Valiant Response by Robert Taylor Spitfires of 54 Squadron and Me109s of JG51.
For six days the Luftwaffe attacks on RAF Fighter Command airfields and radar stations in southern England had reached epic proportions, culminating in the 'Hardest Day' of them all - Sunday 18 August 1940. For nearly a week the Luftwaffe had thrown everything they had into the attack on southern England in order to annihilate RAF Fighter Command, and gain air superiority over the Channel in preparation for Operation Sealion, the invasion of Britain. Heavily outnumbered, the young RAF Spitfire and Hurricane pilots of Fighter Command had so far repelled them, at a cost. But on Sunday 18 August 1940 the Germans launched the heaviest formations of aircraft seen in the battle so far. This was to be a gruelling day of relentless assault after assault on the airfields of southern England, the 'hardest day' of the Battle of Britain. And the battles raged all day with hardly a pause.
Robert Taylor has chosen this crucial day to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain in his new, much acclaimed, Hardest Days Trilogy. Valiant Response is the third and final edition in the series and he has skilfully portrayed the scene as the 'hardest day' reaches its climax in the late afternoon. The Spitfires of 54 Squadron, quickly scrambled from nearby Hornchurch, clash with an escort force of Me109s from l./JG51 over Kent. Below, a
formation of Me110s from KPRG210 are about to receive unwelcome attention as the rest of the Spitfires hurtle down upon them; one is already smoking. In the distance, a group of Hurricanes rip through a dense formation of Do 17s from KG76 as they also try to struggle back towards France. What clouds there are will be unlikely to give much sanctuary and, for the onlookers on the ground far below, the skies will soon be filled with weaving trails of smoke and debris.
The Battle of Britain isn't won yet, but the tide has begun to turn. Within a month it will effectively be over and the invasion of Britain postponed forever. Goering, having failed in his much-vaunted boast to bring Britain to heel, will slink back to Berlin. Prints of Valiant Response are signed by veterans who bravely flew and fought in those crucial days of the Battle of Britain.
Valiant Response is the third in Robert Taylor's Battle of Britain Trilogy entitled The Hardest Days, issued to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the battle.
Each print in Robert Taylor's Limited Edition, Valiant Response, is signed by three distinguished RAF pilots who flew Spitfires in the Battle of Britain:
Flight Lieutenant RICHARD C. JONES
Squadron Leader DOUG NICHOLLS DFC
Flying Officer KEN WILKINSON.
33 x 25 inches overall including borders.
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