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Power countries make an attempt to control the skies and drop bombs capable of destroying their enemy into submission. During the period of world war II, more dogfights took place than in any moment in history. So looking back, we can tell which aircraft had the advantage during this crucial time. From a fighter that had an 11:1 KDR, to the upgraded version of the mitsubishi zero, here are the most powerful Fighter Planes of WWII
But first, we’d like to give a quick shout out to Battleships battle for leaving us this comment on our WWII battleships video. We appreciate letting us know that we left off the USS Texas!
12. The Stuka
The Ju 87 Stuka was a dive bomber used by Germany’s luftwaffe and although these were primarily used as dive bombers, they did contain 2 7.92mm machine guns, one in the front and one in the back. It was certainly more than just a bomber. They were even equipped with a siren in order to instill fear upon the enemies, but eventually they were removed in order to help them remain stealthy. A few unique characteristics of the stuka include the dive breaks, automatic pull up systems and strengthened airframes in order for it to maintain control during high speed dives. Diving down at a target, it can reach the speed of 300 miles an hour. They weren’t too effective during the battle of Britain however, they played a huge role in continental europe during the blitzkrieg campaign.
11. P40’s and the Flying Tigers
One of the largest contracts for fighter planes took place in april 1939 for 524 aircraft at the price of $13 million. Another similar contract would soon come from the British air ministry which would be the largest-ever order for a US-built fighter aircraft. So in any case, it was in high demand and they would first see combat in North africa and would attack the german stuka we just mentioned. 120 P-40’s then arrived to australia who would shoot down Japanese reconnaissance planes not long after. Confirmed victories would take place in China and in the philippines and it was the prefered fighter plane used by the Flying tigers, who sported the iconic nose paint of a sharks mouth and eyes.. Some of those fighters that were supposed to go to Britain went to this chinese division who were extremely effective against Japanese fighters. It was equipped with 6 12.7 Browning M2 Machine guns with optional 680 KG bombs. While it was extremely agile at low and medium altitudes, it lacked enough power to be effective from higher altitudes By the end of the war 13,738 of the Curtiss P 40 and its variants would be produced.
10. Yakolev Yak-3
The Russians were a little bit late when it came to designing formidable aircraft due to a lack of resources but eventually the yak-3 was produced which immediately showed its effectiveness. They were introduced in 1944 and the Germans were ordered to avoid combat with the yaks at an altitude under 5000 meters. The yaks could make a complete circle in less than 19 seconds. They were equipped with one 20mm ShVak cannon, 2 12.7mm, and Berezin UBS machine guns. It sported 1,260 horsepower with a V-12 liquid cooled engine. About 4,800 total were built but they wouldn’t be around for too long. Production of the Yak-2 ceased in 1946 once the war was over.
9. Curtiss P-36 Hawk
The P-36 was first introduced in the 1930 to 1940’s and although it was produced by the US, it’s was primarily the French who tried to use it effectively during the Battle of France. The Netherlands and Norway’s wanted some too but they didn’t arrive in time before they were invaded by german. They would eventually be used by the Finnish, Royal Air Force, China and the Indian Air Force. The Finnish would hold back the soviets partially in thanks to the P36 against and used in various parts of the world during the 2nd global conflict. After germany had captured a large stockpile of the planes in france, at least 13 were sold to Finland and Vichy France would even use them during the french-thai war between 1940 and 1941. They could hit a max speed of 313 miles an hour, and equiped with an M1919 7.62 millimeter Browning Machine Gun and a M2 12.7 millimeter M2 Browning Machine Gun.