Robert Taylor Catalogue


The Channel Dash

by Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor Channel Dash
 

- THE GICLÉE STUDIO PROOFS -

ANNOUNCING THE GICLÉE STUDIO PROOF ON CANVAS
FEATURING ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC IMAGES IN THE ROBERT TAYLOR PORTFOLIO.

THE CHANNEL DASH

Undetected, the battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, together with the cruiser Prinz Eugen and supporting vessels, had escaped from the French port of Brest, and were making an audacious dash - in broad daylight and under the noses of the enemy - to the safety of the Elbe Estuary. But first they must sail through the Straits of Dover, one of the narrowest and most heavily defended straits in the world. Everything depended on surprise - and air cover.

Given the job of providing that air cover was one of Hitler’s youngest Generals, Adolf Galland, who through diligent planning and daring tactics ensured the operation was a complete success. Galland later described the mission as one of the most important and successful of his career.

Originally created as the first in the famous ‘Galland Trilogy’, The Channel Dash, signed by Adolf Galland and veterans of Operation Cerberus, became one of the most collectible limited editions ever published by the Military Gallery. It is fitting therefore that it is the latest to be enhanced by the creation of a new GICLÉE STUDIO PROOF ON CANVAS.

THE COLLECTORS PORTFOLIO

ADOLF GALLAND

Every Channel Dash Giclée Studio Proof is issued as a collectors portfolio wich comprises a facsimile wartime photograph of General ADOLF GALLAND, beautifully matted to conservation standards to include a reproduction Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot’s clasp and Galland’s ORIGINAL signature.

THE CHANNEL DASH
75 Giclée Studio Proofs stretched on canvas
Issued with Galland photograph and original signature.
Overall Giclée Size: 36” wide x 24” high

On January 1st 1942, at just 29 years of age, Adolf Galland was given full command of the Luftwaffe’s Fighter Arm. Almost immediately Hitler gave his young General the onerous task of providing air cover for one of the most daring naval operations of World War II. Coded Operation Cerberus, the pride of the German Navy – the two battlecruisers ‘Gneisenau’ and ‘Scharnhorst’ and the cruiser ‘Prinz Eugen’ – were ordered to leave the French port of Brest and make a dash through the dangerous straits of the English Channel, to the relative safety of the Elbe estuary.
The battle fleet would pass within a few miles of the British coast, within easy striking distance of the RAF; secrecy, careful planning, ample air cover and the element of surprise would be the key components of the exercise. “Everything depends on the air umbrella with which you have to cover the naval units”, Hitler told Galland.
That a commander so young should be given such responsibility directly and personally by the Führer, speaks volumes for the esteem in which General Galland was held by the German High Command.
22 year old Spitfire pilot Bobby Oxspring spotted the fleet and – unaware of an imposition of radio silence – reported the German warships to his base at Hawkinge on the Kent coast. Possibly he was not believed as no action was taken. Adolf Galland knew that Oxspring had blown the gaff but decided not to report it. Galland’s gamble paid off: by not reacting to Oxspring’s warning he gained vital time for the Germans.
So successful was the air protection afforded by Galland’s pilots that the entire fleet made it through one of the narrowest, most difficult and heavily defended straits in the world. The Channel Dash is remembered today as one of the most remarkable air-sea adventures of World War II and was described by Galland as one of the most important and successful operations of his career.
Seen in Robert’s painting are Messerschmitt Me109s of JG-2 as they fly low escort above the mighty German Warships. In company with a flotilla of escort vessels, the fleet is led by the ‘Scharnhorst’ followed by the ‘Gneisenau’ with the ‘ Prinz Eugen’ steaming up behind, as they round the tip of the Cherbourg Peninsula at dawn on the morning of February 12, 1942.
Four Knight’s Cross holders, two JG-2 Me109 pilots and two German Navy crew who sailed with the Channel Dash fleet have joined the General in signing this historic edition making this one of the most collectable limited edition prints ever published.

General Adolf Galland
Having lead squadron in the Spanish Campaign, Adolf Galland was an experienced Ace by the time WW II commenced. He fought in the Battles of Poland, France and Britain, leading the famous JG-26 Abbeville Boys in combat against the RAF’s best. In 1941 he was promoted to ‘Inspector General of the Fighter Arm’, a position he held until the end of 1944. In Feb.1942 Hitler selected Galland personally to organise the fighter escort for the spectacular ‘Channel Dash’. He became the youngest General in the German High Command. Open disagreements with Goering’s tactics led to his dismissal. He reverted to combat flying, forming the famous JV-44 jet wing. With 104 air victories, all in the West, Adolf Galland received the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds.

 

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