Il-2 Shturmovik

Published on
January 28, 2015
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Viktor Povinsky
Other Publication Information
Hardbound, 208 pages, b&w photos, color photos, color profiles, scale plans
Product / Stock #
White Series
Book Cover

MMP has just released what they are referring to as “an illustrated technical history” of the Il-2 Shturmovik. Like all other MMP publications, this book is published with high production values. Solid, hard covers enclose over 200 pages printed on heavy, matt-finished stock.

The first 66 pages of this book describe the development and operational use of the Il-2, beginning with the initial concept of developing a heavily armed (and armored) ground attack aircraft. Various chapters describe the prototype, initial production, deployment, and improvements (such as adding a gunner and modifying the wing design). These are presented in a chronological fashion and make it quite easy to follow the evolution of the aircraft as combat experience dictated necessary changes.

Each chapter has several clear, black and white photos highlighting the subject at hand. There are also numerous 1/72 and 1/48 scale plan views showing each variant, and (of great assistance to the modeler) differences are noted as necessary. Several scrap views appear throughout, illustrating various armament options, canopy changes, etc.

Following this are several small chapters covering use of the aircraft as a spotter, trainer, anti-ship a/c (!), and finally use of the Il-2 in the post-war era.

Next up are sections covering the technical description of the structure of the aircraft, as well as various charts of performance data, production numbers, and combat losses.

Wrapping up this section of the book are a few pages dedicated to foreign use of the Il-2, and a list of the remaining Il-2s (the book lists 9 of these).

Pages 89 through 92 discuss the chronological use of camouflage colors for the Shturmovik in relatively good detail. This is followed by 67 (yes, that number is right) pages of very well done color profiles. Each page has either two side-views, or one top view (often of the preceding page’s side-view subject). Accompanying text is helpful to the modeler, as little details in the markings and camouflage are pointed out. In many cases the 2 side-views are left and right sides of the same aircraft.

The final 48 pages of the book are titled “In Detail” – photos (with captions) showing every aspect of the Il-2. These are grouped into sections such as overall view, armament, cockpit, landing gear, etc. Photos are a combination of wartime black and white images and color shots from museums. Scattered in here are some images taken from the factory Technical Manual. All the modern photos, and most of the wartime ones, are very crisp and clear. Differences in restored aircraft (compared to wartime ones) are pointed out as necessary.

If you have any interest in the Il-2, then this book is certainly a worthwhile addition to your library. The author explains in clear, concise writing just how the aircraft evolved and how it was used in combat. The modeler will definitely appreciate all the detail photos, as well as the huge amount of color plates. Most definitely recommended!

Thanks to MMP Books for the review copy, and to IPMS for allowing me to review it.


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