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Closing the Gap by Robert Taylor. (AP)


Closing the Gap by Robert Taylor. (AP)

As Typhoon Mk1b fighter-bombers of 247 Squadron exit the target area near Falaise at full throttle, the havoc wreaked in their wake bears witness to the devastation of their powerful rockets. Fuel and ammunition from the retreating German column explode with shattering detonations, the savagery of the attack demoralising the enemy into stunned oblivion. The Typhoons will hurtle back to base to re-arm and hastily re-fuel, ready for yet another withering strike on the encircled Wehrmacht columns. This stunning rendition from the the worlds premier aviation artist pays tribute to the brave young RAF fighter pilots of the twenty squadrons of rocket-firing Hawker Typhoons who flew those perilous ground attacks during the Battle of Normandy.
Item Code : DHM2711APClosing the Gap by Robert Taylor. (AP) - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
ARTIST
PROOF
Typhoon edition of 25 artist proofs.

Paper size 35 inches x 25 inches (89cm x 64cm) Image size 28.5 inches x 17 inches (72cm x 43cm) Wheeler, Frank
Stapleton, Basil
Oram, Douglas
Townsend, Rusty
Lewis, C D Kit North
Kneen, Kenneth
Atkinson, John
Beake, Percival H
Hodges, Jack
Lincoln, John Abe
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
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Other editions of this item : Closing the Gap by Robert Taylor.DHM2711
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINT Signed limited edition of 350 prints. Paper size 35 inches x 25 inches (89cm x 64cm) Image size 28.5 inches x 17 inches (72cm x 43cm) Beake, Percival H
Hodges, Jack
Lincoln, John Abe
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
£55 Off!
Supplied with one or more free art prints!
Now : £200.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINT Typhoon edition of 300 prints. Paper size 35 inches x 25 inches (89cm x 64cm) Image size 28.5 inches x 17 inches (72cm x 43cm) Wheeler, Frank
Stapleton, Basil
Oram, Douglas
Townsend, Rusty
Lewis, C D Kit North
Kneen, Kenneth
Atkinson, John
Beake, Percival H
Hodges, Jack
Lincoln, John Abe
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
£95 Off!
Supplied with one or more free art prints!
Now : £275.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINT Normandy Veterans edition of 95 prints. Paper size 35 inches x 25 inches (89cm x 64cm) Image size 28.5 inches x 17 inches (72cm x 43cm) Rayner, Titch
Wheeler, Frank
Stapleton, Basil
Oram, Douglas
Boyle, Peter B
Townsend, Rusty
Lewis, C D Kit North
Kneen, Kenneth
Atkinson, John
Brown, John
Coventry, Alex
Dixon, Alex
Grantham, Bill
Williams, Ray
Weedon, Bob
Menday, Wally
Sherbrook, Tom
Beake, Percival H
Hodges, Jack
Lincoln, John Abe
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
Free
Shipping!
£395.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINT Knights Cross edition of 15 prints.

SOLD OUT.
Paper size 35 inches x 25 inches (89cm x 64cm) Image size 28.5 inches x 17 inches (72cm x 43cm) Fischer, Gerhard
Girg, Walther
Kerscher, Albert
Kujacinski, Norbert
Rayner, Titch
Wheeler, Frank
Stapleton, Basil
Carius, Otto
Oram, Douglas
Boyle, Peter B
Townsend, Rusty
Lewis, C D Kit North
Kneen, Kenneth
Atkinson, John
Rudolf, Richard
Brown, John
Coventry, Alex
Dixon, Alex
Grantham, Bill
Williams, Ray
Weedon, Bob
Menday, Wally
Sherbrook, Tom
Beake, Percival H
Hodges, Jack
Lincoln, John Abe
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
SOLD
OUT
VIEW EDITION...
General descriptions of types of editions :


Signatures on this item
NameInfo


The signature of Air Commodore C D Kit North Lewis DSO DFC (deceased)

