THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE
In the early hours of 16 December 1944, out of nowhere, hundreds of panzers and thousands of troops poured forward as Hitler launched the last great German offensive of the war and, for once, the Allies had been wrong-footed. The thinly-held Ardennes was the last place they’d been expecting a counter-attack, but now three German armies were heading west across an 80-mile front.
Caught off guard the Americans rushed in reinforcements, including the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions encamped near Reims, over a hundred miles away. Exhausted by the fighting in Holland during Operation Market Garden, they had been sent to Reims to recuperate. They never got the chance. Thrown into the thick of the action the 82nd helped to blunt the Germans’ advance to the north, whilst at Bastogne, a pivotal town further south, the 101st, surrounded, out-numbered and besieged, refused to surrender. The line held and three days before Christmas the panzers ground to a halt, stalled by lack of fuel.
As the weather improved the Allies could now bring their air power into play. Hitler’s last gamble had failed.
Anthony’s magnificent painting portrays P-47 Thunderbolts of the 509th Fighter Squadron, 405th Fighter Group, as they pass low over paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division advancing through heavy snow during the Battle of the Bulge, early January 1945. Major Robert “Blackie” Blackburn, in his distinctive aircraft Chow Hound, leads his unit as they head out on a morning low-level bombing mission.
THE LIMITED EDITION
Joining artist Anthony Saunders, each print has been personally signed by two highly distinguished P-47 pilots who took part in the Battle of the Bulge:
First Lieutenant EDWARD J. LOPEZ DFC PH
Colonel HERBERT L. PREVOST DFC
THE COLLECTORS & REMARQUES EDITIONS
These SEVEN signature special editions have been additionally signed by veterans from the two US Airborne Divisions who fought at Bastogne, together with renowned fighter pilot Wayne Coleman:
Private 1st Class ARTHUR “ART” PETERSEN
Private 1st Class SALVADOR “SAL” PEREZ
Staff Sergeant LEO A. DUMOUCHELLE
Captain DEAN MCCANDLESS
Captain WAYNE COLEMAN