Ever wondered which plane was shot down the most by the Luftwaffe in World War II? How about the other 19 most shot-down Allied planes? According to some sources, the Luftwaffe claimed just shy of 68,000 Allied aircraft were destroyed.
Although this list is by no means perfect, it gives you a good idea of which aircraft was claimed the most by the Luftwaffe:
20. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3
Although a work in progress, the MiG-3 turned out to be a capable fighter, and quite deadly in the hands of a skilled pilot. Nevertheless, in the aerial combats following Operation Barbarossa, around 1,124 MiG-3s were claimed as destroyed by the Luftwaffe.
19. North American P-33 Mustang
Operated by the Allies, an impressive 1191 were claimed by German pilots. Most of these Mustangs were lost in the battle of the Eighth Air Force.
18. Lockheed P-38 Lightning
The P-38 Lightning was the first true long-range fighter to reach the European theater and could escort American bombers further than the RF Spitfires and Hurricanes. But it doesn’t mean it wasn’t vulnerable to the Germans. The Luftwaffe claimed at least 1220 Lightnings throughout the war.
17. Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
The P-47 was a beast of an aircraft, considerably bigger than the Bf-109. At least 1,310 P-47s were claimed by the Germans during the war. Even so, that was just a small fraction of the 15,686 P-47s built.
16. Polikarpov I-16
Facing the Luftwaffe in the summer of 1941, the plane was already obsolete. However, surprisingly, the Luftwaffe only claimed 1,413 I-16s during WWII which is only about 14% of the total planes made.
15. Handley Page Halifax
This plane was said to be far superior to the Avro Manchester. It was also highly versatile and used both for those bombers and in coastal command roles. There are over 1,249 definite claims identifying Halifax as a victim. Interestingly, no Halifax was claimed by the top German aces.
14. Bell P-39 Airacobra
This plane is one of the most unusually designed fighters of WWII. The Luftwaffe would claim over 1740 P-39s destroyed in combat. It was also by far one of the most shot American fighters on this list by the top 20 Aces, accounting for 6.73 of their total claims.
13. Hawker Hurricane
When the Luftwaffe eventually tangled it Hurricane, it claimed 1750 which is about 12% of the 14,483 built.
12. Yakovlev Yak-1
While it was easy to fly, it wasn’t as advanced in construction as the Bf-109 or later the Fw-190. Its wings were mostly made out of wood, and its skin was also wooden. German pilots claimed to have shot down 1940 Yak-1s during the war.
11. Curtis P-40
This is one of the most widely used early war fighters, saw action in almost every theater of operations and with almost all of the Allied nations during WWII. The Germans claimed 1961 P-40s downed on various fronts which are about 14% of all produced.
10. Ilyushin DB-3/IL-4
We’ve placed the claims of the DB-3s or IL-4s together since they’re all variants of the same aircraft. The Germans claimed to have downed a total of 2055 DB-3s or IL-4s.
9. Petlyakov Pe-2
This plane was the Soviet Union’s answer to a lack of dive bombers in its Air Force in the late 1930s. It was also the most-produced twin-engine aircraft of the war. Of these, the Germans made over 2,061 claims.
8. Yakovlev Yak-9
The Yak-9 was one of the most versatile and well-loved fighters of WWII. Still, the Germans managed to claim to have shot down 16%, some 2,289 aircraft.
7. Consolidated B-24 Liberator
Often overlooked, the B-24 Liberator constantly stands in the shadow of the B-17 Flying Fortress. The Luftwaffe would claim 2,293 B-24 Liberators destroyed. That’s roughly 12% of all of those made.
6. Lavochkin La-5
The Lavochkin La-5 gained a reputation as the best Soviet fighters in WWII. In total, the Germans would make around 2,569 claims, roughly 26% of all that’s produced.
5. Avro Lancaster
In total, 7,377 Lancasters rolled off the production lines and 2,682 were to be claimed by the Luftwaffe during WWII, a whopping 26%.
4. Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
Although not the most produced bomber in WWII, more than twice as many B-17s were shot down. A total of 4447 B-17s were claimed, an astounding 35% total of the 12,731 built.
3. Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Gudkov LaGG-3
The LaGG-3 was given the reputation of being one of the worst Soviet fighters ever built. Over 75% of the LaGG-3s were claimed destroyed by the Germans, with 4,928 claims.
2. Vickers Supermarine Spitfire
During WWII 22,417 Spitfires of all marks were produced. The Luftwaffe claimed to have shot down around 23%, that’s 5,265 Spitfires in total.
1. Ilyushin II-2 ‘Sturmovik’
Now, the most shot-down aircraft of the Luftwaffe goes to the Ilyushin II-2 ‘Sturmovik’. It was produced in astounding numbers, around 36,000, making it the second most-produced aircraft on this list. The Luftwaffe claimed to have shot down 7607 which is 21% of the total planes produced.