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The Eagles Divide by Robert Taylor. (AP) - panzer-prints.com

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The Eagles Divide by Robert Taylor. (AP)


The Eagles Divide by Robert Taylor. (AP)

P-51 Mustangs of the 357th Fighter Group clash with Me109s in close combat as they struggle for air superiority over the heart of Germany, during the desperate days of 1945. It had begun - the end game was inexorably in play. The final defeat of Germany and the end of Nazi tyranny was almost within sight but in the skies over Germany the defiant remnants of the Luftwaffe fought on with savage determination. Ever since the long-range American P-51 escort fighters had first appeared, the skies over the Reich had witnessed grim encounters with the Mustangs taking on the Luftwaffe as they tried to stop the heavy bombers of the USAAF reaching their targets. By early 1945 it was a losing battle, but still the Luftwaffe fought on and, in the resulting maelstrom of combat, the Mustang pilots still had their work cut out against these battle hardened, expert pilots. Robert Taylor's superb drawing dramatically reconstructs one such clash in early 1945 as P-51 Mustangs of the 357th Fighter Group have spotted a group of Bf109s heading their way. Without hesitation they dive head-on in an attempt to break-up the enemy formation and for the pilots on both sides the explosive encounter of close combat is suddenly upon them. Limited edition prints of this classic Robert Taylor Master Drawing have been signed over the last few years by some of the most respected USAAF P-51 and distinguished Luftwaffe pilots who duelled in those merciless skies over Europe. Since signing the prints some of these legendary names have very sadly passed away, making it one of the most collectible editions of recent years.
Item Code : DHM6289APThe Eagles Divide by Robert Taylor. (AP) - This Edition
TYPEDESCRIPTIONSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSPRICEPURCHASING
ARTIST
PROOF
Aces edition of 50 artist proofs.

Overall size 22.5 inches x 16 inches (57cm x 41cm) Overstreet, William B
Anderson, C E Bud
Broch, Hugo
Wolfrum, Walter
Rall, Gunther
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
£50 Off!
Supplied with one or more free  art prints!
Now : £150.00

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Other editions of this item : The Eagles Divide by Robert Taylor.DHM6289
TYPEDESCRIPTIONSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSPRICEPURCHASING
PRINTSigned limited edition of 150 prints. Overall size 22.5 inches x 16 inches (57cm x 41cm) Overstreet, William B
Anderson, C E Bud
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
£15 Off!
Supplied with one or more  free art prints!
Now : £65.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINTAces edition of 50 prints. Overall size 22.5 inches x 16 inches (57cm x 41cm) Overstreet, William B
Anderson, C E Bud
Broch, Hugo
Wolfrum, Walter
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
£50 Off!
Supplied with one or more  free art prints!
Now : £120.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINTFighter Pilots edition of 50 prints. Overall size 22.5 inches x 16 inches (57cm x 41cm) Overstreet, William B
Anderson, C E Bud
Broch, Hugo
Wolfrum, Walter
Czypionka, Jorg
Brooks, Jim
East, Clyde B
Fiedler, Arthur C
Peterburs, Joseph
Schulze, Kurt
White, Clint
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
£200.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINTCollectors edition of 50 prints. Overall size 22.5 inches x 16 inches (57cm x 41cm) Overstreet, William B
Anderson, C E Bud
Broch, Hugo
Wolfrum, Walter
Rall, Gunther
Czypionka, Jorg
Brooks, Jim
East, Clyde B
Fiedler, Arthur C
Peterburs, Joseph
Schulze, Kurt
White, Clint
Nordenholtz, Gunther
Axthammer, Erich
Drees, Gustav
Oesterhelt, Johannes
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
£50 Off!
Supplied with one or more  free art prints!
Now : £295.00VIEW EDITION...
PRESENTATIONTribute Proof edition of 50 prints. Overall size 22.5 inches x 16 inches (57cm x 41cm) Overstreet, William B
Anderson, C E Bud
Broch, Hugo
Wolfrum, Walter
Rall, Gunther
Czypionka, Jorg
Brooks, Jim
East, Clyde B
Fiedler, Arthur C
Peterburs, Joseph
Schulze, Kurt
White, Clint
Nordenholtz, Gunther
Axthammer, Erich
Drees, Gustav
Oesterhelt, Johannes
Galland, Adolf (matted)
Steinhoff, Johannes (matted)
Schopfel, Gerhard (matted)
Hrabak, Dieter (matted)
OBrien, William R (matted)
Peterson, Richard Bud (matted)
Goebel, Bob (matted)
Loving, George (matted)
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
£495.00VIEW EDITION...

Signatures on this item
NameInfo


Captain William B. Overstreet
Posted to England in November 1943 to join the 363rd fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group at Leiston Bill Overstreet flew his P51 combat mission on 12th February 1944. He commanded nearly 50 combat missions during his tour with the 357th FS, taking part in escorting the big raids to Berlin, Frankfurt, Leipzeig and many other city targets as well as participating in escort missions to Russia from Italy. Shot down once he managed to escape to freedom after two days capacity. Returning stateside in October 1944.




Colonel C E Bud Anderson
Bud Anderson went to England with the 357th Fighter Group in 1943, the first Eighth Air Force Group to be equipped with the P-51 Mustang. He got himself on the score sheet on one of the first Berlin missions, dog fighting with a bunch of Me109s who had set upon a straggling B-17. On 29th June 1944, leading his squadron on a mission to Leipzig, they ran into a formation of Fw190s. In the ensuing battle Anderson shot down the leader, and two more Fw190s. After a short rest in the U.S., Bud returned for a second tour, just in time for the 357th's big day on 27th November 1944. With the 353rd they took on a huge formation of some 200 enemy fighters, Anderson adding three more to his score. He finished the war with 16 air victories and many more probables.




