Aviation of World War II

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Anti-tank aircraft


Ju 87G2

In 1942, the Luftwaffe command realized the insufficient effectiveness of standard bombs against the ever-increasing tank armor. And if at the beginning of the war the effectiveness of conventional bombs was quite acceptable, then by the beginning of 1943 they were practically useless against the growing number of T-34 medium tanks. A direct hit of the bomb on the tank was necessary. But diving into each individual tank with a 250-kg bomb was not possible. There aren't enough bombs, and it's hard to hit. It was necessary to counter the emerging threat with some new, more advanced weapon. It was proposed to use the upgraded 37-mm Flak 18 anti-aircraft gun in this capacity. Alteration of the gun was reduced to changing the muzzle brake, reducing the barrel length and changing the recoil and bolt mechanisms. The whole structure was placed in a streamlined container. So the VK 3.7 sm aircraft gun was born. The ammunition load of the gun was 12 shells (usually armor-piercing) in narrow box magazines.

Only two modifications of the Stuka received this anti-tank weapon - the Ju 87G-1, converted from the D-3 (about 100 copies were produced in total) and the Ju 87G-2, created on the basis of the D-5 (174 vehicles). On some "Gustavs" they retained the usual offensive weapons, which were used for sighting.

In December 1942, the new version was tested at the Rechlin training ground and ... were satisfied. No one really bothered to answer the question of how the Gustav pilot should fight in a car, under the wing of which bulky pieces of iron stick out, each of which weighed more than 300 kg. The new attack aircraft had such a low speed that it barely overtook the old reconnaissance aircraft Hs 126, contemptuously referred to in the Red Army as a “crutch”, the new Ju 87 also earned many nicknames: “Cannon bird” (Kanonenvogel) or “Thing with long sticks” (Stuka mil den Langen Stangen).

Ju87 G2 1944-01

Ju-87 Specification
Ju-87G-2 Ju-87H-1 Ju-87R-2
Crew 2
Length, m 11.50
Height, m 3.88 3.88 4.01
Wing span, m 15.00 15.00 13.80
Wing area, m2 33.68 33.68 31.90
Wing loading, kg/m² 195 156.1 177.2
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 3930 x 2750
Max takeoff weight 5960 5000 4350
Engine Jumo 210J-1 Jumo 211J-1 Jumo 211Da
Power, hp/kW 1420/ 1044 1420/ 1044 1200/ 883
Maximum speed km/h 380 380 410
at altitude, m 4090 4090 4100
Time to altitude min 12 13.4 19
m 4000 3000 5000
Service ceiling, m 8000 8000 7285
Service range, km 790 1160 1535
Machine guns 3 3 3
External bomb load, kg     500
Photo Description
Drawing Ju 87 G-2 Drawing Ju 87 G-2
The Ju-87G-1 from 'Panzerjagdkommando' The Ju-87G-1 from "Panzerjagdkommando"


  • "Aviation of Luftwaffe" /Viktor Shunkov/
  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/