Shturmovik is a generic term for heavily-armored attack aircraft in Soviet service. The most famous of which is the legendary Ilyushin Il-2, a flying tank from World War II.

Shturmovik literally means "storm bird" in Russian. Short for Bronirovannyi Shturmovik (Armored Attack Aircraft: storm bird).

Although the Soviets pioneered the concept of armored anti-tank aircraft, Sturmovik development fizzled out for most of the Cold War, when they focused on fast fighter-bombers like the MiG-27. Eventually, the concept was reborn when the Sukhoi Su-25 entered service in the 1980s.

Shturmovik in The Hot WarEdit

The Soviet Union announced the beginning of the ground war phase of World War III when Shturmoviks, both Ilyushin Il-2s and 10s roared over Fulda shooting up and bombing whatever they could. Gustav Hozzel recognized the sounds of the engine and told his wife to take shelter in the cellar while he headed to the Rathaus to enlist in the German Emergency Militia.[1]

Later in the offensive, Konstantin Morozov stood in the cupola of his T-54 watching Shturmoviks attack a group of British troops. They came in low, shooting and firing rockets at concentrations of enemy troops. However, the British had a quick-firing flak gun which managed to bring down one aircraft. The rest flew on. A few minutes later, Morozov ducked down and closed the hatch when RAF Typhoons attacked his side in the same way.[2]


  1. Bombs Away, pgs. 116-120, HC.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 292-293.