Ramraiders by Richard Taylor features Fw190s of IV Sturm/JG3 engaging B-24 bombers.
As the Allied Air Forces began their massed attack on Germany's oil refineries, the Luftwaffe was about to hit back with a new battle tactic - the Sturmgruppe!
Within two days of the D-Day Normandy invasion, on 8 June 1944 Commander of US Air Forces in Europe, General Carl Spaatz, ordered a massive new offensive to halt the supply of oil to the enemy forces. As top priority his bombers would henceforth concentrate their attacks on Germany's oil refineries.
Those in range of air bases in England would feel the full force of the Eighth Air Force, while the installations further south in Romania, Hungary, and southern Germany would be attacked by bombers of the Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy. To add to the pressure, RAF Bomber Command was coordinated to attack the refineries in the Ruhr by night. As the huge mass of American bombers streamed into the daylight skies, the Luftwaffe quickly changed tactics to counter the potentially devastating threat with a new specialist tactic - the Sturmgruppe. Flying their redesigned and heavily armoured Sturmbocke Fw190A-8 heavy fighters, pilots of the newly formed IV Sturm/JG3 Gruppe were urgently assigned the task of attacking the vast bomber streams in an effort to protect the refineries.
Escorted into battle by Me109s to hold off any escorting American fighters, the Fw190’s tactic was to make en-masse lightning attacks on carefully selected targets. With the American bomber formations spread over miles of sky, the Sturmgruppe aimed for the less well defended centre of the stream, attacking from the rear with concentrated cannon fire. With the pilots of IV Sturm /JG3 sworn on oath to press home their attacks at the closest possible range, even ramming their targets if necessary to ensure a kill, these desperate tactics were to inflict considerable damage to the allied bomber offensive during the final year of the war.
Richard Taylor's exciting painting captures the scene: Closing at high speed with all cannons blazing, Unteroffizier Willi Maximowitz is seen flying his distinctive "Black 8" with IV Sturm /JG3, as he dives in to attack a formation of USAAF B-24s from the 93rd Bomb Group. The American gunners have a frightening task on their hands to fend off the attack until help arrives.
Each print in Richard Taylor's Limited Edition, Ramraiders, is signed by three highly experienced Luftwaffe pilots who flew the Fw190 A-8 in Defence of the Reich:
Leutnant Helmut Ballewski
Leutnant Kurt Wuppermann
Oberfeldwebel Willi Reschk.
30 x 24 inches overall including borders.
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