Ilyushin Il-2 Spanish Republican Air Force
In 1941 the Spanish civil war entered its 5th year. Both Germany and the Soviet Union continued to use the Spanish battleground to test new weapons and tactics. The Germans had sent a number of Henschel Hs-129 anti-tank aircraft to Spain late in 1940 and they proved very effective against the Nationalist armour. Early in 1941 response the Soviets sent 21 Ilyushin Il-2s which were just entering production then.
Experience against the Bf-109s from the Condor Legion showed that the Il-2 was rather vulnerable to attacks from behind. This led to the introduction of a second crew member with a rear facing gun. Also, the early use of the Il-2 showed that scoring actual hits proved rather difficult. In response to this the Soviets extended the training of new Il-2 pilots. Both improvements were put to good use when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941.
Kit: Accurate Miniatures 1/48