Ju 87 dive-bombers, originally developed for pin-pointing bombing missions against land targets and Allied naval vessels were deployed by both the Luftwaffe and the Regia Aeronautica against the Allied forces. Included in such a target were perhaps the greatest prize of all for a Stuka pilot: a British aircraft carrier.
This superbly illustrated book looks at the duel between the Ju 87 Stuka and the aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy. Despite their gun protection ('pompoms')and their squadrons of fighters, these immense and mighty vessels proved irresistible targets to determined and experienced Stuka aces as they endeavoured to stop British naval intervention in the campaigns in Norway, Malta and Crete. By 1941, the Ju 87 had become known by the British as a fearsome aircraft following its operations in France, specifically at Dunkirk, as well as in the Balkans. For the Luftwaffe, it was an aircraft in which they still had great confidence despite its mauling in the Battle of Britain during the summer of 1940. This book examines the key attributes and shortcomings of both aircraft and carrier by analysing various compelling episodes including the dramatic attacks on Ark Royal by Stukageschwader (St.G) 1 off Norway in April 1940, the strikes by the Luftwaffe's St.G 1, St.G 2 and the Regia Aeronautica's 237 Degrees Squadriglia against Illustrious in Malta harbour. Aside from outstanding photography and artwork, this volume also include numerous personal accounts from Stuka crews, the pilots of carrier-borne fighters opposing them and the sailors embarked in the various carriers that came under attack.