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Secret Operation by Robert Taylor. - Cranston Fine Arts Aviation, Military and Naval Art
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Secret Operation by Robert Taylor.


Secret Operation by Robert Taylor.

Submariners are a special breed of sailor. Their environment, operating deep beneath the surface of the waves, is both unnatural and dangerous, and demands men of cool courage and exceptional quality. Prowling the depths like a mammoth shark, sometimes hunted, submarine crews live and fight, and sometimes die together, alone in the remote expanses of the worlds great oceans. Regardless of national flag under which they sail, this small elite Silent Service is both feared and admired by all who sail the seas. Plying their deadly trade in World War Two, the German U-boats posed such threat to the vital Atlantic convoys; Winston Churchill feared the submarine threat more than anything Hitler had at his disposal. Hunting in wolf packs, roaming the shipping lanes far beyond the reach of protective aircraft, they decimated the Allied merchant vessels during the Battle of the Atlantic. Manned entirely by volunteers, British and American submarines saw action in every maritime theatre during the great conflict of 1939 - 1945, the crews fighting their solitary, stealthy, secret war with courage and nerves of steel. This print captures the menacing beauty of a submarine on the surface: S-Class type HMS Sceptre slips her moorings in Scapa Flow, Scotland, and glides quietly into the North Sea to begin another top secret underwater operation. On the conning tower the skipper takes a final look across the water to the distant highlands while the crew savour the fresh salt air knowing soon they will submerge into their eerie, silent, artificial world, beneath the waves.
AMAZING VALUE! - The value of the signatures on this item is in excess of the price of the print itself!
Item Code : DHM2150Secret Operation by Robert Taylor. - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINT Signed limited edition of 700 prints.


Great value : Value of signatures exceeds price of item!
Image size 13.5 inches x 10 inches (34cm x 25cm) McGeoch, Ian
Lumby, Michael
McIntosh, Ian
Young, Edward
+ Artist : Robert Taylor


Signature(s) value alone : £180
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FREE PRINT : HMS Thunderbolt by Ivan Berryman.

This complimentary art print worth £40
(Size : 12 inches x 7 inches (31cm x 18cm))
has been specially chosen by Cranston Fine Arts to complement the above edition, and will be sent FREE with your order.

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Night Attack by Robert Barbour.
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Working Up by Robert Barbour.
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Titles in this pack :
Secret Operation by Robert Taylor.  (View This Item)
HMS/M Thrasher by John Pettitt.  (View This Item)
Night Attack by Robert Barbour.  (View This Item)
HMS Poseidon by Ivan Berryman.  (View This Item)

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General descriptions of types of editions :

Signatures on this item
NameInfo
Commander Edward Young DSO, DSC*, RNV (S) R (deceased)
*Signature Value : £50

