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One of the greatest aviation artists of all time, Robert Taylor, his entire back catalogue aviaton art prints are available direct from military art.com
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Gathering of the Eagles by Clyde Heron. Historical American Civil art print of General Lee shown with confederate General Joseph E Johnson, Stonewall Jackson before Fredericksburg.

Gathering of Eagles by Clyde Heron.  

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Text for the above print as shown on the certificate:

Mr. Lincoln's "Prince of Procrastination," General George McClellan, had finally been prodded into action. On March 17th, 1862, one day ahead of the deadline imposed by the President, the first of McClellan's divisions embarked at Alexandria. "The worst is over," the general assured his superiors by letter. "Rely upon it that I will carry this thing through handsomely."

His optimism was short-lived. McClellan's peninsula campaign did not go nearly as smoothly as he had anticipated. It was May 24th before his forces occupied the village of Mechanicsville, still some five miles from Richmond. Here his progress was stalled because the Chickahominy River was on the rise and he had to put his men to work building no fewer than eleven bridges across the river in a twelve mile stretch south to Bottom's bridge. Then to add to his problems, he received word that General McDowell's 40,000 men would not be at his disposal as had been the plan.

Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston learned that McDowell was returning to Fredericksburg on the night of May 23rd, a move he knew he had precipitated by an event at Front Royal on May 23rd. A surprise attack by Stonewall Jackson upon General Nathanial Banks had set his main army to flight, half destroyed his wagon train, and in a full scale battle at Winchester, put the Federals into panic.

Now that Johnston did not have to worry about McDowell, he would attack the Federals south of the Chickahominy and overwhelm their left wing before it could be reinforced from across the river. The battle of Seven Pines began at 1.00pm on May 31st, when D. H. Hills division launched a massive attack, overrunning Casey's Federal troops. The battle raged on until dusk and Johnston concluded that the battle would have to continue the next day.

At about 7.00pm he rode toward the front with his young orderly and a staff colonel, seeing to the disposition of his troops. As he neared the edge of the battlefield, Johnston saw the officer duck his head as an enemy shell whistled by, Johnston smiled and said, "Colonel there is no use of dodging, when you hear them they have passed." Just then a Federal musket ball struck Johnston in the right shoulder. A moment later a heavy fragment of shell slammed into the general's chest, knocking him to the ground unconscious.

President Jefferson Davis and General Robert E. Lee greeted Johnston as he was moved to the rear. The severely wounded general had regained consciousness but was growing weaker and was taken from the field.

Davis pressed General Gustavus Smith, the ranking officer, for his plans since he would logically inherit command. Smith's hesitant replies did not suit Davis, and his mention of pulling back even closer to Richmond was unacceptable.

No one was near Lee and Davis as they rode slowly through the swarm of vehicles carrying the wounded into Richmond - not close enough to hear Davis' words which placed Lee in command; however, his most devoted biographer was to render them: "General Lee, I shall assign you to the command of this army. Make your preparations as soon as you reach your quarters. I shall send you the order when you get to Richmond."

Major Generals James Longstreet, A.P. Hill and D.H. Hill were already engaged in the theatre of operations, but before calling these commanders to council, Lee would add one more name to the list. He sent insistent dispatches to Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson urging him to hurry to Richmond. Lee put the order gently, "If you agree," but the compelling haste was clear in every line. Jackson was to conceal his movements and come as swiftly as possible to the capital. It was an order to delight Jackson; he might have written it himself.

At almost the same moment Jackson read Lee's order, General Banks was telegraphing Washington that Old Jack was advancing on him in overwhelming force. Jackson's answer to Lee's summons was not to be an easy task, a fifty-two mile ride in fourteen hours.

It was Sunday, June 27th, and Jackson chose to delay the start of his journey until 1.00am so that he would not break the Sabbath. It would be mid-afternoon before he arrived at Lee's headquarters in the Dabb's farmhouse near Richmond. He found Lee at work and waited for him in the yard, D.H. Hill arrived and was most surprised to find his newly-famous brother-in-law present for the meeting, since he had only yesterday been far down the valley confronting Banks. Yet there he was.

Things were bad, the barbed-tongued Hill told Jackson. His forces were being crushed by McClellan's huge army. There was little food, scarce supplies, and even their cannon were untrustworthy.

Jackson made little reply to his outspoken friend as they went inside. They were soon joined by Longstreet and H.P. Hill. Longstreet, a Union captain when the war came, was squat, stubborn, and becoming deaf at the age of 41. Red-haired A.P. Hill was hot-tempered, but brilliant and had yet to be tested in the field.

