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Target Bearing 270

Robert Taylor

Size: 30" x 24"
Edition: 400
Subject: Lancaster of 617 Squadron on the Tirpitz raid.

At sunrise on 12 November, 1944, led by Wing Commander James Tait, Lancasters of 617 Squadron RAF prepare to make their bombing run on the German battleship Tirpitz, lying in the Norwegian fjord at Tromso.

After several unsuccessful attempts to sink the German battleship Tirpitz, on 12 November 1944, the Royal Air Force set about finishing the job. Flying the outward leg of the mission circuitously and at low level to avoid radar detection, Lancasters of 9 and 617 Squadrons effected complete surprise, approaching the Norwegian fjord at Tromso from the east. Climbing to 12,000 feet as they assembled for the target run, each Lancaster was armed with a single 12,000lb "Tallboy" bomb, the most powerful armour-piercing ordnance of World War Two. Flying through a heavy barrage of anti-aircraft fire, one by one each Lancaster released its deadly cargo, the bomber stream taking just three minutes to thunder through the target area. It was all over; a direct hit left Tirpitz a sinking wreck, her side ripped open by the devastating blast. Eleven minutes later she capsized and slid into the icy waters of Tromso fjord.

With the golden sun a few seconds old above the dawn horizon, Robert Taylor's evocative new painting shows Lancasters of 617 Squadron converging on the lead aircraft, as Wing Commander James Tait steers 270 degrees towards their target moored some 100 miles to the west. Surprise is complete. The fate of the Tirpitz is already sealed.

Each print in Robert Taylor’s Limited Edition, Target Bearing 270, signed by 4 aircrew from 617 Squadron who flew on the Tirpitz raid:
Flying Officer C B R Fish
Squadron Leader T Iveson DFC AE
Squadron Leader B Knights DSO DFC
Squadron Leader E A Wass AE.


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