Edward Young was born in 1913 and, after leaving Highgate School, joined The Bodley Head as an office boy. Edward Young worked for Penguin for the Reprint Society in 1939. As a keen yachtsman and maritime student in civilian life, he qualified for direct entry into the RNVR as a sub-lieutenant at the outbreak of war and, having volunteered for submarines, went on his first patrol in the ancient submarine H28 in October 1940. Serving next in the brand new Umpire in July 1941, he was below in the wardroom when she was accidentally rammed and sunk, while on the surface at night, by a trawler which was escorting a convoy. Rapid flooding caused Umpire to hit the bottom at 80 feet, Young and three others making an extemporised escape without breathing apparatus using the top and bottom hatches of the conning tower trunk as an air lock. The CO and 14 men were saved, but 22 were drowned in this disaster. As torpedo officer of the Sealion, Young operated from Murmansk for a few months until appointed second-in-command of the newly built Saracen, commanded by the distinguished Lieutenant Michael Lumby. This submarine was at sea, working up the skills of an inexperienced crew in the North Atlantic off the Faeroes when a U-boat was sighted making her way to the Atlantic. A snap attack sank her and the one survivor was made prisoner. Young was awarded a mention in dispatches. Saracen was subsequently ordered to the beleaguered island fortress of Malta to join the 10th Submarine Flotilla - the famous Fighting Tenth - whose base was under constant air attack from enemy aircraft flying from nearby Sicily. Young’s efficiency and coolness were rewarded by the DSC when Saracen sank the Italian submarine Granito off Sicily in November 1942. In January 1943 he was selected for the CO’s qualifying course — known as the perisher probably from its original title, the Periscope School, coupled with its strict attitude to standards - which he passed successfully. He cut his teeth commanding the P555 - an ex-American submarine, used mainly for training anti-submarine forces. Then, in June 1943, he was appointed to command the new submarine Storm then building at Cammell Laird’s at Birkenhead. The celebrated Admiral Sir Max Horton, C-in-C Western Approaches, came down to see him off to his first patrol. Storm’s first patrol north of the Arctic Circle was uneventful. By January 1944 the Allies had established a strategic mastery of the Mediterranean and the operational focus shifted to the war against Japan. Storm, with others and her depot ship, moved to Ceylon and started operations in the narrow Malacca Strait. Sighting a Japanese submarine on his first patrol, Young was disappointed to be unable to close sufficiently to attack. Thereafter his luck - and skill - improved and he was awarded a Bar to his DSC for the results of four war patrols with the Far Eastern Fleet. In April he sank a minesweeper and subsequently several other vessels in support of the overall campaign to deny the Japanese any use of the sea for military purposes. A particularly hair-raising cloak-and-dagger action involved the landing of an agent by rubber boat on Pulau Weh island on the northwest tip of Sumatra. When the submarine approached to recover the agent four days later, the prearranged Morse code signal by light, although correct, was late and was being transmitted from the wrong place. Young and the Special Forces major in charge of the shore aspect of the operation noted a smell of treachery in the air. But the major and a leading seaman detailed off to assist him bravely paddled inshore and shouted in the darkness to the agent whose replies suggested that he was under some duress. By now highly suspicious, they abandoned all thoughts of trying to retrieve the agent and paddled frantically back to the submarine. By now the whole shore had come alive with flashes and detonations as four machineguns and a four-inch emplacement gun opened fire on Storm, which replied with a couple of rounds from her own gun for good measure. Miraculously neither the major, the seaman nor Storm’s gun crew were hit in the fusillade of machinegun rounds which were ricocheting off the water and the submarine’s conning tower - mercifully the emplacement gun had not yet found the range. After a tense interval, both men were hauled back aboard the submarine and Young was able to withdraw with only one man wounded, giving the order to dive, as four-inch shells from the gun onshore screamed overhead. In July, while on a roving commission to look for trouble in the islands of the Mergui Archipelago off the coast of Burma, Storm entered Port Owen on the surface in a rainstorm and sank two patrol vessels, various coasters and a small merchant ship by gunfire. But by September 1944 British submarines were beginning to run out of suitable targets and a move was negotiated further east into the American area of operations where the much larger and better equipped US submarines had been hugely successful. Nevertheless, the Americans were genuinely grateful for the help from the smaller British submarines in shallow water. Storm, based at Fremantle, Western Australia, carried out two further successful war patrols, sinking numerous schooners running the nickel-ore trade and making a devastating attack on a convoy in the Mergui Archipelago, firing 150 rounds of ammunition until her gun jammed with the heat. Young was awarded the DSO for these patrols, the last of which racked up a record distance run, for Storm, of 7,151 miles. By early in the new year it was time to go home, and on April 8, 1945, Storm reached Portsmouth after ten-week voyage, via Sumatra, Ceylon, Aden, Port Said and Gibraltar. Since leaving the Cammell Laird yard 18 months before, she had sailed 71,000 miles and spent the equivalent of 60 days and nights under water. She was destined for passage to America for a refit, but Young, promoted to acting commander, was posted to a staff appointment. He was released from naval service in November 1945. After the war he returned to publishing and worked for the Reprint Society and Pan Books. He then joined the new firm of Rupert Hart-Davis as director of production. It was this firm that in 1952 published One of Our Submarines, which was written at the instigation of Admiral Sir George Creasy, who had commanded the submarine branch of the Royal Navy from September 1944 to October 1946. Commander Edward Young, DSO, DSC and Bar, died on January 28, 2003, aged 89.


