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Army Challenger - Operation Desert Storm 1991 Gulf War by Terence Cuneo


Army Challenger - Operation Desert Storm 1991 Gulf War by Terence Cuneo

On 28th February 1991, the British 1st Armoured Division made their final advance in the Gulf War. Their destination was to be astride the Kuwait City-Basra highway, known as Objective COBALT. Their task was to cut off the remnants of the Iraqi Army as it fled from Kuwait, northwards. In the end, it had only taken 100 hours to rout the Iraqi Army, once the fourth largest in the world. The first British Forces despatched to the Gulf were Tornado aircraft deployed in early August, 1990. On 14th September 1990, Parliament announced the deployment of the 7th Armoured Brigade from its barracks in Germany. Two Regiments of Challenger tanks, The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and The Queens Royal Irish Hussars as well as the 1st Battalion, The Staffordshire Regiment, an armoured infantry regiment, were despatched. It soon became obvious that the Iraqis were not going to pull out of Kuwait and might have to be ejected by force. Parliament therefore sanctioned, on 22nd November 1990, the despatch of a further brigade from Germany, the 4th Armoured Brigade. Unlike the 7th Armoured Brigade, it only had one Challenger Regiment, the 14/20th Kings Hussars, but two armoured infantry regiments, the 15th Battalion, The Royal Scots and the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. To coordinate both brigades and their support and logistic assets in the field, the Headquarters of the 1st Armoured Division was also despatched, making the British deployment the largest the country has seen since the Second World War. The British 1st Armoured Division was deployed to the Gulf with some of the most sophisticated and up-to-date equipment seen on the modern battlefield. Central to this were the Challenger Mk. 3s and the Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles. Both were heavily modified for fighting in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, with primary importance being given to protection. The deployment of the Challengers and Warriors were augmented with 18 Lynx Mk.7s of 4 Regiment, the Army Air Corps. The Mk. 7 is a dedicated anti-tank helicopter armed with 8 TOW anti-tank missiles. The proposed use for these aircraft was to form a forward screen in front of the advancing brigades, thus giving warning of enemy units as well as engaging any detected enemy armour. By the beginning ofJanuary 1991, the British 1st Armoured Division was fully deployed in the Gulf. Not long after, it was redeployed tinder command of the VII(US) corps that was secretly moxing to an area some 300k in to the west. Even as the first air attacks were launched against the Iraqi forces, massive convoys were moving towards the Saudi town of Hafir-al-Batin. On 24th February, simultaneous assaults were launched along the whole of the Kuwait and Iraqi borders. The American Ist Infantry Division, The Big Red One, led the VII(US) Corps and by nightfall had cleared sixteen lanes through the Iraqi positions. So well did the advance go that the British 1st Armoured Division was launched some twelve hours earlier than had been expected. 7th Armoured Brigade preceded 4th and both were well clear of the break-in point and forming up within a matter of hours. During the next 95 hours, both brigades fought their way first northwards and then eastwards through one Iraqi position after another. The case with which they defeated the enemy, already badly mauled by six weeks of constant air bombardment and now subjected to murderous artillery fire, surprised even the most confident commanders. By the third day, 28th February, the Coalition Forces had encircled the occupying Iraqi Forces within Kuwait causing them to retreat northwards towards Basra. By this time, the Iraqis were offering no resistance. Such was their overwhelming defeat, that the Coalition Commanders advised the American President, George Bush, to suspend offensive combat operations. This he did, announcing a general ceasefire to take effect at midnight on 27/28th February 1991. The difference between American Eastern Standard Time and Greenwich Meantime was five hours. It was decided, therefore, that the British 1st Armoured Division would move with best speed to the Kuwait City-Basra Highway to finally close the noose around the fleeing Iraqi forces. The British objective was known as COBALT and lay some 70kin due cast. At fifteen minutes notice to move, both British brigades made one final dash to their last objective, some 30-odd kilometres north of Kuwait City itself. That last morning action will be remembered for a long time by those who were there and is the scene portrayed in Cuneos painting. Above them, the dense clouds of the burning oil and gas rigs blocked out the bright desert sun. As they approached their final objective, the remains of numerous Iraqi vehicles littered the desert. Most of them had been destroyed from the air. Iraqi T-69 tanks lay wrecked, their turrets blown off by the force of exploding ammunition. Preceded by the Lynx helicopters, the British knew they were nearing their objectives due to the lines of pylons that intersected the desert, now mostly with their cables dangling in the sand. Within two hours, COBALT was secured, ensuring the final Iraqi defeat.
Item Code : LI0011Army Challenger - Operation Desert Storm 1991 Gulf War by Terence Cuneo - This Edition
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PRINT Signed limited edition of 850 prints.

