The Petlyakov Pe-2 was a Soviet dive bomber aircraft used during World War II. It was regarded as one of the best ground attack aircraft of the war and it was extremely successful in the roles of heavy fighter, reconnaissance and night fighter. It was one of the most important aircraft of World War II, being in many respects similar to the British de Havilland Mosquito. It was fast, maneuverable and durable. Several Communist nations flew the type after the war, when it became known by the NATO reporting name Buck.
Petlyakov Pe-2 in The War That Came EarlyEdit
By mid-1940, the Soviet Air Force began introducing the Pe-2 as their new front line bomber. While advertised as a fighter-bomber, it was primarily used as in tactical support roles. Many Russian crews loved the aircraft, as it gave them a fighting chance against the 109 although it was still advisable to avoid contact.
Never the less, on occasion the Pe-2 was used in the fighter role. For instance, after the 1941 British Military Coup caused their military forces fighting in the Soviet Union to cross over the Soviet lines, a flight of Pe-2s were providing assistance by bombing Wehrmacht positions. Lt. Anastas Mouradian noticed two "V's" of German Do 17s bombing the British. He attacked with his Pe-2 and used his two machine guns and 20mm cannons to shoot down a Do 17 and force the rest to break off their attack and dive towards the ground. For this action, Lt. Mouradian was awarded the Order of the Red Star.