"How much do I owe you for the ice cream?"
"Nothing! It's free!"
*Russian anthem plays*
Ok, that aside, it's time to add to your Soviet air force with a pair of new sets you can pre-order from Warlord Games for Blood Red Skies. Let's take a look.
The 240 IAP (Fighter Aviation Regiment) was one of the foremost Soviet fighter units. Initially equipped with obsolete I-16 fighters, they fought a one-sided battle against the Luftwaffe through the opening months of Operation Barbarossa, before being withdrawn to re-equip with LaGG3s.
During 1943 the Regiment was again re-equipped, this time with the excellent La5 series of fighters. With their new mounts, they started to carve out a reputation as a first-class fighter unit.
Initially a single seater, the Il-2 proved to be a deadly air-to-ground weapon. This variant was to see heavy losses due to its vulnerability to fighter attack. Consequently, by September 1942, a two-seat design with a rear gunner under a stretched canopy entered service.
In the desperate months early in the war, the Sturmovik was pressed into a fighter role. Outclassed by dedicated enemy fighters in dogfights, the Il-2 could successfully take on other Luftwaffe aircraft. The German 7.92 mm machine guns were ineffective against the heavily armoured Sturmoviks, close formations of Junkers Ju 87 Stukas, Junkers Ju 52, Heinkel He 111 and Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor bombers would be favoured targets.