Ju 87G Tank Buster

German anti-tank and ground attack aircraft

Ju 87G-1

A close-up of a Junkers Ju 87G-1 anti-tank aircraft, fitted with two 3.7cm high velocity automatic cannon.

Germany-flagJunkers Ju 87G
Type: anti-tank and ground-attack aircraft.


The last combat variant of the Ju 87 Stuka and successor of the Junkers Ju 87D was the Ju 87G series. This Stuka variants were built by conversions of the ubiquitous D models.

Only the Ju 87G-1 became operational. The Ju 87G was a specialised anti-armour version, fitted with two BK 3.7 (Flak 18) guns hung under the wings just outboard of the landing gears. This 37-mm-gun was a formidable weapon weighting over 363 kg (800 lb) and in wide service as ground-based Flak (anti-aircraft artillery) equipment.

In June 1942 a trial installation was tested in a converted Ju 87D-5 and found more effective than the many other Luftwaffe anti-tank aircraft such as the Henschel Hs 129 and Junkers Ju 88P. Fed by clips of six rounds, the BK 3.7 had a muzzle velocity with armour-piercing ammunition exceeding 850 m (2,790 ft) per second, and the greatest exponent of the Ju 87G-1, Hans-Ulrich Rudel, was ultimately credited with the personal destruction of 519 Russian armoured vehicles. It was he who, despite being shot down 30 times, flew 2,530 combat missions and continued to lead Stuka formatiions in daylight long after other Stuka groups had replaced their vulnerable aircraft with the Focke-Wulf Fw 190F .

The Ju 87G-1 could carry bombs instead of guns, but had no dive-breakes. The removal of dive-bombing equipment made the G-1 most unrepresentative among Stuka variants.

Another variant produced by converting aircraft of the Ju 87D series was the Ju 87H dual-control trainer. No trainer had been considered necessary in the early days of the Ju 87 series, but by 1943 the art of surviving in the type had become so specialised and important on the Eastern Front that even experienced bomber and fighter pilots had to go out with a Ju 87 instructor before taking their places in the decimated ranks of the ‘Stukagruppen’.

Users: Germany.

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Specifications Junkers Ju 87G-1

Ju 87G-1 Specification
Type anti-tank and ground attack aircraft
Power plant one 1,400-hp Junkers Jumo 211J-1 inline piston engine
Accommodation 2
Wing span 49 ft 2 in
Length overall 37 ft 8 in
Height overall 12 ft 9 in
Wing area 362.6 sq.ft
Weight empty 21,738 lb
Weight maximum loaded 14,550 lb
Max wing loading (D-1) 40.23 lb/sq.ft
Max power loading (D-1) 10.39 lb/hp
Max level speed 195 mph
Cruising speed 118 mph
Initial climb ?
Time to height (D-1) 16,405 ft in 19.8 min (G-1 extremely poor !)
Service ceiling (D-1) 23,950 ft (G-1 extremely poor !)
Range (D-1) 954 miles
Combat radius (G-1) 199 miles
Ju 87G-1 Specification
under wings two 37-mm BK 3.7 cannons (80 rpm, velocity 2,790 ft.sec), fed by clips of six rounds
Armour penetration at 30° of guns 68 mm on 100 meters; 43 mm on 500 meters; 22 mm at 1,000 meters; 17 mm at 1,500 meters
in the rear cockpit one flexible 7.92-mm MG 81 (1,200 rpm, velocity 2,477 ft.sec)
Bomb load 'useful' bomb load (up to 3,968 lb in D-5) when the underwing cannon were not being carried (no dive-bombing !)
Service statistics
Ju 87 data
First flight (Ju 87D-5 with 37-mm guns) June 1942
Service delivery (Ju 87G-1) 1943
Final delivery September 1944
Unit costs ?
Total production figure (all versions) 5,709
Accepted by Luftwaffe 1/39-12/44 (all versions) 5,314
Production (always for all versions) 1939 134
Production 1940 603
Production 1941 500
Production 1942 960
Production 1943 1,672
Production 1944 1,012
Production 1945
Ju 87's in First Line Units 1.9.39 335
Ju 87's (all) in First Line Units 20.9.42 379
Ju 87's (all) in First Line Units 31.12.42 270
Ju 87's (all) in First Line Units 10.1.45 293

Animated 3D model Junkers Ju 87G

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