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Yellow 14 by Stan Stokes. - panzer-prints.com

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Yellow 14 by Stan Stokes.

Yellow 14 by Stan Stokes.

Hans-Joachim Marseille - Germanys Eagle of the Desert, had a less than auspicious start as a fighter pilot. Having completed his training in the autumn of 1940 he participated in the Battle of Britain while based in western France. Although Marseille was credited with downing eight RAF aircraft, he had a reputation for losing lots of aircraft. In fact he had bailed out of six Bf-109s and during his units transfer to North Africa, the young ace lost another 109. The Bf-109 was one of the most successful fighters of WW II, and was produced in large quantities for a very long production run. Marseilles debonair manner harkened back to the earlier era of WW I when knights of the sky faced death every day on their canvas-covered wings. He was very aggressive, and very often would dive his aircraft into enemy formations without regard for the consequences. Marseilless commanding officer was Capt. Eduard Neumann, and he deserves credit for the maturation of the young pilot. He convinced Marseille that it would take more than luck to become a truly outstanding fighter pilot. Marseille took these observations to heart and began to devote much of his free time to improving his tactics. He practiced shooting from all angles and his flying and shooting skills began to improve. By the summer of 1941 the young ace had attained 18 victories, and by September he had reached 24 by bagging five on one mission. By late in 1941 his score was approaching fifty, and he was awarded the Knights Cross. With it came certain privileges, including his own personal aircraft, Yellow 14. As his victory tally rose his reputation grew on both sides. In Stan Stokes painting Marseille is depicted on a mission on June 3, 1942. Escorting Stukkas against Ben Hacheim. The force was intercepted by RAF fighters and the No. 5 Squadron of the South African Air Force, flying American-made P-40s. Marseille and his wingman, Sgt. Rainer Pöttgen swept into the melee. The South Africans formed a defensive circle, but Marseille got inside it flying incredible slowly and still managing to turn inside the South Africans. He decimated the formation - downing six of the P-40s while utilizing only a small percentage of his ammunition. Marseille was a master of low-speed combat. By June of 42 the aces total had exceeded 100. Recognizing the signs of combat fatigue, Neumann sent Marseille on leave for several months. Back in Germany the dashing and flamboyant Marseille made the party rounds, and attracted more than his share of young women. On September 1, following his return to fighting, Marseille had an unbelievable day when he downed seventeen aircraft, and two days later he was awarded the Diamonds to the Knights Cross. Marseilles victory total reached 158 before he flew his final mission in September of 1942. Bailing out of his smoking inverted 109; he appeared to strike the tail plane. No parachute opened and the Eagle of the Desert fell to his death. He was buried where he fell.
Item Code : STK0125Yellow 14 by Stan Stokes. - This Edition
PRINT Signed limited edition of 4750 prints.

Supplied with signed and numbered certificate of authenticity.
Print size 16 inches x 11.5 inches (41cm x 30cm) Artist : Stan Stokes£10 Off!Now : £27.00

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The Aircraft :
Me109Willy Messerschmitt designed the BF109 during the early 1930s. The Bf109 was one of the first all metal monocoque construction fighters with a closed canopy and retractable undercarriage. The engine of the Me109 was a V12 aero engine which was liquid-cooled. The Bf109 first saw operational service during the Spanish Civil War and flew to the end of World War II, during which time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe fighter squadrons. During the Battle of Britian the Bf109 was used in the role of an escort fighter, a role for which it was not designed for, and it was also used as a fighter bomber. During the last days of May 1940 Robert Stanford-Tuck, the RAF ace, got the chance to fly an Me109 which they had rebuilt after it had crash landed. Stanford-Tuck found out that the Me109 was a wonderful little plane, it was slightly faster than the Spitfire, but lacked the Spitfire manoeuvrability. By testing the Me109, Tuck could put himself inside the Me109 when fighting them, knowing its weak and strong points. With the introduction of the improved Bf109F in the spring of 1941, the type again proved to be an effective fighter during the invasion of Yugoslavia and during the Battle of Crete and the invasion of Russia and it was used during the Siege of the Mediteranean island of Malta. The Bf109 was the main fighter for the Luftwaffe until 1942 when the Fw190 entered service and shared this position, and was partially replaced in Western Europe, but the Me109 continued to serve on the Eastern Front and during the defence of the Reich against the allied bombers. It was also used to good effect in the Mediterranean and North Africa in support of The Africa Korps. The Me109 was also supplied to several German allies, including Finland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovakia. The Bf109 scored more kills than any other fighter of any country during the war and was built in greater numbers with a total of over 31,000 aircraft being built. The Bf109 was flown by the three top German aces of the war war. Erich Hartmann with 352 victories, Gerhard Barkhorn with 301 victories and Gunther Rall with 275 kills. Bf109 pilots were credited with the destruction of 100 or more enemy aircraft. Thirteen Luftwaffe Aces scored more than 200 kills. Altogether this group of pilots were credited with a total of nearly 15,000 kills, of which the Messerschmitt Bf109 was credited with over 10,000 of these victories. The Bf109 was the most produced warplane during World War II, with 30,573 examples built during the war, and the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 units produced up to April 1945. Bf109s remained in foreign service for many years after World War II. The Swiss used their Bf109Gs well into the 1950s. The Finnish Air Force did not retire their Bf109Gs until March 1954. Romania used its Bf109s until 1955. The Spanish Hispanos flew even longer. Some were still in service in the late 1960s.
Ju87By 1935 the German Luftwaffe was developing its first monoplane divebomber which entered production in 1936 as the Ju87 Stuka. The Stuka was to evolve into arguably the most successful single engine Axis divebomber of WW II. Utilizing a nearly vertical dive position the Stuka was stunningly accurate in the days when horizontal bombing was a relatively inaccurate science. The Ju87 was built for functionality and ruggedness. A fixed landing gear and exceptionally strong wing design were incorporated and no attempt was made to minimize protrusions. The Stuka was not designed for speed; it was an aerodynamic nightmare. The Stuka also incorporated a siren which when activated during a dive was designed to inflict psychological damage on the enemy below. The Ju87 was used with tremendous success in the Blitzkrieg attacks on Norway, Poland, Belgium, France, Holland, Yugoslavia, and Greece. Virtually unchallenged in the air during these Blitzkriegs the Stukas took a devastating toll on Allied ground and mechanized forces. Shipping was also vulnerable to the pinpoint attacks of the Stuka, and the Ju87 destroyed more Allied shipping than all other German aircraft put together during WW II. During Hitlers air attacks on Britain the Stukas reputation for invulnerability was shattered. Facing British Hurricanes and Spitfires the slower and less maneuverable Ju87s were destroyed in large numbers, eventually forcing their withdrawal from that conflict. Germanys attempt to develop an improved twin engine divebomber resulted in the introduction of the Messerschmitt 210 which was an unmitigated disaster. As a result, the Stuka remained in production longer than expected and the aircraft played a major role in Germanys surprise attack on Russia. In the first day of combat alone Stukas were credited with the destruction of over 700 Russian aircraft with minimal losses. One of Germanys top aces of WW II was Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Rudel flew over 2,500 combat missions in Ju87s, and was shot down on twelve occasions. Rudel was credited with destroying 519 tanks, 800 vehicles, 150 artillery pieces, one Russian battleship, one cruiser and one destroyer. Rudel was also credited with shooting down nine Russian aircraft in air-to-air combat.

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