The first year of the war turned out to be incredibly difficult for the entire Red Army, especially for the Soviet air force. Nevertheless, in 1942, the situation in the skies over the occupied homeland began to gradually change. This, in turn, made possible the use of the "plague", which provided invaluable assistance to ground forces during military operations. What kind of car was that?
Affectionate names "Black Death" (Schwarzer tod) and "Plague" (Pest) were given by German soldiers to the Soviet Il-2 attack aircraft during World War II. It is not difficult to guess what the Wehrmacht fighters called our attack aircraft in this way for its high combat effectiveness. The pilots of the German Luftwaffe for the Il-2 had their nickname - "concrete aircraft" (Betonflugzeug). They called him that for its high reliability and survivability in battle. The plane took part in battles on all fronts where the Soviet Union fought. The machine was widely used not only in the Soviet-German, but later on in the Soviet-Japanese theaters of military operations.
The IL-2 was developed by the designers of OKB-240. The car made its first flight on October 2, 1939. The attack aircraft was launched into mass production only in February 1941. Over the entire period of the war in the USSR, more than 36 thousand units of the "second" were produced. This circumstance makes the Il-2 attack aircraft the most massive combat aircraft in the history of world aviation. The bulk of the aircraft (about 74%) was produced at the plant in Kuibyshev.
The Il-2 could be armed depending on the specific combat mission assigned. In the main series of attack aircraft, the main weapons were two VYa 23 mm cannons. In the anti-tank configuration, they were replaced by 37 mm samples. One ShKAS aircraft machine gun was installed on the wings of the aircraft. Rockets (missiles) RS-82 or RS-132 could be installed under the wings to destroy ground targets. And of course, the attack aircraft could carry a wide range of aerial bombs, including anti-tank PTAB.
The attacking techniques of the Soviet assault aviation were not much different from those in other countries. In the first, very "Ilyushins" practiced a missile and bomb attack in a dive from low altitudes of 400-1000 meters. The plane unexpectedly "fell" from the skies, struck at the target, and then rushed away. The second no less favorite technique is an attack on low level flight. In this case, the Il-2 went at an extremely low altitude of 15-50 meters in such a way that it was protected by folds of the terrain from enemy anti-aircraft artillery. On low level flight, the aircraft swiftly attacked from machine guns, cannons and missiles, after which they rushed away.
If you want to know even more interesting things, then you should read about why not in the USSR or in the USA did not copy the magnetic mines of the Wehrmacht.