Saturday, August 16, 2008

[Image] Death of a Stuka

1941. Tobruk, Libya.

One less Stuka in the parade.

For troops in Tobruk, the daily raids by the German Stuka dive bombers on their harbour and artillery positions became known as "The Stuka Parade". Often these planes would descend on their targets at incredibly steep angles with large payloads of bombs. Sirens attached to the planes would scream the faster they dived in an attempt to demoralise the opponent.

Once their bombs were released they often flew out towards the El-Adem area to circle around below the line of the escarpment held by the German's in safety to return to strafe the Australian positions holding the red line. It became almost like a game with the same planes flying over the same positions each day at the same time often at altitudes of little more than 100 feet.

This particular Stuka flew a little too close to the Red Line and was brought down. Wrecks like this were often stripped by Australian souvenir hunters. You can see that someone has cut the swastika out of the aluminium of the tailplane. These were often the first thing to go as they were light and could be mailed to unsuspecting relatives back home. There is very little of value left on this plane.

image 040612 Australian War Memorial.

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