Air Commodore C D Kit North Lewis DSO DFC (deceased)
After joining the Army in 1939, Kit North Lewis transferred to the RAF in 1940. In Aug 1941, after pilot training, he was posted to 13 Squadron, flying Blenheims, where he took part in the first 1000 bomber raids. After a spell with 26 Squadron, flying P-51 Mustangs, in Feb 1944 he joined 182 Squadron on Typhoons, as a Flight Commander. A few months later he was posted to command 181 Squadron. He led this squadron into France where it became part of 124 Typhoon Wing. In Aug 1944 he was promoted Wing Leader 124 Wing, where he remained until the end of the war. He died on 25th March 2008. 'Unfortunately my active participation in the Falaise operations was limited as I had a mild form of dysentery from 8th to 14th and I was sent home for a weeks recuperation from 16th to 24th August. However, I was very much involved on the 7th in the German attack at Mortain. I was leading 181 Squadron on an armed reconnaissance when Charles Green who was then the Wing Leader of 121 Wing reported large German tank concentrations at Mortain. Although this was inside the bomb line I accepted his verification and I immediately diverted to Mortain. There we found German tanks strung out along the road. We claimed 10 flamers. I followed this up with two more sorties in which we claimed another 7. There was very little flak, the main danger being the number of allied aircraft around the honey pot. During the period 6th to 21st August the Wing lost 9 pilots killed including Group Captain Charles Appleton and 4 taken POW.'
Flight Lieutenant Sir John Atkinson KCB DFCJohn Atkinson joined the RAF from Oxford University in 1938 and completed his pilot training in England. His first operational posting was in 1940 to 234 Squadron at St Eval, Cornwall, flying Spitfires, before moving on to 609 Squadron at Warwell, Dorchester. In 1942 he converted to Typhoons with 609 Squadron at Duxford, and from there to Biggin Hill and Manston, launching fighter operations over France. When his tour of operations ended in 1943 he was awarded the DFC and went on to become a Flying Instructor until the war was over. Released from the RAF in 1945, he went on to have a successful career in the civil service, and was knighted in 1979.
The signature of Flying Officer Frank Wheeler DFC (deceased)

Flying Officer Frank Wheeler DFC (deceased)
Frank Wheeler joined the RAF in 1941, training in England as a pilot after which he completed a period of instructing. In January 1944 he was posted to join 174 Typhoon Fighter Squadron at Westhampnett, his first operation being as an escort to the Mosquitos taking part in Operation Jericho, the Amiens Jailbreak. He stayed with 174 Squadron for the remainder of the War, serving throughout occupied Europe, and in 1945, at the end of his tour of operations, he was awarded the DFC. We have learned that Frank Wheeler sadly passed away in early 2013.
Flying Officer Kenneth Junior KneenTraining overseas, on arriving back in the UK Ken was posted to Holland joining 175 Squadron flying Typhoons. The squadron at the time being heavily engaged in low level bombing strikes against rail and armoured targets along the Dutch German border region. He remained with the squadron until the end of the war, then joined the RAFVR.
Pilot Officer Rusty TownsendAustralian Rusty Townsend joined the RAF in 1941, trained in the USA, before returning to join 175 Squadron on rocket firing Typhoons at Warmwell. Being in the thick of the action over France against retreating German Forces, he was shot down and taken prisoner of war.


The signature of Squadron Leader Basil Stapleton DFC (deceased)

Squadron Leader Basil Stapleton DFC (deceased)
Born in South Africa, Basil Stapleton joined the RAF in Jan 1939, being posted to 603 Sqn flying Spitfires. He first saw action off Scotland, sharing in the destruction of two bombers, before the Squadron was posted south to Hornchurch during the height of the Battle of Britain. By Nov 1940 his tally had risen to 6 and 2 shared victories and 8 probables. In March 1942 he was posted to 257 Sqn as flight commander. In August 1944 he commanded 247 Sqn flying Typhoons, taking part in the Arnhem operations. In December 1944, whilst attacking a train, debris hit his aircraft forcing him to land behind enemy lines where he was taken prisoner of war. Stapme Stapleton had scored 6 victories, plus 2 shared, 5 probable and 2 damaged. Sadly, we have learned that Basil Stapleton passed away on 13th April 2010.


