A detailed diagrammatic poster prepared by the Ministry of Supply in March of 1948, elucidating the specifications and design of the Ilyushin Il-10 ground attack aircraft. An amusing cartoon in the lower left shows the aircraft firing bullets, hammers, and sickles affixed to fletchings.
Emblazoned with white-bordered red stars, the Il-10 was developed during World War II. Entering service in October 1944, the attack aircraft saw some combat, showing notable success in the Korean Peninsula after the Soviet Union declared war on the Empire of Japan. On April 14, 1951, in poor weather conditions, a squadron of 13 Il-10Ms, en route to Leberoser Heide from Reinsdorf Air Base in East Germany crashed into the ground near Kemlitz, killing all 26 crewmembers. Despite intense speculation, the cause has never been established to the public.
The Czechoslovak firm Avia obtained a license to manufacture Il-10s in 1951, giving them the designation B-33. Although the Soviet Union withdrew Il-10s from frontline service in 1956, the Il-10 and B-33 were used for a further few years in Eastern Bloc satellite states, as well as by China.
The Ministry of Supply, defunct since 1959 when the Ministry of Aviation took over its duties, was tasked with research and equipment supply for the British armed forces. John Cairncross, a Soviet double agent at Bletchley Park during the war, and alleged fifth member of the Cambridge Five, worked in 1951, in the section that dealt with armament questions.