“Jericho Trumpets” – The Junkers Ju-87 Stuka in 32 Amazing Photos

 
 
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As a dive bomber which practically spearheaded the doctrine of ground-attack aircraft, the Junkers Ju-87 Stuka was one of the Luftwaffe’s most feared assets. Accompanied by the terrifying sound of sirens fitted on its main gear legs, widely known as “Jericho Trumpets”, it became the trademark of early German victories during the Second World War.

Designed in 1935 by Hermann Pohlmann, a young and radical German aerospace engineer, the Stuka introduced several novelties to the expanding aircraft industry like the automatic pull-up dive brakes fitted under both wings. This invention was to make sure that the aircraft pulled up from its attack dive automatically, in case the pilot blacked out due to high g-forces.

Its design also featured inverted gull wings and a fixed spatted undercarriage making it easily recognizable in flight.

Ju 87 G-1 “Kanonenvogel” with its twin Bordkanone 3.7 cm (1.46 in) underwing gun pods. Photo: Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-646-5184-26 / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Ju 87 G-1 “Kanonenvogel” with its twin Bordkanone 3.7 cm (1.46 in) underwing gun pods. Photo: Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-646-5184-26 / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Having first tasted blood during the Spanish Civil War as part of the infamous Condor Legion of German volunteers who served as part of Nationalist forces, the Stuka was considered a great success among the Nazi officials and their peers, who created an image of a game-changer aircraft capable of annihilating tanks and other ground forces in a matter of minutes.

 

During the first years of WWII, the Ju-87 dive bombers were an integral part of the Blitzkrieg ― their role in invasions of Poland, the Low Countries, Norway, and France earned them great credit as it was considered that only with the combination of both aerial and ground forces could the full effect of the famous German military doctrine be achieved.

Ju 87 diving procedure
Ju 87 diving procedure

However, what followed proved that the Stuka was as much of a propaganda effort as it was a good ground-attack airplane. Despite achieving success in anti-shipping raids over the Atlantic, during the Battle of Britain, the Ju-87 proved vulnerable to fighter planes and was incapable of operating without an escort.

 

Lacking adequate means to defend itself from enemy fighters, and above all, lacking the speed to escape or maneuver, it was during the Battle of Britain that the Stuka’s winning streak was interrupted.

A Ju 87D during wing installation. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-642-4711-17A / Seuffert / CC-BY-SA 3.0
A Ju 87D during wing installation. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-642-4711-17A / Seuffert / CC-BY-SA 3.0

As Germany slowly but steadily lost air supremacy both over the skies of Britain and the Eastern Front, the Ju-87 was becoming obsolete. Without a fighter escort, it was useless against the new generation of Allied fighters for whom it became an easy prey.

Nevertheless, for lack of a replacement, the Ju-87 was continuously produced until August 1944, with a total of 6,500 units and remained in use for the rest of the war. Its role as a dive bomber, however, was passed on to ground-attack versions of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190.

