During the Second World War, the Soviet Union's Petlyakov Pe-2 _Peshka_ dive-bomber was unique in that it was as fast as most fighter aircraft. This was in a period when it was considered by the RAF that it was impossible for monoplane aircraft to conduct vertical bombing with any degree of success. During the war the Pe-2 was the principal dive- and light-bomber of Russia's air power across the vast Eastern Front and it continued in service until the early 1950s with the air forces of the Warsaw Pact countries and Yugoslavia. Conceived by a team of top aircraft designers whom Stalin had incarcerated in a prison camp on trumped-up political charges, the Pe-2 had originally been designed as a high-altitude twin-engine fighter plane, but, due to the outstanding success of the German Stukas in the Blitzkrieg, its role was quickly changed to that of a fast dive-bomber. The Pe-2 arrived in service around the time of the German attack on its hitherto ally. Although only a handful had reached front line units by the start of Operation _Barbarossa_ in June 1941, the Pe-2 soon became the main dive-bomber in both the Soviet VVS and Naval service. Mass production, by factories hastily moved back beyond the front, meant that numbers increased rapidly, and more than 11,000 of the type, including many variants, were built up to 1945. The _Peshka_ became the mainstay of the Soviet counteroffensive that ultimately resulted in the fall of Berlin. Pe-2s also led the way in the brief but annihilating Manchurian campaign against Japan in the closing days of the war in 1945. Using official sources, including the official Pe-2 handbook, and numerous color and black-and-white photographs made available to the author from both official and private sources and collections, this book is the definitive record of the Pe-2 - the dive-bomber supreme!
The encyclopedia of weapns of world war II is the most detailed and authoritative compendium of the weapons of mankind's greatesst conflict ever published. It is a must for the military, enthusiast, and all those interested in World War II.
The twin-engine Petlyakov Pe-2, or 'Peshka', formed the mainstay of the Soviet dive and light-bomber force in World War Two. Of advanced design, and sleek appearance, the twin-engine Pe-2 was an extremely fast and reliable aircraft. Aviation historian Peter C Smith tells the full story of this remarkable aircraft, and places it in the context of the Russian campaign, the success of which owed much to this reliable and very numerous machine. Using official sources, including the official Pe-2 handbook, and numerous color and black-and-white photographs from private sources, this deeply-researched book will be invaluable for the historian, enthusiast and modeler alike.
The History and Composition of the World's Air Forces
Author: David W. Wragg
Category: Air forces
This title should provide a brief history and details of current equipment, manpower levels and budgets for all the world's major air forces, army air corps and naval air arms. It covers over 240 forces in over 160 countries worldwide. Photographs from many of the air forces are included in colour, showing their wing, fuselage or tail markings.
This is a study of aircraft from World War II. The book is part of a 12-volume series, which covers the production and operation of aircraft worldwide. Each volume is devoted to essays on aircraft types, their development and option, systems and equipment. As well as outlining developments, each article seeks to explain why progress was in a particular direction, emphasizing the political, strategic or economic factors that dictated that development. Moving from the general to the specific, graphs and tabular data relating to typical or significant aircraft or allied subjects are provided in each section. The series concentrates on the development of aircraft from the viewpoint of their technical development, the effect of technical development on the use of aircraft, and the effect of their usage on technical development. Contributors to this title include: E.R. Hooton, Derek Wood, Alfred Price, M.J.F. Bowyer, Group Captain Peter Hearn, Norman Friedman, Elfan Ap Rees, Les Coombes, Andrew Nahum, Captain Eric Brown and John Golley.
Details on planes like the German Stuka, the American Dauntless, the Japanese Aichi D3A1 "Val," the Soviet PE-2, and numerous others. Riveting accounts of aerial combat. Includes maps, diagrams, tables, and photos.