Where Storm Clouds Gather
by Anthony Saunders
|The painting portrays the Bf109s of JG4, one of the many Luftwaffe units that took part in the German Ardennes offensive that began in December 1944. In the foreground is Hauptmann Ernst Laube, Gruppenkommandeur of IV./JG4, seen leading his men along that part of the Mosel river dominated by the seemingly unscathed Cochem Castle. They are returning to base after a hard-fought encounter in which, outnumbered by Allied fighters, they are relieved to have survived yet another day.
When the prototype of Willy Messerschmitt's radical all-metal single-seat monoplane fighter first took to the air in May 1935 little did onlookers realise they were witnessing the birth of one of the world’s most iconic aircraft.
Sporting sleek lines, a closed cockpit and retractable landing gear the Bf109 was soon wowing the crowds at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, an ominous prelude to its worth in battle after its introduction into service with Germany’s Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil War the following year. It was clear to friend and foe alike that this agile, well-armed little fighter was superior to anything else in the skies and by the outbreak of World War II the Bf109 formed the backbone of Hitler’s new Luftwaffe. With battle-hardened pilots well-prepared for success in Poland, the Low Countries and France, they were now ready to duel with RAF Fighter Command during the
Continuously improved and upgraded more Bf109s were produced than any other military aircraft in history, with one exception, the Soviet’s Il-2 Sturmovik. The much-feared fighter was flown by the highest scoring Aces of all time – men such as top-scorer
|Overall size: 20⅝" x 27¾"|
|1||Special Presentation||Signed by the artist - conservation matted with the signatures of two Luftwaffe Aces|
|Shipping: - There are no shipping charges for deliveries in the lower 48 states.|
|Overseas orders do incur shipping charges however, please email for a quote for delivery addresses outside the continental U.S.|
Adolf “Dolfo” Galland joined the Luftwaffe in 1934, and in 1937 volunteered for service with the Condor Legion in Spain where he flew 280 combat sorties. In September 1939 he took part in the invasion of Poland flying 50 ground attack missions. Galland was posted to JG 27 and by the end of the French campaign he had accumulated 14 victories.
On 1 November 1940, Galland was promoted to Oberstleutnant and given command of JG 26.On 21 June 1941, Galland was shot down, by the Polish ace Boleslaw Drobinski of 303 Sqn, RAF, and baled out wounded. Galland had, by now, been ordered by Hitler and Göring not to fly combat missions. However, he disregarded these orders and continued to rack up aerial victories. On the death of Oberst Werner Mölders on 22 November 1941, Galland was named General der Jagdflieger. Late in the war Galland was given command of JV 44 which he led until 26 April 1945 gaining up to seven victories flying the Me 262 jet fighter. On that day day he was bounced by a P-47. Galland was wounded in the right knee and his aircraft received further damage. He was able to bring his crippled jet back to München-Reim and successfully land, but the wounds suffered in this encounter were serious enough to end his combat flying. Galland surrendered himself to American forces at Tegernsee on 5 May 1945.
Considered by many to be the Luftwaffe’s greatest all-round fighter ace of World War Two, Erich Rudorffer served on every major front, flew all of the classic German fighters and was renowned for his ability to shoot down multiple aircraft in succession.
By June of the same year, Erich had moved to the brutal Eastern Front, assuming command of II/JG54, the famous ‘Green Hearts’, and continued to display his remarkable ability. On the 6th November 1943, he tangled with a large force of Soviet aircraft and shot down no fewer than thirteen of them, a record for a single mission. By this time Rudorffer had already been awarded the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves and in January 1945 ‘Swords’ were awarded to this decoration after achieving his 212th victory.
|Receive your print fully framed and ready to display. Please call or email us for a custom framing quote.|