Squadron Leader Percival H. Beake DFC
Joining the RAFVR in April 1939, Percival Beake was mobilised at the outbreak of war. Posted to 64 Squadron on Spitfires in the summer of 1940 at the height of the Battle of Britain, he flew with them until June 1941 when he was posted first to 92 Squadron at Biggin Hill, and then 601 Squadron at Duxford. After a spell instructing he returned for his second tour in December 1942, joining 193 Squadron as a Flight Commander. In May 1944 he took command of 164 Squadron at Thorney Island flying Typhoons, moving to France shortly after the Normandy Invasion. With two victories to his credit he was awarded the DFC in September 1944.

"Starting with 6th August 1944 my log book records that a successful attack was carried out on an enemy strong point in a quarry and that on the following morning I flew home on a very rare 48 hour leave. For a few days after my return we had only one specific target - an enemy dump which we effectively bombarded with rockets on 11th August - so we were deployed on armed reconnaissances. After landing from one of these on 13th August my Wing Commander, Walter Dring, called me to his caravan and said - Beaky, you have just done your last op. You are not to fly again and that is an order, until returning to the UK. I am arranging for your relief as soon as possible. - I was absolutely stunned and my lasting memory of that period is not of carnage but of acute embarrassment at having been grounded. I just hated sending the squadron up without myself leading and remember making frequent calls to the met office hoping to get forecasts of filthy weather that would make operational flying impossible. In the event, my relief, Squadron Leader Ian Waddy, was shot down by flak within two or three days of taking over command, so maybe Wally Dring had some sort of premonition that prompted my grounding."
The signature of Warrant Officer Douglas Oram

Warrant Officer Douglas Oram
Doug Oram joined the RAF in 1942 and went out to America to train as a pilot. In 1944 he joined 174 Typhoon Fighter Squadron at Westhampnett, and spent a year on operations serving throughout occupied Europe. In 1945 he became a Flying Instructor and left the RAF in 1946. However he rejoined in 1947 and stayed in the service until retirement in 1967.
Warrant Officer Jack Hodges DFCJack Hodges joined the RAF in late 1940, and after completing his pilot training in Canada he returned to England and was then briefly sent to a Photo Reconnaissance Unit flying Spitfires. He moved to a OTU in Annan, Scotland on Hurricanes before finally moving to a holding unit in Redhill, flying Typhoons. In 1944 he was posted to join 175 Squadron. Shortly after this he moved to 174 Squadron at Westhampnett. He served on operations throughout occupied Europe until the end of the war, being awarded the DFC in 1945 for successfully leading a group of Typhoons against a German Armoured Division.
Warrant Officer John Abe LincolnBorn in 1923, Abe Lincoln joined the RAF in August 1942, spending two years training in India and Rhodesia. After training he was posted back to the UK, flying first Spitfires and then on Typhoons with 175 Squadron. The squadron was by then heavily involved with softening up targets with rockets ahead of the armies advance and close support duties at the front as the allies advanced through France into Germany. He remained with the squadron until the end of the war.
The Aircraft :
NameInfo
TyphoonSingle engine fighter with a maximum speed of 412 mph at 19,000 feet and a ceiling of 35,200 feet. range 510 miles. The Typhoon was armed with twelve browning .303inch machine guns in the wings (MK1A) Four 20mm Hispano cannon in wings (MK!B) Two 1000ilb bombs or eight 3-inch rockets under wings. The first proto type flew in February 1940, but due to production problems the first production model flew in May 1941. with The Royal Air Force receiving their first aircraft in September 1941. Due to accidents due to engine problems (Sabre engine) The Hawker Typhoon started front line service in December 1941.The Hawker Typhoon started life in the role of interceptor around the cost of England but soon found its real role as a ground attack aircraft. especially with its 20mm cannon and rockets. This role was proved during the Normandy landings and the period after. The total number of Hawker typhoons built was 3,330.
Artist Details : Robert Taylor
Click here for a full list of all artwork by Robert Taylor


