The Blitz of London
by Robert Taylor
Heinkel 111, Hurricane
When, at the height of the Battle of Britain, Luftwaffe Supremo Hermann Goering made a decision to blitz London and other major cities, his tactical blunder would ultimately change the course of the war. His flawed judgement to shift the Luftwaffe’s attacks away from RAF airfields and radar stations was a ruthless attempt to break the morale of the civilian population, and force Britain to its knees. Devastating as the long night raids were, his brutal plan failed, and with RAF fighters gradually winning control of the skies over southern England, Hitler’s preparations to invade England were cancelled.
The Blitz opened with a force of nearly 350 German bombers, escorted by 600 fighters, unloading their mix of incendiary and high explosive bombs into the heart of the city, with wave after wave following through that first September night. The horrifying air raids continued relentlessly throughout the bleak winter into 1941, the chilling sound of air raid sirens a nightly occurrence. And as the bombs rained down on London, Coventry, and other cities, the night sky over southern England was aglow with the flames of destruction.
The bombardment continued without respite for nearly eight months and by the last night of the Blitz in May 1941, over 43,000 people had lost their lives, tens of thousands injured, and a million houses destroyed; but the spirit of the British people never wavered.
Robert Taylor’s evocative new painting brings to life the frightening scenario of the Luftwaffe’s night bombing campaign during the Blitz. It is December 1941, and London is once again under concentrated attack. With fires raging below the armada of German bombers is clearly visible in the night sky as they sweep across the city. Shimmering in the glow of destruction, a lone Hurricane night-fighter from 85 Squadron, based at nearby Gravesend, engages Heinkel 111s of KG55 in a desperate attempt to break up the formations.
This important painting — by the world’s premier aviation artist — portrays one of the most critical periods in Britain’s long history. Beautifully reproduced Limited Edition prints, signed by four decorated Luftwaffe aircrew who flew Heinkels over England during the Blitz, and an RAF Hurricane night-fighter pilot, will become a valuable addition to the portfolios of serious collectors of aviation art.
Overall print size: 29” wide x 23”
Adding great authenticity to each print in Robert Taylor’s dramatic new five-signature Commemorative Limited Edition print FURY OF ASSAULT evey copy has been individually hand—signed in pencil by four Luftwaffe Heinkel pilots who flew with KGS5 during World War II. They are joined by an RAF Hurricane night-fighter pilot. Every print is signed by the artist Robert Taylor and individuallv hand numbered.
700 signed & numbered prints
Joining the Luftwaffe in November 1939. Joachim Berking was commissioned and trained as a pilot on Ju52s and He 111s as part of KG53 based at Lute in northern France. In May 1942 he was posted to KG55 Grief in Russia, joining the 4th Staffel based in Djepropetrowsk, where he completed 291 combat missions, of which 60 were night operations. In November 1943 he returned to France to become head of training of 11./ KGS5 at Dijon. After this posting he convened to fighters, training on the Me109, and in April 1945 was posted to command 4./JG27 Marseille. He received the Iron Cross I and II. the German Cross in Gold. and a special honorary trophy from Reichsmarschail Hermann Goering for outstanding services in air combat.
Unteroffizier FahneiUunker WALTER BOGDAN
Walter Bogdan joined the Luftwaffe in March 1941, and after completing his training as a radio operator, was posted to join KG55 flying Heinkel He llls. He flew over 110 combat missions in He llls as radio operator to Leutnant Kessler. On their seventh mission they were forced to make an emergency landing during the siege of Stalingrad, and in April 1944 encountered a second emergency landing on his 75th mission. His final and 110th mission occured in July 1944 when, attacking Brjansk railway station, his aircraft was hit 122 times, but he and his pilot managed to get their aircraft safely home.
Oberleutnant HEINRICH SUDEL
Having joined the Luftwaffe in 1937. Heinrich Sudel was an experienced Observer in He llls by the time war broke out. He flew a total of 408 combat missions in Heinkels, both in the West over France and England, and on the Eastern Front. In September 1940 whilst over England, his aircraft was badly damaged by RAF fighters, but his pilot managed to reach the safety of the French coast on one engine. He finished the war commanding I./KG55, and had been awarded the Knight’s Cross, the Iron Cross I and II, and the German Cross in Gold.
Oberleutnant KARL-HORST MEYER zum FELDE
With a passion for flying Karl-Horst joined the Luftwaffe in October 1938. and following the outbreak of war he flew night operations as a pilot with KG55 over France before taking part in the great Blitz raids over England. After the invasion of Russia he transferred to the Eastern Front and fought at Stalingrad, making several emergency landings including one major incident when, having lost an engine to enemy action, he made a forced landing on one engine in the countryside of south Russia, where he had to join German ground units. He flew both He llls and Ju88s during the war, and was awarded the German Cross in Gold.
Flight Lieutenant ROY DAINES DFM*
Roy Dames joined the RAF as soon as he was able, and after completing his hurried training as a pilot, was posted to join 247 Squadron in the autumn of 1940. Here he flew Gladiators and Hurricanes on coastal patrols, 247 being the only squadron to fly Gladiators during the Battle of Britain, before converting to night-fighting Hurricanes. Later, in 1943, he flew Typhoons with 247 before being posted to join 65 Squadron flying Spitfires and Mustangs.
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