The signature of Vice-Admiral Sir Ian McIntosh KBE, CB, DSO, DSC (deceased)

Vice-Admiral Sir Ian McIntosh KBE, CB, DSO, DSC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £50

Ian Stewart McIntosh was born in Melbourne on October 11th 1919, and educated at Geelong Grammar School. lan Mclntosh volunteered for the navy in his native Australia in 1938 aged 18. McIntosh joined the submarine training course at HMS Dolphin on 30th December 1940. He was awarded the King's Dirk for graduating top of his class at Dartmouth and elected to qualify as a submariner in late 1940. On joining his first submarine, Porpoise, in 1941, at the time undertaking mine laying operations in home waters, McIntosh insisted that the Chief Engineroom Artificer show him the purpose of all the machinery, valves and pipes. But he was reticent about where he had been since completing his submarine training six months. On March 25th, 1941 Ian McIntosh was on board the Anchor Line steamship Britannia some 500 miles off Freetown, Sierra Leone, when the Britannia was attacked by the German commerce raider Thor. Thor, a motor ship capable of about 18 knots and armed with four 5.9in guns, had already sunk ten merchant ships when she attacked the Britannia. Britannia's single 4in gun was soon knocked out. On fire and sinking, she was abandoned. Early damage to her radio aerial meant that no distress message had been sent. Mclntosh found himself in lifeboat No 7, which was in great danger of being caught under Britannia's counter. The merchant navy officer in charge, Third Officer William MacVicar, recorded that it was entirely due to the skill of Sub-Lieutenant Mclntosh that this lifeboat was kept afloat and survivors were able to embark. Its Board of Trade capacity was given as 58, but 82 were crammed on board. This meant that only two oars could be used, Mclntosh and a naval rating getting the boat clear of the burning ship. For the next day the lifeboat rode to a sea anchor in a Force 5 NE trade wind, the choppy sea requiring energetic baling. On the second day Mclntosh located three holes behind the ballast tanks caused by German gunfire, the leaks from which would eventually have been fatal as the survivors grew weaker and unable to bale out such an inflow. By dint of leaning over the gunwhale, often with head and shoulders under water, he was able to plug them with pieces of blanket and then nail pieces of tobacco tin over them, causing himself extreme fatigue and illness. An attempt was made to sail east towards the African coast, but this was abandoned after 24 hours as the boat was too overburdened to make progress upwind and had probably only moved 20 miles due south. The decision was made to run before the wind and make for Brazil judged to be about 1,300 miles distant. The boat's 16 gallons of water in sealed containers and the supply of biscuits and condensed milk were clearly insufficient despite rigorous rationing. On the fourth day several of the men fainted. The crew became quarrelsome and the chief cook, who had drunk sea-water, threw himself overboard. The heat was terrific and all were getting sea-water boils and sores. When rain came their first efforts to save some water were unsuccessful, but on the sixteenth day a violent storm and heavy rain made frantic baling necessary and eased the water rationing, deaths having diminished the number needing it. After 23 days, they made a landing without mishap on the island of Curupu on northern Brazil and were succoured by fishermen. Forty-four had died. Both MacVicar and McIntosh were appointed MBE for their gallant conduct. McIntosh returned to England for three months recuperation and then was appointed to the 3rd submarine flotilla at Holy Loch and subsequently, in March 1942, to the submarine Thrasher based at Alexandria. In early July Thrasher was one of only three submarines at sea. Returning to Alexandria, she was attacked by British aircraft and put into dock for a month. Mclntosh left Thrasher at the end of September and returned home to qualify as a submarine commanding officer. His first command was the obsolescent H44, used for anti-submarine training. at Rothesay, working from HMS Cyclops (7th Submarine Flotilla) before taking command of the operational boat HMS Sceptre on 18th February 1943, working from HMS Forth at Holy Loch (3rd Submarine Flotilla). He was awarded a mention in dispatches for his part in Operation Source, the midget submarine attack on the German heavy warships Tirpitz, Scharnhorst and Lutzow in the Altenfjord on the Norwegian coast. In March 1943 Mclntosh was credited with sinking four escorted merchant ships off the coast of Norway. The following May, McIntosh sank the blockade-runner Baldur in Spanish territorial waters, which resulted in a minor diplomatic incident but ended Spain's wartime trade in iron ore with Germany. On night surface patrol off Norway, he sighted three ships and three escorts, and immediately fired four torpedoes which struck their targets; one ship exploded and another burst into flames before disappearing. Under McIntosh's command Sceptre became one of the most successful of the S-class boats in home waters, sinking almost 15,000 tons of enemy shipping; he was twice mentioned in dispatches for courage and devotion to duty, and was awarded the DSO in 1944. After the war he commanded the sub-marine Alderney with distinction, and then served two years with the Australian Navy. In 1950 he was appointed to the responsible post of teacher to the submarine commanding officers' qualifying course, after which he commanded the submarine Aeneas. Promoted to commander in 1952 and captain in 1959, his career included some very satisfying mainstream jobs — second in command of the large aircraft carrier Ark Royal, command of the 2nd Submarine Squadron and command of the aircraft carrier Victorious for two years from 1966. Mclntosh was promoted to rear admiral in 1968 and appointed Director-General (Weapons) at Bath, managing the naval weapon development programmes. This experience was valuable to his final appointment as Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Operational Requirements) in the rank of vice admiral, He was appointed CB in 1970 and KBE in 1973 when he retired from the Royal Navy. He died on July 31st, 2003, aged 83.