Robert Taylor

The name Robert Taylor has been synonymous with aviation art over a quarter of a century. His paintings of aircraft, more than those of any other artist, have helped popularise a genre which at the start of this remarkable artist's career had little recognition in the world of fine art. When he burst upon the scene in the mid-1970s his vibrant, expansive approach to the subject was a revelation. His paintings immediately caught the imagination of enthusiasts and collectors alike . He became an instant success. As a boy, Robert seemed always to have a pencil in his hand. Aware of his natural gift from an early age, he never considered a career beyond art, and with unwavering focus, set out to achieve his goal. Leaving school at fifteen, he has never worked outside the world of art. After two years at the Bath School of Art he landed a job as an apprentice picture framer with an art gallery in Bath, the city where Robert has lived and worked all his life. Already competent with water-colours the young apprentice took every opportunity to study the works of other artists and, after trying his hand at oils, quickly determined he could paint to the same standard as much of the art it was his job to frame. Soon the gallery was selling his paintings, and the owner, recognising Roberts talent, promoted him to the busy picture-restoring department. Here, he repaired and restored all manner of paintings and drawings, the expertise he developed becoming the foundation of his career as a professional artist. Picture restoration is an exacting skill, requiring the ability to emulate the techniques of other painters so as to render the damaged area of the work undetectable. After a decade of diligent application, Robert became one of the most capable picture restorers outside London. Today he attributes his versatility to the years he spent painstakingly working on the paintings of others artists. After fifteen years at the gallery, by chance he was introduced to Pat Barnard, whose military publishing business happened also to be located in the city of Bath. When offered the chance to become a full-time painter, Robert leapt at the opportunity. Within a few months of becoming a professional artist, he saw his first works in print. Roberts early career was devoted to maritime paintings, and he achieved early success with his prints of naval subjects, one of his admirers being Lord Louis Mountbatten. He exhibited successfully at the Royal Society of Marine Artists in London and soon his popularity attracted the attention of the media. Following a major feature on his work in a leading national daily newspaper he was invited to appear in a BBC Television programme. This led to a string of commissions for the Fleet Air Arm Museum who, understandably, wanted aircraft in their maritime paintings. It was the start of Roberts career as an aviation artist. Fascinated since childhood by the big, powerful machines that man has invented, switching from one type of hardware to another has never troubled him. Being an artist of the old school, Robert tackled the subject of painting aircraft with the same gusto as with his large, action-packed maritime pictures - big compositions supported by powerful and dramatic skies, painted on large canvases. It was a formula new to the aviation art genre, at the time not used to such sweeping canvases, but one that came naturally to an artist whose approach appeared to have origins in an earlier classical period. Roberts aviation paintings are instantly recognisable. He somehow manages to convey all the technical detail of aviation in a traditional and painterly style, reminiscent of the Old Masters. With uncanny ability, he is able to recreate scenes from the past with a carefully rehearsed realism that few other artists ever manage to achieve. This is partly due to his prodigious research but also his attention to detail: Not for him shiny new factory-fresh aircraft looking like museum specimens. His trade mark, flying machines that are battle-scarred, worse for wear, with dings down the fuselage, chips and dents along the leading edges of wings, oil stains trailing from engine cowlings, paintwork faded with dust and grime; his planes are real! Roberts aviation works have drawn crowds in the international arena since the early 1980s. He has exhibited throughout the US and Canada, Australia, Japan and in Europe. His one-man exhibition at the Smithsonians National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC was hailed as the most popular art exhibition ever held there. His paintings hang in many of the worlds great aviation museums, adorn boardrooms, offices and homes, and his limited edition prints are avidly collected all around the world. A family man with strong Christian values, Robert devotes most of what little spare time he has to his home life. Married to Mary for thirty five years, they have five children, all now grown up. Neither fame nor fortune has turned his head. He is the same easy-going, gentle character he was when setting out on his painting career all those years ago, but now with a confidence that comes with the knowledge that he has mastered his profession.

