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Defence of the Reich by Keith Woodcock. - Cranston Fine Arts Aviation, Military and Naval Art
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Defence of the Reich by Keith Woodcock.


Defence of the Reich by Keith Woodcock.

The Me 262 was so fast that German pilots needed new tactics to attack Allied bombers. In the head-on attack, the closing speed of about 320 metres per second was too high for accurate shooting. Even from astern, the closing speed was too great to use the short-ranged 30 mm cannon to maximum effect. Therefore, a roller-coaster attack was devised. The 262s approached from astern and about 1,800 m higher (5,900 ft) than the bombers. From about 5 km behind (3.1 mi), they went into a shallow dive that took them through the escort fighters with little risk of interception. When they were about 1.5 km astern (0.93 mi) and 450 metres (1,480 ft) below the bombers, they pulled up sharply to reduce their excess speed. On levelling off, they were 1,000 m astern (1,100 yd) and overtaking the bombers at about 150 km/h (93 mph), well placed to attack them. Since the 30mm MK 108 cannon's short barrels and low muzzle velocity of 540 m/s (1,800 ft/s) rendered it inaccurate beyond 600 metres, coupled with the jet's velocity which required breaking off at 200 metres to avoid colliding with the target, Me262 pilots normally commenced firing at 500 metres. Turret gunners of Allied bomber aircraft found that their manned electrically powered gun turrets had problems tracking the jets. Target acquisition was difficult because the jets closed into firing range quickly and remained in firing position only briefly, using their standard attack profile, which proved more effective. In February 1944, the USAAF introduced the P-51 Mustang, a fighter capable of escorting the USAAF bombers to and from their targets. With new fighter tactics, the Eighth Air Force gained air supremacy over Nazi Germany by the spring of 1944 against the Luftwaffe. By the summer of 1944, the Luftwaffe was also suffering from chronic fuel shortages and a lack of trained pilots and it ceased to be an effective fighting force by 1945. By the end of the campaign, American forces claimed to have destroyed 35,783 enemy aircraft and the RAF claimed 21,622, for a total of 57,405 German aircraft claimed destroyed. The USAAF dropped 1.46 million tons of bombs on Axis-occupied Europe while the RAF dropped 1.31 million tons, for a total of 2.77 million tons, of which 51.1 percent was dropped on Germany.
Item Code : KW0004Defence of the Reich by Keith Woodcock. - This EditionAdd any two items on this offer to your basket, and the lower priced item will be half price in the checkout! Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price!
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PRINTOpen edition print.

Image size 14.5 inches x 9.5 inches (37cm x 24cm)none£20.00

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Too Little Too Late by Stan Stokes.
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Looking for Trouble by Keith Woodcock.
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Extra Details : Defence of the Reich by Keith Woodcock.
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The Aircraft :
NameInfo
Me262The Messerschmitt Me-262 Swallow, a masterpiece of engineering, was the first operational mass-produced jet to see service. Prototype testing of the airframe commenced in 1941 utilizing a piston engine. General Adolf Galland, who was in charge of the German Fighter Forces at that time, pressured both Goring and Hitler to accelerate the Me-262, and stress its use as a fighter to defend Germany from Allied bombers. Hitler, however, envisioned the 262 as the aircraft which might allow him to inflict punishment on Britain. About 1400 Swallows were produced, but fortunately for the Allies, only about 300 saw combat duty. While the original plans for the 262 presumed the use of BMW jet engines, production Swallows were ultimately equipped with Jumo 004B turbojet engines. The wing design of the 262 necessitated the unique triangular hull section of the fuselage, giving the aircraft a shark-like appearance. With an 18 degree swept wing, the 262 was capable of Mach .86. The 262 was totally ineffective in a turning duel with Allied fighters, and was also vulnerable to attack during take off and landings. The landing gear was also suspect, and many 262s were destroyed or damaged due to landing gear failure. Despite its sleek jet-age appearance, the 262 was roughly manufactured, because Germany had lost access to its normal aircraft assembly plants. In spite of these drawbacks the 262 was effective. For example, on April 7, 1945 a force of sixty 262s took on a large force of Allied bombers with escort fighters. Armed with their four nose-mounted cannons, and underwing rockets the Swallows succeeded in downing or damaging 25 Allied B-17s on that single mission. While it is unlikely that the outcome of the War could have been altered by an earlier introduction or greater production totals for this aircraft, it is clear to many historians that the duration of the War might have been drastically lengthened if the Me-262 had not been too little too late.
Artist Details : Keith Woodcock
Click here for a full list of all artwork by Keith Woodcock


Keith Woodcock

Keith's early work concentrated on magazine illustrations and book covers, and although he still undertakes this work from time to time, the vast majority of his current paintings are now specifically commissioned by service organisations and private clients. Keith is a former Chairman of the Guild of Aviation Artists, he also gives illustration lectures, critiques and workshops.

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