Petlyakov Pe-2 (Pawn) Dive Bomber / Light Bomber Aircraft
The Petlyakov Pe-2 went on to become the best Soviet light tactical bomber of World War 2 with production netting 11,427 units.
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During World War 2 (1939-1945), the Soviets lacked a heavy bomber stable when compared to the British and Americans. Instead, and primarily due to the short-ranged war it would fight against one-time ally Germany, it fielded a collection of fighters and twin-engined light/medium aircraft. The Petlyakov Pe-2 was one such twin-engined development with design attributed to Vladamir Petylyakov (1891-1942). It proved to be one of the best ground-attack platforms of the whole war, its value solidified through the 11,427 numbers built. These aircraft saw combat service against the Axis in Europe and Japanese forces in Manchuria, serving over all major Soviet-related fronts of the war.
Entering the war, the Soviets and Germans stood as Allies. When Germany invaded neighboring Poland in September of 1939, it began what would become a year's long struggle for the world. Weeks later, Soviet forces arrived to effectively divide Poland in two. The Germans then turned on the Soviets for, in June of 1941, Hitler enacted "Operation Barbarossa" - the invasion of the Soviet Union - and officially began the East Front. While gains were initially excellent for the Germans and losses horribly bad for the Soviets, the ensuing winter and strained supply lines slowed the Germans just outside of Moscow. Regrouping, the Soviets then began their monumental push westwards until the entire Axis war machine was destroyed at Berlin in April of 1945.