As the Battle of Britain wound down in the Fall of 1940, RAF Bomber Command decided to go on the offensive and take the battle to the Luftwaffe. The idea was to send small groups of bombers with fighter escorts to targets over France, hoping to entice the Luftwaffe fighters to come up and fight.
The first sorties were flown by Bristol Blemheims but drew little reaction from the Luftwaffe, so a series of “Circus” raids, as they were called, were organized using the larger Short Stirling bombers. The larger bombers presented a bigger threat to German targets and, on several occasions, some Messerschmitt Bf-109 fighters came up to attack the bombers. They were engaged by RAF Hurricanes, typically, and the RAF enjoyed some success downing German fighters on these missions. However, the Luftwaffe did not want to commit too many of its front line fighters to these raids and the Circus raids subsequently subsided, yielding little results and becoming more overshadowed by larger offensive operations.
The image depicts a Circus raid in July 1941 involving Stirlings from No. 15 Squadron and Hurricanes from 312 Squadron.
Each print has been signed by the artist.
THE CANVAS GICLÉE EDITION
This canvas edition measures 28 x 20 inches and has been signed by the artist.