Goebbels, Hitler's vainglorious master of propaganda, sought to convince the German people that the victorious Luftwaffe had already cleared the skies over the Channel, and a triumphant invasion of Britain was imminent. "By Christmas 1940," he boasted "A Nazi government will be installed in the heart of London." And few in Germany doubted him. From Poland to Norway, the Low Countries to France, the Luftwaffe had swept all before them. Also they introduced a new word into the language of war - Stuka!
The Junkers Ju87 Sturzkampfbomber, known to the British simply as the Stuka, had already acquired a deadly reputation across Europe, its siren screaming as the ungainly dive-bomber struck terror into the hearts of those below. In 1940 its pilots crossed the Channel with their grim-looking aircraft to terrorise the southern towns and ports of England.
By early Spring in 1940 Hitler's invasion of Britain looked inevitable. Goering claimed his mighty Luftwaffe would sweep the RAF from the skies within weeks when, unopposed, his Stukas would wreak a trail of carnage right across the land. And, with the complete air supremacy promised by their supreme commander, his Ju87 Stukas would eliminate Britain's vital coastal radar sites with such devastation it would bring RAF Fighter Command to its knees.
But during the battle that followed, they were in for a shock. Coming up against Hurricanes and Spitfires the Stuka's bubble of invincibility was exploded. Robert Taylor's memorable painting 'Open Assault', shows Hurricanes of 501 Squadron attacking a force of Ju87 Stukas as they dive-bomb naval vessels and installations in the port of Dover on 29 July 1940. High explosive bombs detonate within the sheltered anchorage as escorting Me109s from JG5l race in to protect their lumbering charges. Four Stukas and two Me109s are despatched, for the loss of just one RAF aircraft.
Each print in Robert Taylor's Limited Edition, Open Assault, is signed by one of the last surviving Luftwaffe Stuka pilots from the war and two pilots that flew Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain:
Group Captain BYRON DUCKENFIELD AFC
Leutnant WILHELM NOLLER
Wing Commander TONY PICKERING.
250 Collectors Edition
33 x 25 inches overall including borders.
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