At 0426 hours on 1st September 1939, three Ju87Bs of 3 Staffel, Stukageschwader 1 took off from Elbing to record the first bombing mission of World War Two. It marked the beginning of six years of relentless endeavour by the notorious Stuka and its courageous crews.
Following its success in the Polish and French ‘Blitzrieg’ campaigns the Stuka was seen by the German High Command as the supreme new weapon to succeed long range artillery. With its banshee-like wailing siren the Stuka pilots would deliver destruction from the skies and create a devastating psychological effect upon all those below.
The Stuka when dressed for war was an awesome spectacle. Robert Taylor’s outstanding painting shows a formation of Ju87’s bombed up and fitted with long range tanks heading out on a shipping strike over the Mediterranean in 1941.