Lee began to explain the plan of assault on the Yankees. It was a bold plan, born of desperation in an effort to stave off a siege of Richmond. Lee was but 55. He had held command for just three weeks and had fought no battle beyond giving direction in the final hours of the inconclusive action at Seven Pines. Although there was a gentle authority in his voice, his manner of offering his plan bordered on humility. He spoke as became the man who had lately written on taken command from the wounded Johnston, "I wish his mantle had fallen on an abler man, or that I were able to drive our enemies back to their homes. I have no ambition and no desire to but the attainment of this object, and therefore only wish for its accomplishment by him that can do it most speedily and thoroughly."

Within the next four days, 85,000 Confederates faced 105,000 Bluecoats and emerged triumphant. Union General George McClellan not only lost men and supplies, he lost the initiative. Lee had his first victory. 

 

 

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A Tribute to the Few by Roy Garner. (Y)
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 Phantom II of US Marine Corps, VMFA-531 (Grey Ghosts) Vietnam, Danang April 1965.

Phantom II by David Pentland.
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 For Manfred von Richthofen, the air battle in the skies west of Amiens on 20th April 1918 was to yield a final two victories to add to the seventy eight with which he was already credited.  But these were to be his last, the Red Baron finally succumbing the following day.  Just moments before Second Lieutenant David Lewis' 3 Sqn Sopwith Camel fell to the German's guns (the young pilot surviving to tell his story of being the Red Baron's final victim), Major Richard Raymond-Barker was not so lucky, his aircraft burning furiously until it hit the ground in a fireball near the Forest of Hamel.

The 79th Victory by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 Flying Officer Eric Loveland and his navigator Sergeant Jack Duffy of No.68 Squadron intercept a German Ju88 intruder on the night of March 17th 1945.

Moonlight Serenade by Troy White.
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 Squadron Leader H C Sawyer is depicted here flying his 65 Sqn Spitfire Mk.1a R6799 (YT-D) in the skies above Kent on 31st July 1940 at the height of the Battle of Britain. Chasing him is Major Hans Trubenbach of 1 Gruppe, Lehrgeschwader 2 in his Messerschmitt Vf109E-3 (Red 12) . The encounter lasted eight minutes with both pilots surviving.

High Pursuit by Ivan Berryman. (D)
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 At 3.30am on the 23rd June 1945, a Dakota of 357 (special duties) Squadron took off from Mingaladon airfield nr.  Rangoon , to travel the 600 miles, 300 of them behind enemy lines, to rescue a downed American Liberator crew deep in the jungles of   Siam  . †The Dakota was flown by pilot Fl Lt. Larry Lewis, who already held the DFM awarded to him for 33 ops as a rear gunner on   Wellingtons  in 1941. Two crews had already failed when Lewis was asked to attempt this hazardous mission. Flying between 5,000 - 6,000ft he flew over The Hump, a ridge of mountains running down the spine of   Burma  . Local villagers had cleared a rough airstrip 800yds long with Lewis finding it by the time dawn broke. With monsoon clouds gathering, the Liberator crew aboard and the Dakota sinking in the wet ground, he managed, just, to get airborne. Flying at zero feet and looking out for Japanese Zero fighters Lewis took a different course back. Although being fired on from the ground they managed to make it all the way to the airfield at Dum Dum nr.   Calcutta ,  India  . Lewis was awarded an immediate DFC. By the end of the war he had completed 63 ops, held the rank of Squadron Leader with his service from 1938-1945, and was awarded the Air Efficiency Medal.

Larry Lewis DFC by Graeme Lothian. (P)
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 A sight never to be repeated. Concorde G-BOAE gracefully drifts above London with Buckingham Palace immediately below, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, the River Thames and the London Eye in the middle distance. On 24th October 2003, the world said goodbye to this elegant airliner, bringing to a close almost thirty years of commercial supersonic travel.

Concorde over London by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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Depicting Dauntless and Devastator attacking the Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi during the Battle of Midway.

Midway - The Setting Sun by Ivan Berryman.
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 Between 24th may and 4th June 1940 an extraordinary armada of craft, large and small, naval and civilian, embarked on one of the greatest rescue missions in history. the evacuation of 330,000 British and French troops from the beaches of Dunkirk in northern France. the destroyer HMS Wakeful dominates the foreground here as troops pour onto the beaches and harbour moles in search of salvation. Both Wakeful and distant HMS Grafton were lost during the evacuation.

