Ilyushin Il-2: the aircraft that outnumbered the Spitfire and Hurricane

Joseph Stalin called it the aircraft “as essential to the Red Army as air and bread” and a formation of them once took out 70 tanks in 20 minutes. So why does it feel like the world has forgotten the Ilyushin Il-2? 

Soldiers on the ground referred to it as the ‘Hunchback’ or ‘The Flying Tank’. As a ground-attack aircraft built by the Soviet Union, over 36,000 units of the Ilyushin Il-2 were produced throughout the war. And while it may not have been the most popular, the most revered or even the most remembered aircraft of World War II, it was single most produced military aircraft in aviation history – with very good reason.  

The Ilyushin Il-2 was d

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