Photos

Junkers Ju 87B-2 Stuka dive bomber. Photo: Kaboldy / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Junkers Ju 87B-2 Stuka dive bomber. Photo: Kaboldy / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Junkers Ju 87 “Stuka” dive bomber with 3.7 cm anti-tank guns under the wings. The aircraft, Hans-Ulrich Rudel’s, is being started with a hand crank. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-655-5976-04 / Grosse / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Junkers Ju 87 “Stuka” dive bomber with 3.7 cm anti-tank guns under the wings. The aircraft, Hans-Ulrich Rudel’s, is being started with a hand crank. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-655-5976-04 / Grosse / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Condor Legion’s Junkers Ju 87A with Spanish rebel markings.
Condor Legion’s Junkers Ju 87A with Spanish rebel markings.
Ju 87 Bs over Poland, September/October 1939. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1987-1210-502 / Hoffmann, Heinrich / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Ju 87 Bs over Poland, September/October 1939. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1987-1210-502 / Hoffmann, Heinrich / CC-BY-SA 3.0
The Eastern Front brought new challenges. A Ju 87 B-2 is fitted with ski undercarriage to cope with the winter weather, 22 December 1941. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-392-1334-04 / Wanderer, W. / CC-BY-SA 3.0
The Eastern Front brought new challenges. A Ju 87 B-2 is fitted with ski undercarriage to cope with the winter weather, 22 December 1941. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-392-1334-04 / Wanderer, W. / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Three German Junkers Ju 87D dive bombers, Stuka, over Yugoslavia, in October 1943. SG 3 (Fighter-Bomber Wing 3) operated in the Mediterranean region at that time. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J16050 / CC-BY-SA
Three German Junkers Ju 87D dive bombers, Stuka, over Yugoslavia, in October 1943. SG 3 (Fighter-Bomber Wing 3) operated in the Mediterranean region at that time. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J16050 / CC-BY-SA
Junkers Jumo 211 inverted V12 powerplant on an aircraft undergoing repair (North Africa, 1941). Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1981-064-16A / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Junkers Jumo 211 inverted V12 powerplant on an aircraft undergoing repair (North Africa, 1941). Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1981-064-16A / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Junkers Ju 87 B during the Battle of Stalingrad. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J20509 / CC-BY-SA 3.0.
Junkers Ju 87 B during the Battle of Stalingrad. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J20509 / CC-BY-SA 3.0.
A Ju-87 towing a DFS 230 over Italy. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-567-1523-35A / Stocker, Dr. / CC-BY-SA 3.0
A Ju-87 towing a DFS 230 over Italy. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-567-1523-35A / Stocker, Dr. / CC-BY-SA 3.0
The powerplant; a Jumo 211D installed in a Ju 87 B — the “Jericho Trumpet” siren housing is faired over on the maingear leg. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-378-0037-16A / Böcker / CC-BY-SA 3.0
The powerplant; a Jumo 211D installed in a Ju 87 B — the “Jericho Trumpet” siren housing is faired over on the maingear leg. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-378-0037-16A / Böcker / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Kette of Ju 87 Ds in flight, October/November 1943. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J16050 / Karnath / CC-BY-SA 3.0.
Kette of Ju 87 Ds in flight, October/November 1943. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J16050 / Karnath / CC-BY-SA 3.0.
Two Junkers Ju 87 Ds near completion. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-642-4711-08 / Seuffert / CC-BY-SA 3.0.
Two Junkers Ju 87 Ds near completion. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-642-4711-08 / Seuffert / CC-BY-SA 3.0.
Erhard Milch addressing a Ju 87 staffel on a Norwegian airfield. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-760-0165N-26 / Lange / CC-BY-SA
Erhard Milch addressing a Ju 87 staffel on a Norwegian airfield. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-760-0165N-26 / Lange / CC-BY-SA
A Ju 87 B of 5/StG 2 is examined by British troops after making an emergency landing in the North African desert, December 1941.
A Ju 87 B of 5/StG 2 is examined by British troops after making an emergency landing in the North African desert, December 1941.
Ju 87 D’s over the Eastern Front, December 22, 1943. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-646-5188-17 / Opitz / CC-BY-SA 3.0.
Ju 87 D’s over the Eastern Front, December 22, 1943. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-646-5188-17 / Opitz / CC-BY-SA 3.0.
Ju 87B over Stalingrad. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J20286 / CC-BY-SA 3.0.
Ju 87B over Stalingrad. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J20286 / CC-BY-SA 3.0.
Australian soldier observing the burning wreck of Ju 87B Stuka dive bomber, near Tobruk, Libya, 1941.
Australian soldier observing the burning wreck of Ju 87B Stuka dive bomber, near Tobruk, Libya, 1941.
German mechanics working on the engine of a Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber, 1944. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-2004-0819-500 / CC-BY-SA 3.0
German mechanics working on the engine of a Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber, 1944. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-2004-0819-500 / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Third prototype of Ju 87, date unknown
Third prototype of Ju 87, date unknown
Ju 87B Stuka dive bomber of German Sturzkampffliegerschule 1 dropping bombs during training, circa 1940
Ju 87B Stuka dive bomber of German Sturzkampffliegerschule 1 dropping bombs during training, circa 1940
German Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers in flight, 29 May 1940
German Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers in flight, 29 May 1940
German Bf 109E fighter of I./JG 27 and Ju 87B Stuka aircraft of II./St G 2 in flight, early 1941. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-429-0646-31 / Billhardt / CC-BY-SA 3.0
German Bf 109E fighter of I./JG 27 and Ju 87B Stuka aircraft of II./St G 2 in flight, early 1941. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-429-0646-31 / Billhardt / CC-BY-SA 3.0
German-built Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber in Italian service, 1940-1942.
German-built Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber in Italian service, 1940-1942.
Wreck of Ju 87D Stuka dive bomber of German Sturzkampfgeschwader 3, North Africa, 1942
Wreck of Ju 87D Stuka dive bomber of German Sturzkampfgeschwader 3, North Africa, 1942
German Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber of Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 in Russia, early 1942. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-393-1402-06A / Schalber / CC-BY-SA 3.0
German Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber of Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 in Russia, early 1942. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-393-1402-06A / Schalber / CC-BY-SA 3.0
German Ju 87G-1 Stuka dive bomber at rest in the Soviet Union, 1942-1944; note 3.7cm FlaK 18 cannons installed under wings. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-393-1409-02 / Reiners / CC-BY-SA 3.0
German Ju 87G-1 Stuka dive bomber at rest in the Soviet Union, 1942-1944; note 3.7cm FlaK 18 cannons installed under wings. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-393-1409-02 / Reiners / CC-BY-SA 3.0
German Ju 87D Stuka dive bomber on the ground in Russia, Mar 1942. Note Ju 52 aircraft in flight above. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-393-1409-02 / Reiners / CC-BY-SA 3.0
German Ju 87D Stuka dive bomber on the ground in Russia, Mar 1942. Note Ju 52 aircraft in flight above. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-393-1409-02 / Reiners / CC-BY-SA 3.0
A formation of Ju-87 Stuka bombers near Kandalaksha in northern Russia, June 1944.
A formation of Ju-87 Stuka bombers near Kandalaksha in northern Russia, June 1944.
Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber and its pilot Erich Rudorffer writing in the field in Russia, summer 1944. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-727-0297-09A / Doege / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber and its pilot Erich Rudorffer writing in the field in Russia, summer 1944. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-727-0297-09A / Doege / CC-BY-SA 3.0

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German Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber in a field near Florence or Ravenna, Italy, 1944. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-478-2174-18A / Fred Rieder / CC-BY-SA 3.0
German Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber in a field near Florence or Ravenna, Italy, 1944. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-478-2174-18A / Fred Rieder / CC-BY-SA 3.0
 
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