Image size 17.5 inches x 23.5 inches (44cm x 60cm) Billiere, Peter De La
+ Artist : Terence Cuneo
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Extra Details : Army Challenger - Operation Desert Storm 1991 Gulf War by Terence Cuneo
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The signature of General Sir Peter De La Billiere KCB KBE DSO MC MSC DL

General Sir Peter De La Billiere KCB KBE DSO MC MSC DL
General Sir Peter de la Billiere was born in 1934, educated at Harrow School and joined the KSLI in 1952. After commissioning into the Durham Light Infantry he served with 1 DLI in Japan, Korea and then for 2 years in the Suez Canal Zone and in Jordan. In 1956 he joined the Special Air Service in Malaya where he was mentioned in Despatches. In 1959 he led a troop during the assault in Jebel Akdar, where he won the Military Cross. He then served for almost 2 years with the Federal Regular Army before returning to command a Squadron of the SAS. From 1964 to 1966 General de ]a Billiere commanded A Squadron on operations in Radfan and Bomeo, gaining a bar to the MC. After completing the Staff Course at Cambericy and a Staff Appointment at United Kingdom Land Forces, he returned to 22 SAS as Second-inCommand and subsequently Commanding Officer. During the period 196o-74 he commanded operations in Musandam and Dhofar and established the Counter Terrorist Force immediately following the Munich Games incident. He was appointed a Member Of the Distinguished Service Order. After spending 2 years on the Directing Staff at the Army Staff College, Camberley, General de la Billiere took his family across the Nubian Desert by Land Rover to assume command of the British Army Training Team in Sudan in 1977 Between 1979 and 1983 he commanded the Special Air Service Group. He was made CBE- in the 1983 New Year's Honours List. During 1983 he was a member of the Royal College of Defence Studies and from June 1984 until July 1985 was Military Commissioner and Commander British Forces Falklands, where his wife and family were with him. From September 1985 to November 1987 he commanded Wales District in the rank of Major General and at the beginning of December 1986 was appointed Colonel Commandant of the Light Division. In 1987 he took up the appointment of GOG South East District and Permanent Peacetime Commander of the joint Force Operation Staff in the rank of Lieutenant General, He was appointed KCB in the 1988 New Year's Honours List. On October 6th 1990, General de la Billiere assumed command of the British Forces in the Middle East. Following his return to UK, he was promoted General and appointed as special adviser to the Ministry of Defence on Middle East matters.
Artist Details : Terence Cuneo
Click here for a full list of all artwork by Terence Cuneo


Terence Cuneo

Terence Cuneo CVO,OBE Born 1st November 1907 , Died 3rd January 1996. Terence Cuneo was not only one of the worlds greatest military painters, he also one of the top railway artists as well. Terence Cuneo was also the official artist for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Terence Cuneo was born in London on November 1st 1907. His parents Cyrus and Nell were both artists who met while studying with Whistler in Paris. Terence Cuneo studied at the Chelsea Polytechnic and Slade School of Art. He became an illustrator for a number of magazines and book publishers. During World War Two Terence Cuneo joined the army and became a sapper but also worked with the War Artists Advisory Committee, and in this role he produced illustrations of various factories during wartime and other wartime events. Soon after the end of the war Terence Cuneo was commissioned to produce a series of paintings of railways and their locomotives. And this was followed by being appointed the official artist for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, which helped promote Terence Cuneo to a worldwide audience and a number of major commissions followed. (An interesting trademark Cuneo painted in his paintings is a little mouse.) A major part of his paintings were commissioned by various British regiments and many of these terrific paintings are shown here In 1994 Cranston Fine Arts approached Terrence Cuneo to reproduce a number of these historical art paintings and with his consent and the consent of the regiments involved a total of 800 of each print was re produced. Sadly in 1996 Terence Cuneo passed away, but he has left us with a fantastic collection of fine paintings of military history and steam locomotive paintings, which are collected around the world and are very sought after. Terence Cuneo was admired and respected by his peers and public and a large bronze memorial statue of Terence Cuneo by Philip Jackson stands in the concourse of Waterloo Station in London.