General Gunther Rall (deceased)
A young pilot with III/JG52 at the outbreak of war. He quickly demonstrated his natural ability and leadership qualities, scoring his first air victory early in the Battle of Britain, and by July 1940 was leading 8/JG52. After transfer to the Eastern Front his air victories mounted at an astonishing rate. A crash hospitalised him but within nine months he was back in the cockpit, and, when commanding III/JG52, gained the Wings 500th victory. Gunther fought throughout the war to become the 3rd highest Ace in history with 275 victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Gunther Rall was born on March 10, 1918 in the small Bavarian town of Gaggenau, Baden. Immersing himself in Boy Scout activities during the difficult economic times in Germany following WW 1, Rall finished school in 1936 and joined the German Army. Influenced by a friend, who was a young officer in the Luftwaffe, Rall entered pilots school in 1938. His initial posting was with JG52. He attained his first aerial victory during the Battle of France in May of 1940. During the Battle of Britain JG52 absorbed many casualties, and Rall was promoted to Squadron Commander at the young age of 22. With his fair-hair and smooth complexion the young officer looked even younger than his years. But behind this pleasant exterior was a fierce competitor with the heart of a tiger. Later, Ralls squadron would support the attack on Crete, followed by deployment to the Southern Sector on the Eastern Front. Ralls victory totals began to mount. Following his 37 th victory, GiInther was himself shot down. He was lucky to survive the crash, but with a badly broken back he would spend most of the next year in various hospitals. In Vienna at the University Hospital he would meet his future wife, Hertha. Miraculously, Rall recovered and returned to the Luftwaffe in August of 1942. By November his score exceeded 100 and he was awarded the Oak Leaves to accompany the Knights Cross he was awarded only weeks earlier. As the War progressed against Russia, Rall began to encounter ever more experienced Soviet pilots flying better performing aircraft. Despite this fact, and being shot down several more times himself, Ralls victory tally kept rising. By March of 1944 the ace had attained 273 aerial victories. With the War now going badly for Germany, Rall was transferred to the Western Front. He was able to attain only two more victories against the swarms of Allied bombers and fighter escorts which now pounded Germany every day and night. In May of 1944 Rall was shot down by a P-47. Losing his thumb in the battle he remained out of combat until later in 1944. Ralls final assignments included flying 190Ds as Kornmodore of JG300, and flying the Me-262 jet. Ralls 275 aerial victories (attained on less than 700 combat sorties) make him the third highest scoring ace of all time. If not for the down time suffered as a result of his broken back, Rall might have actually equaled or exceeded Erich Hartmanns alltime record of 352 aerial victories. Rall was not much for socializing during the War. He was a fierce competitor with a businessmans attitude about flying. He was an excellent marksman, and possibly the best deflection shot expert of the War. He continued to fly with the Bundeslufwaffe following the War, serving as its Commander-In Chief in 1970-74. Sadly Gunther Rall died on 4th October 2009.




Leutnant Hugo Broch
Vital to all fighter units are the pilots who make such superb wingmen that their leaders are loath to part with them. Hugo Broch was one such wingman. Having joined VI./JG54 in January he flew first with Horst Adameit (166 victories), and later with Bazi Sterr (130 victories), but soon demonstrated his own skill in combat. By the end of 1944 he had lifted his personal score to 71 victories. One of JG54s great Fw190 Aces, Hugo Broch saw combat on the Eastern and Baltic Fronts, and completed the war having flown 324 combat missions, and claiming 81 victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross.




Walter Wolfrum (deceased)
Walter Wolfrum first saw combat in the Crimea with 5/JG52. He was shot down three times, and wounded twice before scoring his first victory. With his score at 70 he was again wounded, but returned to take command of 1/JG52 in May 1944, taking part in the fiercely fought defence of the Ploesti oilfields. he was again wounded, but returned to command 1/JG52 until the end of the war. he had flown 423 missions, achieved 137 victories, and was awarded the Knights Cross. Sadly, Walter Wolfrum passed away on 26th August 2010.

The Aircraft :
NameInfo
MustangThe ubiquitous North American P-51 Mustang, which many consider to be the best all-around fighter of WW II, owes its origins to the British Air Ministry. Following Britains entry into WW II in 1939, the RAF was interested in purchasing additional fighter aircraft from American sources, particularly the Curtiss P-40. Curtiss, which was busy, was unable to guarantee timely delivery so the British approached North American Aviation as a possible second source for the P-40. North American chose to propose its own fighter design which would use the same Allison engine as the P-40. Utilizing new laminar flow wings, the North American fighter was expected to have performance better than the P-40. Developed in record time the new aircraft was designated as a Mustang I by the Brits, whereas the USAAF ordered two for evaluation which were designated XP-51 Apaches. Intrigued with the possibility of using this aircraft also as a dive bomber, North American proposed this to the USAAF which decided to order 500 of the P-51 aircraft to be modified for dive bombing use. Designated as the A-36 Invader, this version of the Mustang utilized dive flaps, and bomb racks under each wing. Some reinforcing of the structural members was also required because of the G-forces to be encountered in dive bombing. A-36s entered combat service with the USAAF prior to any P-51s. In early 1943 the 86th and 27th Fighter Bomber Groups of the 12th Air Force began flying A-36s out of Northern Africa. Despite some early problems with instability caused by the dive flaps, the A-36 was effective in light bombing and strafing roles. It was not, however, capable of dog fighting with German fighters, especially at higher altitudes. Despite these drawbacks one USAAF pilot, Captain Michael T. Russo, who served with the 16th Bomb Squadron of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group, was credited with five confirmed aerial victories in the A-36, thereby becoming the first mustang ace.
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.

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