First printed in 1997, this 96-page book is one of the more entertaining products of Osprey Publishing. It contains not only dozens of photos, illustrations, and facts, but numerous first-hand stories from the men who flew the Stuka and those who fought against it. This book begins with the pre-war formation of the German dive bomber force and the Stuka's early years, continuing into the Condor Legion's service in the Spanish Civil War. Then comes the high time for the Stuka and the entire Nazi German war machine- the conquest of mainland Europe, starting with the invasion of Poland. The Stuka built its reputation in those days, swooping down out of the sky in mass numbers, its siren shrieking and overall having a devastating effect on enemy morale. It was not until the Battle of Britain that the Stuka, along with the rest of the Luftwaffe, met with opposition that it did not overrun and destroy within days. British resistance proved to be too much for the Ju-87, which was discovered to be slow, vulnerable, and not really as scary as it had once been believed to be. It was a capable dive bomber flown by skilled and brave pilots and gunners, but the Supermarine Spitfire was more than able to bring it down in large numbers.
This book is not a complete and total history of the Stuka, if for no other reason than because of its limited span of coverage- 1937 to 1941. But it is a solid reference book and entertaining to read. If you are interested in learning about the Junkers Ju-87 Stuka and its crews, I highly recommend it.