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AVIATION PRINTS

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On an RAF airfield in the early evening, a squadron of Lancaster bombers of Bomber Command prepare for another bombing sortie against targets of the German war machine.  A fitting tribute to all Bomber Command aircrew who flew in the Avro Lancatser.

Distant Dispersal by Graeme Lothian. (E)
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A Royal Air Force Wessex HC2 Helicopter picks up troops somewhere in Northern Ireland.

Pup Northern Ireland by John Wynne Hopkins (P)
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 The Short Stirling won the distinction as the RAFs first purpose built four engine monoplane bomber.  A strong, highly complex design it gained a reputation as a pilots aircraft to fly being agile for a big bomber and demonstrating great character.  Well over 2000 Stirlings provided stout service for the RAF in a variety of extremely important roles throughout WW2.
Stirling Service by Philip West.
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 Boeing Chinook of No.7 Squadron (detachment) from RAF Aldergrove, flying on supply duty in the west of the province.

Chinook over the Sperrins by David Pentland.
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 Pushing the concept of the Spitfire almost to the limit, the sleek F Mk212 represented the ultimate in fighter design at the end of the Second World War.  Powered by the mighty Griffon 61 engine driving a five blade propeller, its armament consisted of four 20mm British Hispano Cannon, two in each wing.  This example is LA200 (DL-E) of 91 Sqn in 1945.

Spitfire F Mk21†by Ivan Berryman.
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 Flying his last mission with his old mount, Hawker Tempest EJ762, fresh from repair after being damaged by flak, David Fairbanks found himself embroiled in a fierce battle with Messerschmitt Bf109s on 17th December 1944.  In the course of the combat, Fairbanks shot down two of the enemy aircraft and damaged another before returning safely.

Foob Fairbanks - The Terror of the Rhine by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
Half Price! - £90.00
 During the years of the German occupation of Holland in World War II, more than 20,000 Dutch civilians perished through starvation and lack of basic provisions. Operation Manna was set in motion on Sunday, 29th April 1945 when Lancasters of the Royal Air Force began the first of 2,835 sorties, dropping 6,672 tons of food, to relieve the crisis in the Netherlands.  These humanitarian missions continued until 8th May, saving many thousands of civilians from certain death by starvation and malnutrition. †Here, Lancaster 4K765, LS-Z of 15 Sqn piloted by Flying Officer Jack Darlow, releases its precious cargo over a sports field north of The Hague.  Also in the crew was Alistair Lamb the Rear Gunner.

Operation Manna by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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Search Party Reaction by David Rowlands. (Y)
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NAVAL PRINTS

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 In the early morning murk of 24th May 1941, the forward 15in guns of HMS Hood fire the first shots against the mighty German battleship Bismarck. Both Bismarck and her escort, the Prinz Eugen, immediately responded, the latter causing a fierce fire on Hoods upper deck, while plunging shot from Bismarck penetrated deep into the British ships hull, causing an explosion that ripped the Hood apart, sinking her in an instant. Tragically, just three survivors were rescued from the water.

HMS Hood Opens Fire Upon the Bismarck by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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Having taken terrible punishment from the guns of the allied French and Spanish fleet as she broke through the line, HMS Victory found herself engaged by the French Redoutable, a bitter battle that saw the two ships locked together, pouring shot into one another with terrifying ferocity and which left the British Admiral, Lord Horatio Nelson fatally wounded. In the background, HMS Neptune is emerging through the gunsmoke and is about to pass the wreck of the French flagship Bucentaure which Victory so spectacularly routed as she passed through the allied line. HMS Temeraire, which followed Victory through, and which was also to become embroiled on the Redoutables fight, is obscured by the smoke beyond the British flagship.

The Battle of Trafalgar, 1.00pm by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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On 17th June 1944, 780 miles west of Saipan in Mid Pacific, the Gato class submarine USS Cavalla dives after a lucky sighting of a Japanese Naval Task Force, which included the aircraft carriers Taiho, Shokaku and Zuikaku. The Cavalla then trailed the Japanese, attacking and sinking the Shokaku on the 19th.

A Chance Encounter by Robert Barbour (AP)
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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. (Y)
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 The E-class light cruiser HMS Emerald is shown off the Newfoundland coast in company with a Flower class corvette.  Between October 1939 and August 1940, HMS Emerald carried £58 million in gold from Britain to Canada.

