The Pe-2 was redesigned from a high-altitude escort fighter into a dive bomber in just 45 days after word spread of Luftwaffe successes in 1940. Surprisingly, the result was a highly successful light bomber rated as one of the best ground attack aircraft of the Second World War. It was fast and manoeuvrable although lightly protected in the crew area. The Pe-2 was successively upgraded and was one of the most produced twin-engine aircraft of the war, alongside the Ju 88 and Wellington, with over 11,000 built.
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