ASSAULT ON THE CAPITAL - The third and final print in Robert
Taylor's new Battle of Britain Trilogy featuring the fighters and bombers
of the Luftwaffe. Prints are signed by some og the leading pilots who
fought in the Battle of Britain.
When the morning of September 7, 1940 dawned cloudless, RAF Fighter Command,
its resources fully stretched, prepared for another long day of air fighting.
The Battle of Britain was at its height, yet by mid afternoon no raids
had appeared on the plotting table at Bentley Priory . But for the usual
German reconnaissance flights, things were ominously quiet.
It was almost 4 pm before the first blips appeared on the radar screens,
but within 30 minutes it was clear the Luftwaffe were mounting the largest
raid yet faced by the RAF, and that could mean only one target - London!
On the coast, spotters reported huge columns of aircraft, stepped up
from 14,000 to 23,000 feet, advancing towards the Capital on a 20 mile
front. Fighter Command scrambled all 21 Hurricane and Spitfire squadrons
based within 70 miles of London and within minutes they were ripping into
the massive formations of German bombers. As running fights developed
between the fighters, waves of bombers emptied their bombs over the city.
The raid continued for almost 12 hours without respite causing tremendous
destruction, with huge fires raging throughout London's dockland. It was
to be the first raid of the Blitz. However the Luftwaffe's switch from
attacks on RAF bases to the blitzing of England's cities gave Fighter
Command the reprieve it so desperately needed. Goering's fatal decision
cost the Luftwaffe the Battle of Britain, halted Hitler's invasion plans,
and ultimately cost Germany the war.
Robert Taylor's final painting in his 60th Anniversary trilogy features
a scene from the attacks on the afternoon of September 7, 1940. Led by
Herbert Ihlefeld, Me109Es of II/LG 2 dive through the bomber formation
giving chase to Hurricanes of 242 Squadron as Ju88s of KG30, having unloaded
their bombs, head for home. One Ju88 has been hit and is already losing
height, and will not return. Following behind, HE-111s of KG53 try to
keep formation as they fly through flak. The sky is alive with action.
A majestic painting by the world's foremost aviation artist, depicting
a moment from the defining day in the most significant air battle ever
fought. Prints are signed by fifteen Luftwaffe pilots who fought in the
Battle of Britain, and two additional holders of the Knights Cross.
THE ACES EDITION
Individually numbered 1-500; each print is signed by FIVE Luftwaffe
Knight's Cross holders.
Oberst ADOLF DICKFELD
Joining 1.JG52 in 1939, Adolf Dickfeld flew in the Battle of Britain as
a young Leutnant. He was posted to Russia with III./JG52 in 1941. A very
highly successful Ace with a total of 136 victories, he was awarded the
Knight's Cross with Oak leaves.
Major HEINZ LANGE
Heinz Lange took part in all the early air battle of World War II flying
with JG2 "Richtofen", II/JG26 "Schlageter" and later 1./JG21. He scored
his first air victory on the Western Front in 1939. Afrer the Battle of
France, he transferred to III./JG54 during the Battle of Britain. An outstanding
leader, in 1944 he became the last commander of JG51 "Molders", completing
the war with 628 missions and 70 victories. He was awarded the Knight's
Generalleutnant GUENTER RALL
Guenther Rall quickly demonstrated his natural ability, scoring his first
air victory early in the Battle of Britain, and by July 1940 he was leading
8./JG52. After transfer to the Eastern Front, his air victories mounted
at an astonishing rate. Guenther fought throughout the war to become the
third-highest Ace in history with 275 victories. He was awarded the Knight's
Cross with Oak leaves and Swords.
Hauptmann ERNST-WILHELM REINERT
Ernst-Wilhelm Reinert flew with JG-77, before transferring to the Eastern
Front in 1941. He was posted to Tunisia in January 1943, where he became
the most successful Luftwaffe Ace in North Africa during that period.
On January 2, 1945, he was given the leadership of IV./JG-27. In March,
he transferred to III./JG7, flying the ME-262. In his 715 missions, Reinert
scored 174 aerial victories. He was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak
Leaves and Swords.
Major ERICH RUDORFFER
Erich Rudorffer joined I./JG2 "Richtofen" in 1939. He took part in the
Battle of France and the Battle of Britain before flying in North Africa
and then commanding II./JG54 in Russia. The master of multiple scoring,
he achieved more multiple kills than any other pilot in history. He reached
a total of 222 victories in over 1000 missions and was shot down 16 times.
He was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords.
