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The Last Bridge by David Pentland. (AP) - panzer-prints.com

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The Last Bridge by David Pentland. (AP)


The Last Bridge by David Pentland. (AP)

Floridsdorf, Vienna, 3th April 1945. By mid April the Soviet assault had almost cleared German resistance from the south bank of the Danube. Only one small bridgehead remained open to allow troops a chance to escape, and this exit was defended by only 2 tanks and a few anti-tank guns. Defending the eastern approaches to the bridge was the Panther tank of SS Obersturmfuhrer Arnold Friesen, 2nd SS Panzer Division. Despite being only 19 he was a veteran of Kursk, Normandy, the Ardennes and Hungary with a tally of 97 tank kills to his credit. By the end of the day Friesen and his crew accounted for a further 14, (the last two with panzerfausts), before covering the final withdrawal of the last German units across the bridge under cover of darkness.
Item Code : DHM6326APThe Last Bridge by David Pentland. (AP) - This EditionAdd any two items on this offer to your basket, and the lower priced item will be half price in the checkout! Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price!
TYPEDESCRIPTIONSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSPRICEPURCHASING
ARTIST
PROOF
Limited edition of 20 artist proofs.

Image size 16 inches x 12 inches (41cm x 31cm)Artist : David Pentland£10 Off!Now : £120.00

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Other editions of this item : The Last Bridge by David Pentland.DHM6326
TYPEDESCRIPTIONSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSPRICEPURCHASING
PRINTLimited edition of 30 giclee prints. Image size 16 inches x 12 inches (41cm x 31cm)Artist : David PentlandAdd any two items on this offer to your basket, and the lower priced item will be half price in the checkout!£95.00VIEW EDITION...
GICLEE
CANVAS
Limited edition of up to 10 giclee canvas prints. Size 20 inches x 15 inches (51cm x 38cm)Artist : David Pentland
on separate certificate
£70 Off!Now : £180.00VIEW EDITION...
ORIGINAL
PAINTING
Original oil on canvas painting by David Pentland. Size 16 inches x 12 inches (41cm x 31cm)Artist : David Pentland£500 Off!Now : £900.00VIEW EDITION...
POSTCARDCollector's Postcard - Restricted Initial Print Run of 100 cards.Postcard size 6 inches x 4 inches (15cm x 10cm)none£2.50VIEW EDITION...
Extra Details : The Last Bridge by David Pentland. (AP)
About all editions :



Artist David Pentland with the original painting The Last Bridge

Personal notes on this painting from the artist :

I accidentally discovered this incident only while researching a more famous tank ace, namely Ernst Barkmann. Both served in the same unit, and both were present during the final days of the war in Vienna. Friesen actually volunteered to run an almost suicidal resupply mission at nightfall on the 12th April to bring tank ammunition to the southern bridgehead. Unfortunately having completed his task, one of the two other tanks, a Panther, was destroyed, compelling him and his crew to cover the eastern approaches to the bridge for the following day.

For the painting I chose to depict Friesen's Panther, apparently a replacement vehicle numbered 227, positioned among the trees and shrubs of the riverside park. I took some artistic licence showing possibly less camouflage foliage than in reality, in order to see the Panthers sleek lines. I could find no record of the actual variant of tank involved, so I opted for a late war G, as photographs indicate some were present in Vienna at the time. One photograph in fact showed such a Panther G using a steel wheel along with the more common dished type and I decided to include a similar one on mine.

One of the interesting aspects of the story was that Friesen claimed to have stalked and destroyed a Josef Stalin III, in the square south of the bridge, possibly the only account of this tank appearing in action during WWII. This is a controversial claim however as according to many experts the JSIII was not employed in combat before the wars' end. It may be he mistook a JSII for the new soviet super tank, but as an experienced tank man it seems unlikely.

It's of note that throughout this episode Friesen is at pains to portray himself as part of a crew, and credits any success and survival to the other men in the tank who were equally experienced. Namely gunner Sgt. Gert Ehegotz, loader Cpl. Fritz Sprieg, radio operator Sgt Guenter Rau and driver Sgt. Alwin Sternauth.

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