The Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik is perhaps the most famous aircraft in the history of Russian and Soviet aviation. During World War 2 this rugged ground attack aircraft was arguably the Soviets most effective weapon. Protected by its heavy armour, the low-flying aircraft was incredibly difficult to shoot down and its powerful array of weaponry - cannon, machine guns, rockets and HEAT anti-tank bombs - was capable of penetrating the armour of all the German tanks in the field at the time, including the Panther and Tiger tanks, as well as reaping destruction among the ranks of enemy infantry on the ground. The Il-2 was so successful that the design was produced in greater numbers than any other military aircraft in history - over 40,000 being built 1941-55.
In this book Yefim Gordon applies the successful Famous Russian Aircraft formula to this mainstay of Soviet air forces in World War 2, making this the most comprehensive book available on the subject, covering both its development and service career, with previously unpublished photographs and colour profiles illustrating in detail the variations in the aircraft such as modifications from dual to single seater and back (with a rear gunner) and unit insignia.