Size: 35" x 25" Edition: 95 - Normandy Vets Edition Subject: Typhoons of 247 Squadron at the Falaise Gap.
"Flying the deadly low-level ground attacks against German ground forces in Normandy was among the most dangerous tasks ever asked of RAF pilots" Air Chief Marshal Sir Harry Broadhurst
Just eight weeks following the Allied landings on the Normandy beaches of France, the German Army was already in retreat. Allied ground forces - British, American, Poles and Canadians - fought furiously to cut off the fleeing Germans' escape route eastwards through the Falaise Gap, and prevent them re-grouping. The Germans almost succeeded, but when the RAF threw their lethal Typhoons into the fray, within days an entire enemy army would be destroyed.
During the third week of August 1944, the RAF Typhoons, operating from hastily constructed airstrips behind the beachhead, launched their deadly rocket and cannonfire attacks upon the massed columns of German vehicles and armour trapped within the Falaise pocket. The result was a scene of incomparable destruction with thousands of shattered and burning vehicles and tanks, the decimated army blocking every road, littering the surrounding countryside with the debris of war.
Robert Taylor's brilliant masterwork captures the aura of this dramatic battle with the skill and historical accuracy that has become the hallmark of the world's premier aviation artist. As Typhoon Mk1b fighterbombers of 247 Squadron exit the target area near Falaise at full throttle, the havoc wreaked in their wake bears witness to the devastation of their powerful rockets. Fuel and ammunition from the retreating German column explode with shattering detonations, the savagery of the attack demoralising the enemy into stunned oblivion. The Typhoons will hurtle back to base to re-arm and hastily re-fuel, ready for yet another withering strike on the encircled Wehrmacht columns.
Robert Taylor’s stunning painting pays tribute to the brave young RAF fighter pilots of the twenty squadrons of rocket-firing Hawker Typhoons who flew those perilous ground attacks during the Battle of Normandy. With each print in this new limited edition signed by pilots who flew in the thick of the action of the air war on the Western Front, knowledgeable collectors are given a rare opportunity to complete an important section in their valuable print portfolios.
Each print in Robert Taylor's Limited Edition, Closing the Gap (Normandy Veterans Edition), is signed by: Squadron Leader PERCIVAL BEAKE DFC Warrant Officer JACK HODGES DFC Warrant Officer JOHN ‘ABE’ LINCOLN Flight Lieutenant Sir JOHN ATKINSON KCB DFC Flying Officer KENNETH ‘JUNIOR’ KNEEN Air Commodore C. D. ‘KIT’ NORTH-LEWIS DSO DFC Warrant Officer DOUG ORAM Squadron Leader BASIL ‘STAPME’ STAPLETON DFC Flying Officer FRANK WHEELER DFC Pilot Officer ‘RUSTY’ TOWNSEND Staff Sergeant PETER BOYLE Staff Sergeant JOHN BROWN Lance Corporal ALEX COVENTRY Lance Corporal ALEX DIXON Gunner BILL GRANTHAM Lance Corporal RAY WILLIAMS Sergeant ‘TITCH’ RAYNER Driver TOM SHERBROOK Corporal BOB WEEDON Private WALLY MENDAY.