The Junkers JU-88 was a German Luftwaffe twin-engined multirole combat aircraft. Designed by Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke (JFM) in the mid-1930s to be a so-called Schnellbomber (“fast bomber”) which would be too fast for any of the fighters of its era to intercept, it suffered from a number of technical problems during the later stages of its development and early operational roles, but became one of the most versatile combat aircraft in the Nazi arsenal. Like a number of other Luftwaffe bombers, it was used successfully as a bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter, converted cargo aircraft.
Despite its protracted development, the aircraft became one of the Luftwaffe’s most important assets. The assembly line ran constantly beginning in 1935 to 1945, and more than 16,000 Ju-88s were built in dozens of variants, more than any other twin-engine German aircraft of the period. Throughout the production, the basic structure of the aircraft remained unchanged.