HMS Emerald by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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One of the most decisive battles in the history of the Royal Navy, Nelsons defeat of the French fleet took place on 21st October 1805 off Cape Trafalgar and was conducted with not a single British ship lost, although few ships escaped severe punishment and loss of life on both sides was tragically high

The Battle of Trafalgar, 21st October 1805 by Ivan Berryman.
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 Mitsubishi G4Ms of 27 Kanoya Kokutai begin their devastating attack on Force Z off the north east coast of Malaya on 10th December 1941. Both Repulse and prince of Wales were lost in the attack, while their accompanying destroyers remained to pick up survivors among them HMS Express which can be seen off HMS Repulse starboard quarter.

HMS Repulse with HMS Prince of Wales Under Attack by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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HMS Coventry comes under air attack from aircraft off Tobruk, 14th September 1942.  As well as losing the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Coventry, the Allies also lost  HMS Zulu and six coastal craft sunk by bombing as they were returning from Tobruk.  HMS Coventry was rated as one of the most effective anti-aircraft ships in the entire British navy, downing more aircraft than any other ship.

HMS Coventry by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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WORLD WAR TWO MILITARY PRINTS

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 Having made contact the previous evening with troops of 4th Infantry Division pushing inland from Utah Beach, paratroopers of the 101st Airborne division The Screaming Eagles help mop up the pockets of German resistance in their general advance towards Carentan.

Screaming Eagles in Normandy, 7th June 1944 by David Pentland. (GL)
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 Oberfeldwebel Albert Kerscher, commander of 2nd company 511 Heavy Tank Battalion aided by a Panzer IV, two Hetzers, a Kingtiger and a Pak gun, successfully defended against concerted Soviet air and armoured attacks, his action buying valuable time for the evacuation of German wounded from Pilau and scoring his 100th victory in the process.

Kerschers Defence of Neuhauser Forest by David Pentland. (AP)
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Leading 30th Corps assault across the Seine at Vernon, 43rd Wessex Division gained an initial foothold on the east bank.  Heroic efforts however by the Royal Engineers of 71st, 72nd and 73rd Field Companies, succeeded in constructing a Class 9 Bailey bridge (David, shown left) and a Second Class 40 bridge (Goliath, shown right)  Despite constant enemy fire this amazing feat was achieved in only 2 days, and allowed 15/19th Hussars Cromwells and 4.7th Dragoons Guards Shermans to cross just in time to repulse a serious German counter attack by Tiger IIs of SS Panzer Abteilung 101.

David and Goliath, Vernon, France, 27th August 1944 by David Pentland. (GL)
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 1st Battalion in action at Escaut Canal, Belgium, May 1940. The last Highland Regiment to wear a kilt in battle, attacking the Germans at the River Escaut.  From the Diary of Captain R. Leah, 1st Battalion, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders : Tuesday 21st May : Bn left Ere about 2 a.m. to march back. Fortunately Coy Cmdr. were required for some sort of recce and we went in C.O.s car.  Arrived Taintignies 3 a.m. and self went out again with Wilkie in C.O.s car to look for for C Coy which had gone astray, and to see Q.M. about Bn rations in Wez-Velvain.  Could not find either.  Met the Battalion arriving from Ere when I left the village at 3 a.m.  Got back myself at 4 a.m. found empty house which I entered by window and slept well for 5 hours. Officers mess going in house beside M.T. park, and had good breakfast.  Fairly quiet morning and orders to move this afternoon to Bn assembly position S of Wez-Velvain.  Thence we were directed to Merlin and prepared for counter-attack to drive enemy off Western side of Escaut.

The Queens Own Cameron Highlanders by David Rowlands (C)
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 Sturmgeschutz IIIg and Paratroops of the 4th Fallschirmjager Division, driving to the front line, pass one of the two giant 28cm K5 (Eisenbaum) railway guns responsible for the shelling the Allied beacheads at Anzio and Nettuno.

Anzio Annie, Italy, 29th January 1944 by David Pentland. (GS)
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 British Crusader MK1 tanks of the 4th County of London Yeomanry Regiment, 22nd Armoured Brigade, charge Axis positions during the opening days of the offensive Bir El Gubi.

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Operation Dynamo, Dunkirk, France 24th May - 4th June 1940 by David Pentland. (GS)
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 Normandy, Mid-June 1944.  A REME Leyland Retriever mobile workshop truck and M7 Priest SP gun of 33rd Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, 3rd Infantry Division, disembark from an LST at one of the <i>Whale</i> floating roadways that made up the British Mulberry B harbour at Arromanches.

Arromanches by David Pentland. (P)
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