THE MILLENNIUM PROOFS
Individually numbered 1-250 and issued with a matching numbered pencil
print, "BATTLE OVER DOVER". Authenticated by some of the most
famous Luftwaffe Battle of Britain pilots in history, each print of "ASSAULT
ON THE CAPITAL" in this edition is signed by the following additional
TWELVE pilots, making a total of SEVENTEEN highly prized signatures in
Oberstleutnant HELMUT BENNEMANN
During the Battle of Britain Helmut Bennemann was Gruppenadjutant of I./JG52,
becoming Kommandeur in June 1942, later Kommodore of JG53 in Italy He
commanded JG53 on Operation Bodenplatte He scored 92 victories and was
awarded the Knight's Cross.
Oberleutnant SIEGFRIED BETHKE
Siegfried Bethke was posted to II./JG2 shortly before the Battle of Britain.
During the Battle of Britain he was Staffelkapitan of 2.Staffel JG2, and
by the end of 1940 his tally had reached 10 He flew on the Channel Dash
but later a serious accident halted his flying career. He had a total
of 14 victories.
Major HANS-EKKEHARD BOB
After success in the Battles of Poland and France, Hans-Ekkehard Bob took
over leadership of 9./JG54 during the Battle of Britain, and the following
spring was awarded the Knight's Cross Kommandeur of IV./JG51, he later
led II./JG3 in the west until August 1944 He scored 59 victories and at
the end of the war was with Galland's JV44.
Hauptmann ALFRED GRISLAWSKI
Alfred Grislawski joined 9./JG52 in 1940, quickly becoming an Ace. An
outstanding fighter pilot his air victories were 133 in over 800 combat
missions until he was severely wounded. He was awarded the Knight's Cross
with Oak Leaves.
Leutnant HERBERT KAISER
Flying with II1./1JG77 , Herben Kaiser saw operations in Poland before
fighting in the Battle of Britain, He scored his first victory in May
1940, He flew in Russia, North Africa and ltaly before joining Galland's
JV44 in 1945 Awarded the Knight's Cross, he achieved 68 victories.
Unteroffizier RUDOLF MIESE
Rudolf Miese flew the ME-109E with 4./JG2 'Richthofen' during the Battle
of Britain and was awarded the Iron Cross On August 23, 1940. He was shot
down by John Glendenning of 74 Squadron and badly wounded. Taken POW,
he was repatriated back to Germany in I944.
Oberst EDUARD NEUMANN
A veteran of the Spanish Campaign, Edu Neumann flew with JG27 in the Battle
of Britain. In 1942 he became Kommndore of JG27 in North Africa. Promoted
to Oberst in 1944, he took over as Fighter Commander of Northern Italy.
Edu Neumann was one of the Luftwaffe's most highly respected Commanders.
Leutnant EDMUND 'PAULE' ROSSMANN
One of the most admired Schwann leaders with 7./JG52, 'Paule' Rossmann
flew in the Battle of Britain before transferring to Russia. In July,
1943, Rossmann made a daring attempt to rescue a fellow pilot but was
captured by the Russians. He had flown 640 missions and scored 93 victories.
Rossmann was awarded the Knight's Cross.
Oberleutnant GUENTER SEEGER
In February 1940 Guenther Seeger was an Unteroffizier with 3./JG2, scoring
his first victory early in the Battle of Britain. He transferred to the
Mediterranean Theater with II./JG2 before joining 6./JG53. In February
1943 he joined 7./JG53, becoming Staffelkapitan in September 1944. He
was awarded the Knight's Cross, scoring 56 victories.
Oberleulnant HERBERT THOMAS
Flying the Ju88, Herbert Thomas fought as a night fighter pilot during
the Battle of Britain with I./NJ62 On 8 May, 1942 he was shot down and
badly wounded over Yorkshire, England. He had 7 victories and was awarded
the Iron Cross I and II.
Hauptmann RUDOLF TRENKEL
Rudolf Trenkel flew with JG52 during the Battle of Britain. From February
to June 1942 he was with JG77 and afterwards transferred to 2./JG52. In
1944 he was forced to bail out five times within ten days. In August,
I944, he became Stalffelkapitan of 2./JG52 but in 1945 was taken into
Russian confinement. He was awarded the Knight's Cross in 1943, and his
final tally was 138 victories.
General HERBERT WEHNELT
Joining the Luftwaffe in 1936, Herbert Wehnelt served first with 2./JG132
"Richthofen". During the Battle of Britain he flew with III./JG51 and
served in the West until transferring to the Eastern Front in 1943. In
1944 he was with JG West and in 1945, JG106. He was awarded the Iron Cross
and scored 36 victories.