Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA0156 JU 87 D-3 "Stuka" 102/2 Zuhanobombazo szazad (Dive Bomber Sqn.), Kiev, 1943 "ZB+00"

The Stuka was terror from the sky during the Blitzkrieg of Europe where there was little air opposition. Things changed with the Battle of Britain where they came up against Hurricanes and Spitfires. The much slower Stuka didn’t have a chance against the superior speed and agility of the fighters and suffered heavy losses. The Stukas were removed from the Western Front and sent to the Balkans to assist the Italian Air Force fight the Greeks and Yugoslavians. Frustrated by the inability of the Italian Air Force in North Africa to defeat a force many times smaller in size the German Ju-87’s were assigned to do the job. Here they once again were able to apply the tactics they had first become so well known for. Allied air power was almost non- existent during the early stages of the North African Campaign and the Stuka was able to inflict heavy losses on British troops and equipment. Once Allied aircraft were sent in numbers to North Africa the Stuka once again faltered from lack of speed and their airbases had to be moved further back from the front lines to escape the British artillery. Eventually after heavy losses the Dora’s and other Ju-87’s were withdrawn from North Africa. The Eastern front eventually became a shooting gallery for the Mig’s, Yak’s and numerous other Soviet planes as the Ju-87 was recklessly thrown into battle with the hopes of turning the fortunes of war.

In 1940 the Hungarian Air Force established an independent dive bomber group equipped with Ju-87 B-2 Stukas. The group used these for training their 2 squadrons until they received new Ju-87 D-3 and D-5’s. In 1943 2/2 Zuhanobombazo szazad (Dive Bomber Sqn.) called "Kokuszdio" ("coconut") later renamed 102/2 was involved in fighting on the Eastern Front. Around the end of October 1943 the group was ordered back to Hungary. During their time at the Eastern Front the group had flown 1,200 sorties and 102/2 itself managed to drop 800 tons of bombs.

Junkers Ju-87D-3 Specifications
Type: Single Engined Medium Bomber
Power Plant: 1 X 1,440hp Junkers Jumo 211J, 12 cylinder in line, water cooled
Wingspan: 45ft 3.25in (13.80m)
Length: 36ft 1in (11.00m)
Height: 12ft 9.5in (3.90 m)
Wing Area: 362.7sq ft (33.60 sq m)
Empty weight: 8,686lbs (3,940 kg)
Loaded weight: 14,550lbs (6,600 kg)
Max Speed 255mph (410 km/h)
Climbing Rate: 3000 meters in 14 minutes
Max range: 410mi (660 km)
Service Ceiling: 27,885ft (8,500 m)
Armament: 2 x 20mm MGH151/20 one in each wing,
1x7.92mm MG81machine gun, rear cockpit,
Ordnance: 1x 551 lb (250 kg) or 1x 1,103 lb (500 kg)
or 1x 2205 lb (1,000 kg) bomb under fuselage, plus 4x 551 lb
(250 kg) or 2x 1103 lb (500 kg) bombs under wings. Maximum load - 3,500 lbs.