"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 cannon fire 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 fighter bombers 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 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 (Typhoon 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.
35 x 25 inches overall including borders.
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