 and ZSU-57-2 weapons and the Helicopters have recently been ordered from 1 paratroop regiment
normal array of SAMs. France and include Gazelles and 46rospatlale Super 2 SSM missile reglments
Frelons. When all of these have been delivered they 26 SAM air def ence batteries
The Syrian Air Force will join the usual array of Soviet helicopters that 2 PLO brigades
On paper the Syrian air force is again strong, include the Mil Mi-2 'Hoplite', Mi-8 'Hip', Mi-24 Gendarmerie
numbering some 50,000 men and nearly 500 aircraft 'Hind' and a small force of four Kamov Ka-25 'Hor- Desert Guard
of all types. lt has some of the most advanced mones' used for limited offshore anti-submarine Worker's Militia
combat alrcraft the Soviet Union can supply, but in warfare.
nearly every encounter it has had with the lsraeliair The air force also shares the manning of the Air Syrian Air Force
force the Syrian air force has come off very much Defence Command, although this is under overall 12 interceptor squadrons: one with MiG-25'Foxbat-
the worse, typical being one dogfight over Beirut a army command. ln all this covers no fewer than 87 A', and 11 with MiG-21 'Fishbed'and MiG-23
few years ago where the Syrians lost 20 aircraft and SAM batteries of which at least four were (for a time 'Flogger-E'
the lsraelis none. The,main problem again seems to at least) known to be fully manned by Soviet techni- 1 1 fighter/ground attacksquadrons: fourwith MiG-

be command and control as individual initiative is not cians. These were the now infamous SA-5 sites in 17'Farmer', threewith Su-7 orSu-20'Fitter', and
encouraged by the current regime, and main- the Bekaa Valley, the only such sites known outside four with M iG-238M'Flogger-F'
tenance of some of the more sophisticated Soviet- the Soviet Union. Some of these SA-5 batteries are 2 transport squadrons (An-24'Coke', An-26'Curl',
supplied equipment probably leaves something to now under Syrian control. Most of the batteries use ll-14 'Crate', ll-1 I 'Coot' and ll-76 'Candid')
be desired. either the SA-2 or SA-3 SAM, but numbers of 54-6 helicopter units (Mi-2 'Hoplite', Mi-B'Hip', Mi-24
With the lsraeli air force within easy striking dis- SAMs are also in service. 'Hind', Ka-25'Hormone', Gazelle, Super Frelon)
tance of Damascus and many of the Syrian bases, Air Defence Command: 87 SAM batteries
no less than 1 2 squadrons are assigned to defence. The Syrian Navy
One of these squadrons has the Mikoyan-Gurevich The Syrian navy is small and has only 2,500 men Syrian Navy
MiG-25 'Foxbat-A' and the others use either the with a similar number of reserves. The main Syrian 2 frigates
MiG-21'Fishbed' orthe MiG-23'Flogger'. There are 4 corvettes
also 1 1 fighter/giound attack squadrons, some of 18 missile-armed fast attack craft
Attacl<ed by the much better trat'ned and
which are probably below their established equipped Israelis in Lebanon in I 982, the Syrian B torpedo-armed fast attack craft
armoured forces were predictably defeated, 3 minesweepers
leaving large quan{ties of equipmenf sucfi as 3 coastal patrol craft
Carrying both Syrian and I sraeli markings, this patrol boat
SA 341 Gazellewas brought down during the these T-62s in the hands of their enemy . 1 large
fighting in Lebanon and is now llown by the
I sraelis. Syria purchased 45 Gazelles, all but I 0
equipped like this exampletofireATGWs, andin
tune I 984 ordered another I 2 from France.