More about Robert Taylor

 

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 Douglas C-47s of the 439th Troop Carrier Group from Upottery, East Devon, try to hold steady amid a barrage of flak and anti aircraft fire as troops of 101st jump into the unknown above Normandy on the night of 5th / 6th June 1944.  These aircraft are of the 94th Troop Carrier Squadron.

Hell Below Us by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £30.00
 After service in the 96th Infantry Regiment, Smirnov joined the XIX Corps Air Squadron in 1914, shooting down twelve enemy aircraft in the course of two years. When revolution swept through Russia in November 1917, he escaped the Bolsheviks via a White counter-revolutionary route, eventually joining the RAF in England, serving at the Central Flying School at Upavon. He is shown here in his silver Nieuport 17, having just despatched a Roland C.II.

Captain Ivan Smirnov†by Ivan Berryman.
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 A pair of De Havilland Mosquito NF. MkII night fighters of 23 Squadron, based at Bradwell Bay, Essex in 1942.

Night Raiders by Ivan Berryman. (C)
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 So versatile was the Mosquito that is performed in every role allotted to the R.A.F. and R.C.A.F. during World War II. Made almost entirely of wood, and powered by two hefty Merlin engines, it was the fastest piston engined aircraft of the war. Seen in its intruder configuration, Mosquitos of 418 Squadron, R.C.A.F. led by Charlie Krause, make a devastating high speed low-level attack on railroad marshalling yards in northern France during the winter of 1944.

Trainbusters by Nicolas Trudgian. (Y)
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 Focke-Wulf FW.190A-5/U8 of 1 Gruppe, Schnellkampfgeschwader 10 in 1943. All national markings were painted out, except for the call sign C on the fuselage and repeated, crudely sprayed, on the engine cowling.

Focke-Wulf Fw190A-5/U8 by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 Hurricanes of 607 County of Durham Squadron diving down and attacking Heinkels over the Needles on the Isle of Wight, after a raid on the southern coast. 607 squadron were stationed at nearby Tangmere from the start of September 1940 and saw continuous action throughout the Battle of Britain until the 16th October, when it withdrew to Scotland having raised its total victory to 102. Also aiding in the pursuit are Spitfires of 602 City of Glasgow Squadron based at Westhampnett.

Hurricanes Over the Needles by Graeme Lothian. (Y)
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 The early months of 1942 saw Sqn Ldr Derek Ward flying several sorties a day, many of them at night with 73 Sqn in the skies above Egypt. He claimed a Heinkel 111 destroyed on 9th February and a Bf.109 just a few days later. Then, on the night of 1st May, Ward spotted a Focke-Wulf Fw.200 Condor heading out to sea. Alone, he pursued the German four-engined bomber in his Hurricane and shot it down, flames streaming from its wing. For this action, Sqn Ldr Ward was awarded the DFC.

Tribute to Squadron Leader Derek Ward by Ivan Berryman. (C)
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 Soldiers aboard a Merlin helicopter over Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 2010.

Soldiers Over Helmand by Graeme Lothian. (P)
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 Viewed from beneath the blistered guns of the damaged X and Y turrets of her sister HMS Ajax, Achilles come sunder fire from the pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee during what was to become known as the Battle of the River Plate on the 13th December 1939. Shells from Achilles are closing on her opponent as the Graf Spee alters course at the start of the doomed battleships flight to Montevideo

The Pursuit of the Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman (P)
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 Lieutenant of the Royal Navy commands marines and crew during a sea battle with the French during the battle of Cape St Vincent.

In the Thick of Battle by Chris Collingwood.
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DHM267P.  Shows the action on 26th May 1941 by Swordfish from HMS Ark Royal on the German battleship Bismarck. Fresh from her triumphant encounter with HMS Hood, Bismarck was struck by Swordfishs torpedo which jammed her rudder and was finished off by the home fleet on 27th May 1941.
Sink the Bismarck by Geoff Lea (P)
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HMS Illustrious slips quietly away from the docks at Devonport, Plymouth with the Fiji class cruiser in the middle distance, 1941.

