During the Second World War, Soviet bombers varied from small single-engine biplanes such as the 1920s-era Polikarpov U-2 (Po-2) to the excellent and modern monoplane twin-engine Tu-2 medium bomber. Although the use of four-engine strategic bombers was mostly limited to use of the huge Pe-8 long-range strategic heavy bomber, the Soviets used many other aircraft for strategic and tactical bombing. As bombers of the Red Air Force were mainly tasked with supporting the Red Army, most bombers were used for tactical bombing – attacking tanks, troop convoys, trains and airfields.
This book deals with strategic and tactical bombers as well as concentrating on the smaller tactical aircraft as this is where the Red Air Force’s emphasis lay.
Such types as the Il-4, Pe-2, Tu-2 and the most important bomber of all, the single-engine Il-2 Shturmovik, are described in detail, including not only details on the aircraft themselves, but how they were deployed in combat. Accurate colour profiles complement the text as well as rare colour and mono photographs in this comprehensive work.