Hobby Master HA0101 | JU-87 G-1 "Tank Buster" Stab 10.(Pz)/SG2, H. Rudel, Slovakia, 1944 This was Rudel's very first Stuka

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JU-87 G-1 "Tank Buster" Stab 10.(Pz)/SG2,
H. Rudel, Slovakia, 1944
This was Rudel's very first Stuka


Scale 1:72 / Diecast model

General Background:


The Ju-87G was the final version of the Stuka. Stuka (a contraction of the word
Sturzkampfflugzeug - dive bomber)  There were two versions used as tank busters, the G-1
(G-1s were minimal conversions from D-3s) the G-1 was based on the short-wing span D-3
model while the G-2 (G-2s were rebuilt D-5s that were much cleaner aerodynamically than
the G-1), was based on the long-wing span D-5 model. Instead of dive attacks Germany
decided to keep the design as it was, but to upgrade the power plant to a Jumo 211J, and
add two 30 mm (1.2 in) cannon. The variant was also designed to carry a 1,000 kg (2,200 lb)
free-fall bomb load. These weapons fired special armour-piercing ammunition, with tungsten
cores, at a muzzle velocity of 850m/sec. They were installed in gun pods fitted outboard of
the landing gear legs. The ammunition was in six-round clips per gun. The first operational
trials were made in March 1943. The normal 7.9mm or 20mm wing guns were deleted and
the holes were covered and this model recreates this. Dive bombing was not possible with
the additional weight of the guns, so the dive brakes were also deleted -- the Ju-87G could
still drop bombs, but not in a dive.
Initially, the Ju-87G was seen as quite dangerous to its crews. The additional weight and
drag of the wing guns adversely affected performance and handling, and low-level attacks in
the face of the Soviet AAA and fighters seemed suicidal. But true as that was, it remained
that the Ju-87G was extremely effective. By 1943 the 37mm gun was considered obsolete as
an anti-tank gun on the ground, but from the air it was still effective, because the Ju-87G
could attack tanks from the rear or from above, were their armour was much thinner. Not that
the Germans refrained from trying out bigger cannon on anti-tank aircraft, but the Ju-87 could
not possibly carry these, and larger aircraft such as the Ju-88 were not agile enough to
operate successfully against tanks. These Gustav models were specialized tank killers,
nicknamed the Panzerknacker (tank cracker) or Kanonenvogel (cannon bird). The
Panzerknackers were extremely vulnerable to enemy fighters, but they flew on regardless
until the end of the war. Production of the Ju-87 was ended in October 1944.


The Aircraft:


The best known and most effective Stuka pilot, Hans Ulrich Rudel (Oberst St.G2.). Oberst
would be the equivalent to USAAF Colonel or RAF Group Captain.  Rudel's squadron of nine
tank-busting Ju-87 G-1 was assigned to support the 3rd SS Panzer Division "Totenkopf". On
the first day of the Operation Citadel (July 4, 1943 – August 23, 1943), during his first
mission, Rudel knocked out four Soviet tanks and by the evening, his score grew to twelve.
Ju-87 G I was used extensively in battle during the Offensive of Kursk. Rudel found that the
best way to knock out tanks was to hit them in the back (T-34's rear mounted engine and its
cooling system did not permit the installation of heavier armor plating) or the side. Interesting
fact is that attacking the back of the tank meant that the plane had to come from the rear
flying towards friendly territory - great advantage if the plane got damaged during the attack.
By wars end Rudel had the following records; 2,530 missions of combat, 9 air to air
victories), 519 + destroyed tanks, 800 vehicles of all the types, 150 pieces of artillery,
innumerable bridges, 70 amphibious boats, a battleship, a cruiser, destroyer.

Aircraft Specifications

Type: Ju-87G-1
Function: anti-tank
Year: 1942
Crew: 2
Engines: 1 * 1400hp Junkers Jumo
Wing Span: 15.00 m
Length: 11.50 m
Height: 3.90 m
Wing Area: 33.69m2
Empty Weight: 4400 kg
Max.Weight: 6600 kg
Speed: 314 km/h
Range: 320 km
Armament: 2 x 37 mm cannons,  1 x
7.92 mm mg