Dunkirk by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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 Blackbeard the Terrible, otherwise known as Edward Teach, Thatch or Drummond. Circa 1718.

Damnation Seize My Soul by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
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 A pair of F18 Hornets overfly the Nimitz-class carrier USS Dwight Eisenhower (CV-69) with the surface combatant USS Arleigh Burke (DDF-51) off her port bow.

USS Dwight Eisenhower by Ivan Berryman (P)
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B64AP.  HMS Centaur Departing Devonport by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Centaur Departing Devonport by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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The Battle of Trafalgar was fought on a calm, almost windless day, on 21st October 1805.  Nelsons revolutionary battle plan was to cut apart the larger Franco-Spanish fleet of Vice-Admiral Villeneuve by sailing in two single column divisions directly at right angles into the combined fleet and thus rendering almost half of the leading ships useless until the could turn and join the fight, which in such calm conditions could take hours.  The battle raged for five hours in which time not one British ship was lost, however, Nelson would tragically lose his life at the very moment of his triumph, a triumph which rendered the British Navy unchallenged in supremacy for over a century.  Here HMS Mars passes between the French ship Belleisle on her starboard and the French ship Fougeux on her port, firing a murderous hail of gunfire at both ships.  Also shown in the painting on the left hand side is the Spanish ship Monarco and the French ship Pluton.

The Battle of Trafalgar - Mars Breaks the Line†by Anthony Saunders. (AP)
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 HMS Intrepid embarks some of her landing craft during the Falklands conflict of 1982.
HMS Intrepid by Ivan Berryman (P)
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B151.  HMS Durban Escorts the Troopship RMS Queen Mary by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Durban Escorts the Troopship RMS Queen Mary by Ivan Berryman.
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 The German Heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen is depicted in a quiet moment at Gotenhaven in April 1941 whilst engaged in exercises with her consort, the mighty Bismarck that would eventually lead to Operation Rheinubung,. Bismarck herself is alongside in the distance, where final preparations for their foray into the North sea and beyond are being made.

Prinz Eugen by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 Ernst Barkmanns (Das Reich, 2nd SS Panzer Division) famous day long solo engagement against an American Armoured breakthrough towards St. Lo, Normandy, 26th July 1944.

Barkmanns Corner by David Pentland.
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The Battle for Ponyri Station, Kursk, 9th July 1943†by David Pentland.
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 Braving intense enemy fire, Lt. Col. RB Mayne, Commanding Officer 1st SAS Regiment devastated a German ambush and subsequently rescued wounded troops of his own unit who had been pinned down while on a reconnaissance mission for the 4th Canadian Armoured Division.

Paddys Fourth DSO, The Olderburg Raid, 9th April 1945 by David Pentland. (GS)
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 Panzer IVF2 tanks of 6th Panzer Division, Panzer Armee Hoth, attempt to fight their way through to the beleaguered Sixth Army at Stalingrad, 12th December 1942.  On the 21st the operation was abandoned when the expected breakout from Stalingrad failed to materialise, the relief column was only 25 miles from the city.

Operation Winter Tempest by David Pentland.
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 Bastogne, Ardennes, Belgium, 24th December 1944. Surviving U.S. tank crew from Task Force Cherry and Paratroopers of 101st Airborne Division take a break while awaiting orders for their next battle.

The Battered Band by David Pentland. (Y)
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 From their position in a knocked out Soviet T28 tank, the Finnish troops keep up the pressure on the encircled enemy units.

Frozen Hell, Suomussalmi, Finland 1940 by David Pentland.
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 Hauptsturm fuhrer Fritz Klingenberg, and the men of 2nd SS Divisions Motorcycle Reconnaissance battalion stop at the swollen banks of the River Danube. The following day he and six men, a broken down radio, and totally unsupported were to capture the Yugoslavian capital of Belgrade.

The Magician, Balkans, 11th April 1941 by David Pentland. (Y)
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 El Alamein, October 28th 1943, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel discusses the critical battle situation with the Commanding Officer of the 21st Panzer Division, in front of his Kampfstaffel.  This personal mobile headquarters comprised a variety of vehicles including a radio Panzer III, SDKfz 232 radio armoured car, Rommels famous SDKfz 250/3 communications half-track GREIF and captured British Honey light tanks.

The Desert Fox by David Pentland. (GL)
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