Ramraiders by Richard Taylor
As the Allied Air Forces began their massed attack on Germany's oil refineries, the Luftwaffe was about to hit back with a new battle tactic - the Sturmgruppe!
Within two days of the D-Day Normandy invasion, on 8 June 1944 Commander of US Air Forces in Europe, General Carl Spaatz. ordered a massive new offensive to halt the supply of oil to the enemy forces. As top priority his bombers would henceforth concentrate their attacks on Germanys oil refineries.
Those in range of air bases in England would feel the full force of the Eighth Air Force, while the installations further south in Romania, Hungary, and southern Germany would be attacked by bombers of the Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy. To add to the pressure, RAF Bomber Command was coordinated to attack the refineries in the Rühr by night.
As the huge mass of American bombers streamed into the daylight skies, the Luftwaffe quickly changed tactics to counter the potentially devastating threat with a new specialist tactic- the Sturmgruppe. Flying their redesigned and heavily armoured Sturmböcke Fw 190A-8 heavy fighters, pilots of the newly formed IV Sturm/JG3 Gruppe were urgently assigned the task of attacking the vast bomber streams in an effort to protect the refineries. Escorted into battle by MelO9s to hold off any escorting American fighters. the Fw 190s tactic was to make en-masse lightning attacks on carefully selected targets. With the American bomber formations spread over miles of sky. the
Sturmgruppe aimed for the less well defended centre of the stream, attacking from the rear with concentrated cannon fire. With the pilots of IV Sturm /JG3 sworn on oath to press home their attacks at the closest possible range, even ramming their targets if necessary to ensure a kill, these desperate tactics were to inflict considerable damage to the allied bomber offensive during the final year of the war.
Richard Taylors exciting new limited edition captures the scene: Closing at high speed with all cannons blazing. Unteroffizier Willi Maximowitz is seen flying his distinctive Black 8 with IV Sturm/JG3. as he dives in to attack a formation of USAAF B-24s from the 93rd Bomb Group. The American gunners have a frightening task on their hands to fend off the attack until help arrives. With each print signed by no less than three Luftwaffe Fw 190 pilots, this brand new edition will be rated a significant addition to those collectors who have already recognised the talent and gathering reputation of this remarkable new artist.
Overall print size: 30wide x 23 high
THREE highly experienced Luftwaffe pilots who flew the Fw190A-8 in Defence of the Reich have added great authenticity to Richard Taylor's new Limited Edition by signing each print. The edition is also is signed by the artist, and individually hand numbered.
Leutnant HELMUT BALLEWSKI
Leutnant KURT WUPPERMANN
Oberfeldwebel WILLI RESCHKE
400 signed & numbered prints
25 Artist Proofs
10 Double Remarques
Richard Taylors superb pencil remarques have, in a short period of time, matured into extremely skilled pieces of original art. Highly detailed, these beautiful hand-crafted drawings are becoming so appreciated by collectors, that they are now increasingly in high demand.
Two very restricted remarque editions of RAMRAIDERS will be issued, each with drawings comprehensively researched. and relating either to the Fwl 90 or the B24 the choice is yours! The first edition, limited to 25 copies, will each have an ORIGINAL pencil drawing elegantly hand drawn by Richard Taylor. The second, restricted to just TEN COPIES, will be issued with either a DOUBLE SIZE remarque drawing or TWO separate and individual remarque drawings
Leutnant HELMUT BALLEWSKI joined the Luftwaffe in November 1942,. and immediately after training was posted to Geswaderstab JG53 in Sicily. He remained with this unit until January 1945, then transferred to IV JG53 flying Fw190 A-8s as wingman to Helmut Bennemann on Operation Bodenplatte. He flew on the operations at Remagen. and in total completed 47 combat operations, all on the Western Front.
Leutnant KURT WUPPERMANN was called up in 1942, and with a love of flying, joined the Luftwaffe. After completing his pilot training, he was posted to join JG54 Greenhearts flying the Fwl9OA-8. Transferring to the northern sector of the Eastern Front, he notched up three quick victories and flew on combat operations continually until 18 December 1944. when he was shot down over the Baltic near Riga. making an emergency landing. On the ground. he was rescued by Strafgeshwader 291, but had suffered bad facial injuries. So great was the need for experienced pilots in the last months of the war however that after six weeks in hospital he was patched up and flying combat again.
Oberfeldwebel WILLI RESCHKE. One of the outstanding young flyers Willi Reschke joined I./ JG302 in June 1944, his first victories being two B24s near Budapest. By the end of August he had become one of the Gruppes most experienced pilots. Re-equipping with the Fw190 A-8. in September 1944 I. /JG302. redesignated III. JG3OI, was transferred nearer to Berlin. In the last days of the war he flew a Ta152. claiming an RAF Tempest shot down. His last two victories came when he shot down two Russian fighters over Berlin. Awarded the Knights Cross in April 1945, he acheived 27 victories, including 20 four-engined bombers, in 70 combat missions.