THE WORLD’S FOREMOST AVIATION ARTIST COMMEMORATES THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
– 15 SEPTEMBER 1940 –
THE GREATEST DAY FOR THE RAF – HALF RAIDERS BROUGHT DOWN: 375 CAME, ONLY 175 RETURNED
Hitler’s air force returned to mass daylight raids yesterday and the RAF gave them the most shattering defeat they have ever known.
The Daily Mail 16 Sept 1940
Sunday 15 September 1940 and Luftwaffe supremo Hermann Goering believed victory over the RAF was at hand. Today, he decreed, would be the day that his “glorious” Luftwaffe would finally break the back of Fighter Command’s stubborn resistance. Or so he believed.
In response to a massed formation of enemy aircraft detected heading for London, Air Vice Marshal Keith Park commanding 11 Group scrambled his squadrons. He also requested that 12 Group bring Douglas Bader’s “Big Wing” down from Duxford. Every available pilot and machine was committed. Prime Minister Winston Churchill turned to Park and asked “What other reserves have we” “There are none“, Park replied.
Bader now had five squadrons racing south, meeting what remained of the enemy on the outskirts of London.
With a successful morning behind them the RAF fighters raced back to re-fuel and re-arm. Just after 14.00 hrs another enemy battle group was observed and this time the formations were even larger. Bader’s Wing was scrambled once more.
In his painting Robert Taylor takes us to the heart of the action with breathtaking clarity as he portrays Bader leading his wing into the fray on that afternoon of 15 September 1940. As their Bf109 escorts begin to run out of fuel, the enemy bombers were left to fend for themselves. They were savaged. By late afternoon it was over and whilst the Daily Mail and the press made much of the RAF’s initial optimistic claims – the Luftwaffe had actually lost nearly 60 aircraft and 150 aircrew. The RAF had lost less than half that number of aircraft and only 13 pilots. The tide of the Battle of Britain had turned in the RAF’s favor, and German High Command knew it.
THE LIMITED EDITION
Joining artist Robert Taylor in signing every print are two of the most highly regarded fighter pilots who duelled during the Battle of Britain:
Wing Commander TOM NEIL DFC* AFC AE
Wing Commander JOHN “TIM” ELKINGTON
THE COLLECTOR’S EDITION
This FIVE signature Edition is additionally signed by three famous Battle of Britain fighter pilots:
Generalleutnant GÜNTHER RALL KC WITH OAK LEAVES AND SWORDS
Squadron Leader TONY PICKERING AFC
Flying Officer KENNETH WILKINSON
THE ANNIVERSARY & REMARQUE EDITIONS
Each print in these TEN signature editions is also signed by a further five highly-respected Battle of Britain pilots and aircrew:
Generalleutnant ADOLF GALLAND KC WITH OAK LEAVES SWORDS AND DIAMONDS
Flight Lieutenant ARCHIE MCINNES
Flight Lieutenant TERRY CLARK DFM AE
Wing Commander RICHARD “DICKIE” SUMMERS AFM OBE
Flight Lieutenant WILLIAM ROBERT “BOB” HUGHES DFC AE
THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN TRIBUTE EDITION
with TWENTY-EIGHT SIGNATURES and AN ORIGINAL PENCIL DRAWING
For the serious enthusiast this edition represents the ultimate in aviation art and historic autograph collecting. With all the signatures of the Anniversary Edition, each print is issued with one of Robert Taylor’s stunning original pencil drawings, themed on a classic Battle of Britain subject and signed by ten iconic RAF Battle of Britain Aircrew. Each unique drawing is conservation matted to include a further eight original signatures, representing some of the most famous RAF and Luftwaffe Aircrew to fly in the Battle of Britain.
Limited by its rarity the Tribute Edition is restricted to just TEN copies.
Wing Commander Tom Neil has also signed each drawing:
Squadron Leader LAWRENCE THOROGOOD
Squadron Leader JOCELYN MILLARD AE
Squadron Leader BASIL ‘STAPME’ STAPLETON DFC
Squadron Leader ARTHUR LEIGH DFC DFM
Wing Commander PADDY BARTHROPP DFC AFC
Group Captain BILLY DRAKE DSO DFC*
Wing Commander ERIC BARWELL DFC*
Squadron Leader ROY MCGOWAN
Wing Commander KEN MACKENZIE
Warrant Officer DAVID DENCHFIELD
Group Captain Sir DOUGLAS BADER CBE DSO* DFC* FRAES DL (MATTED)
Group Captain DESMOND SHEEN DFC (MATTED)
Major JOACHIM MÜNCHEBERG KNIGHT’S CROSS WITH OAK LEAVES & SWORDS (MATTED)
Hauptmann SIEGFRIED BETHKE IRON CROSS 1ST CLASS (MATTED)
Oberstleutnant ERICH WEISSFLOG KNIGHT’S CROSS (MATTED)
Feldwebel WILLI WUST KNIGHT’S CROSS (MATTED)
Ambassador FRANZ ELLES (MATTED)
Oberstleutnant HANS-JOACHIM JABS KNIGHT’S CROSS WITH OAK LEAVES (MATTED)