Barry Munden, « Junkers JU 87 Stuka » – 1937 to 1945
World War 2 began on September 1st, 1939, with the roar of Stuka dive bombers as they dove down upon a sleeping Poland.
« Stuka » is short for a long German word that is so difficult to pronounce without spitting that even Germans preferred to just call the plane « Stuka ». The word simply means « Dive Bomber », and while there were many dive bombers built during the war, the German Stuka was the most legendary of them all, largely because it managed to scare the willies out of its wide-eyed targets by virtue of a small, inexpensive siren mounted on its fixed landing gear which wailed like a banshee whenever it attacked.
Interestingly, the sound of a Stuka wailing became synonymous in the public imagination with diving aircraft, and you can now often hear it overlaid onto movie soundtracks whenever a plane is crashing.