Artist David Pentland with the original painting The Shepherd
Personal notes on this painting from the artist :
For many years Kurt Knipsel's exploits were relatively unknown. In recent years with the more general publication of books by the likes of Alfred Rubbel or Franz Kurowski, he has generally been hailed as one of the great tank aces. That he was only given his own tank to command during the retreat from Normandy, belies the skill and success he had displayed as a gunner prior to this in his years in Russia.
One of his most admired qualities for those that knew him was his humanity, and pulling his mortally wounded commander and friend Obfw. Fendesack from their Tiger's turret while under air attack was just one example of this. Being given the command of the company's last remaining King Tiger to batter a way through to safety, is evidence of the confidence that the other men of the elite 503rd Heavy Tank Battalion held in him.
In the painting I wanted to show a battered Tiger II leading a column of weary tank men marching along a French back road to avoid being spotted from the air. Some branches are used for camouflage, which also helps obscure the tank number. In this case it proved impossible to confirm the turret number, I had narrowed the choice to a couple, but conflicting accounts made it difficult to be 100% certain. As for the tank variant I was on safer ground, it being a Porsche version with a two piece barrel, and using the three colour sand, brown green paint scheme.
A photo of an edition of the print :