HMS Illustrious and HMS Kenya at Devonport by Ivan Berryman (P)
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  HMS Medway was the first Royal navy submarine Depot ship that was designed for the purpose from the outset. She is shown here with a quintet of T-class submarines on her starboard side, whilst an elderly L-Class begins  to move away having completed replenishment. HMS Medway was sunk on 30th June 1940 having been torpedoed by U-372 off Alexandria.

HMS Medway by Ivan Berryman (P)
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On 29th and 30th April 1944, while surfaced close to jagged reefs, and Japanese shore guns, the USS Tang rescued 22 downed flyers from Task Force 58s strikes against enemy positions on the islands - This was the largest rescue of airmen by a submarine in the war. USS Tang (SS-306) would later be sunk by its own torpedo off Formosa, on the 24th of October 1944.

USS Tang, The Life Guard of Truk Atoll by Robert Barbour.
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 The pilot of a Fairey Swordfish MKII guides his aircraft towards the landing ramp of HMS Victorious following a sortie in the Mediterranean Sea 1940

Safe Return by Ivan Berryman.
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 Two Fairey Firefly fighter-bombers of 810 Sqn, Fleet Air Arm, overfly the carrier HMS Theseus during the Korean War.

HMS Theseus by Ivan Berryman.
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 88mm AA guns of the 23rd Flak Regiment, used as anti-tank guns by orders of Rommel himself, are shown firing on British Matilda tanks of 4th/7th Royal Tank Regiment.

Action at Arras, France, 21st May 1940 by David Pentland. (Y)
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9th (Irish) Field Battery firing on the Run-in-shoot to Queen Beach. They were the first rounds fired at the Normandy Coast, D-Day 6th June, 1944. Queen Beach, one of the 4 sectors of Sword Beach, where most of the landings of D-Day were carried out. The Queen Beach sector which extended for 1.5km between Lion-sur-Mer and the western edge of Ouistretham. The attack was thus concentrated on a narrow one-brigade front. For once the DD tanks and other armour came in exactly on time and ahead of the infantry. The 8th brigade, with the 1st Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment on the right and the 2nd East Yorkshire on the left.

Operation Overlord by David Rowlands (B)
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 Northern France, 22nd May 1940.  Sdkfz 222 light armoured cars of the SS Leibstandarte Regiment drive along French lanes on a reconnaissance patrol for the forces of General Heinz Guderian on their advance towards the French coast.

Eyes of the Army by David Pentland. (P)
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 Although in the process of regrouping after their escape from the Cherkassy Pocket, Panthers and Panzer Grenadiers of the crack 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking are part of the relief force hastily assembled and thrown in to free the strategically important city of Kowel in the Pripet Marshes. By April 10th the Soviet encirclement of the city was broken and Wiking were pulled out of the line to continue refitting.

Fight for Kowel, Poland, March/April 1944 by David Pentland.
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 After almost two months of continuous fighting in the front line, remnants of the 12th SS Panzer Division, Hitler Jugend, fall back under incessant air attacks by allied fighter bombers for their final battles in France. In their defense of the northern flank of what is to become the Falaise Gap the new Jagdpanzer IV in particular is to prove a formidable foe to the attacking British and Canadian tanks.

The Falaise Gap, Normandy, 12th - 20th August 1944 by David Pentland.
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 General Major Erwin Rommel leads the vanguard of his vaunted 7th Panzer (Ghost) Division past an abandoned French Char B tank on its epic drive from the Ardennes to the English Channel.

Blitzkrieg, Northern France, May 1940 by David Pentland.
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 Polish 7TP (Twin Turret) light tank of Captain F. Michalowskis training company breaks out from the street barricade to counter attack German reconnaissance elements.

Warsaw, September 1939 by David Pentland.
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 British MK1 Grant tanks of the Staffordshire Yeomanry 8th Armoured Brigade, 10th Armoured Division, breakout from El Alamein.

Operation Supercharge, 4th November 1941 by David Pentland. (GL)
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