The signature of Vice-Admiral Sir lan McGeoch KCB DSO DFC (deceased)

Vice-Admiral Sir lan McGeoch KCB DSO DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £40

Ian McGeoch was born in Helensburgh on 26th March 1914 and was educated at Pangbourne Nautical College, and in 1931 joined the Royal Navy as a special entry cadet. From 1933, Megeoch served as a midshipman on the HMS Royal Oak in 1933 then on the destroyer HMS Boadicea before moving on to the cruiser HMS Devonshire. McGeoch volunteered to serve on submarines and in 1936 attended the course at HMS Dolphin. Promoted to Lieutenant, McGeoch joined HMS Clyde at Malta. When war broke out he was in Malta but returned to England in Janaury 1940 serving as 1st lieutenant on the H Class H43, engaged in landing secret agents on Guernsey. In July 1940 he was appointed as second-in-command of the new submarine HMS Triumph, but was selected for the Commanding Offciers Qualifying Course before he saw active service. After passing, McGeoch returned to Malta's 10th Submarine Flotilla in May 1941, where he had the role of Spare CO on frequent call while other COs stood down for a few days rest. He took command of HMS Splendid and from November 1942 to May 1943 Splendid sank more tonnage on its six patrols than any other submarine. Lieutenant McGeoch was awarded the DSO after his fourth patrol, and the DSC after his fifth. Under McGeoch's command, Splendid sank the Italian auxiliary submarine chaser San Paolo, the Italian merchants Luigi Favorita, Devoli, and XXI Aprile, the small Italian merchant Commercio, the Italian auxiliary minesweeper No. 107 / Cleopatra, and the Italian tanker Giorgio. Splendid also sank the Italian Destroyer Aviere, escorting the German transport ship Ankara with her sister ship Camicia Nera - Splendid also attacked the Ankara, but missed her. Splendid also sank the Italian merchant Emma, despite her being heavily escorted by the Italian torpedo boats Groppo, Uragano and Clio. The German merchant Sienna (the former French Astrée) was missed in the same attack. Splendid also torpedoed and damaged the Italian destroyer Velite. Splendid left Malta for the last time on 17th April 1943. This was the submarine's sixth patrol and would take her to the waters off Naples and Corsica. While off Capril on 21st April 1943, HMS Splendid ran into the German destroyer Hermes. The submarine's periscope was spotted in the calm conditions and the German destroyer made three accurately-dropped patterns of depth charges which forced Splendid to the surface, where McGeoch ordered the crew to abandon ship and ordered the submarine to be scuttled. Five officers, including McGeoch, and 25 ratings were picked up; (18 men were lost with the ship) and taken prisoner. McGeoch suffered a wound to his right eye, and never recovered its sight. Later he managed to escape from prison camp and return to duty. He had a distinguished post-war career in the Navy including a period as Flag Officer Submarines. He was appointed CB in 1966 and advanced to KCB in 1969. He retired in 1970. Sadly at the age of 93 he died on the 12th of August 2007.
Vice-Admiral Sir Michael Lumby KCB, OBE, DSO, DSC
*Signature Value : £40

Mike Lumby completed his submariners training in December 1938. Joining HM Submarine Sturgeon, he was aboard that boat at the outbreak of war, serving in Norwegian waters. On 22 April 1942 he took command of HM Submarine Saracen, where he won the DSO for the sinking of U-335. On 5 November 1942 SARACEN took part in Operation Torch - the Allied landings in North Africa, and on 9 November he sighted and sank the Italian submarine Granito, being awarded the DSO. In late July 1943 Saracen was heavily damaged by enemy depth charges and a few days later was subjected to a further depth-charge attack by two Italian corvettes. Lumby and all but four of his crew were forced to abandon the boat, destroy it and surrender themselves. He remained a POW until repatriated in May 1945.
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.

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