Badly mauled during the Battle of Britain, by early 1941 the Luftwaffe fighter wings, strung right across northern France, were back on strength. The front line squadrons were re-equipping with the up-dated Me109F and, though suffering initial over-heating problems, the remarkable new Fw190A was making its first appearances. The Luftwaffe pilots were again full of confidence, and having the air endurance advantage of fighting close to their bases, they were competing on equal terms with the Spitfires and Hurricanes of RAF Fighter Command.
Having spent the first 18 months of the war fighting a defensive air battle, RAF Fighter Command was raring to go onto the attack. The mix of Rhubarbs - two or three-plane, low-level incursions to attack enemy bases and installations - and large fighter sweeps aimed to entice the Luftwaffe up for a fight, kept the German fighter pilots busy throughout the summer. All through 1941 great air battles raged all along the Channel Front.
Robert Taylor's comprehensive new work Eagles on the Channel Front, the fourth and final print in his widely acclaimed "Wings of the Luftwaffe" series, recreates a scene in northern France in the late autumn of 1941. Having just returned to their temporary airstrip in the region of St. Omer, Luftwaffe pilots of JG-26 excitedly debrief their recent encounter with Spitfires and Hurricanes, fought high over the Channel coast. The gleaming new Me109F's are discreetly parked under trees on the edge the airfield, providing some cover from low-level surprise attacks. While ground crews busily prepare the Wing's Me109s for another mission, a group of the exciting new Fw190A fighters taxi out. The scenario will continue right into winter.
In his inimitable style, and with inordinate skill, Robert Taylor manages to evoke the heady atmosphere of a German front line airfield on the Channel Front in 1941. With the entire edition signed by Luftwaffe Aces who flew the great air battles of WWII, this wonderfully atmospheric image provides aviation art connoisseurs with a truly remarkable and valuable collector print.
Oberst Heinz Marquardt
In late 1941 Heinz Marquardt was with a training squadron south of Paris. In August 1943 he was posted to join IV./JG51 in Russia, achieving his first victory two months later. Shot down eight times, he once achieved twelve victories in a single day. Awarded the Knight's Cross in November 1944, he flew a total of 320 missions, and scored 121 victories.
Oberst Johannes Naumann
With III./JG26 at the outbreak of war, Johannes flew in all the campaigns of 1939 - 1940, including the Battle of Britain. He led 6./JG26 on the Channel front, and later 7./JG26. In March 1944 he became Kommandeur of II./JG26, and in August Kommandeur II./JG6. He flew 450 missions, scored 45 victories, all in the West, and was awarded the Knight's Cross in 1944.
Oberleutnant Erhard Nippa
Erhard Nippa joined JG2 in 1942, serving firstly with 10./JG2 'Richthofen'. This was one of the Luftwaffe's most successful fighter bomber units attacking British coastal shipping in the English Channel. This unit was amalgamated with 15./SG210 at the end of 1942. Nippa then flew in the Mediterranean theater before joining II./SG10 in Russia. He was awarded the Knight's Cross in March 1944 for his successful sorties against ground and shipping targets. He flew over 300 combat missions.
Major Gerhard Schöpfel
Gerhard Schöpfel was Staffelkapitän of 9./JG26 at the outbreak of war, and became Kommandeur of III./JG26 in August 1940. In December 1941 he succeeded Adolf Galland as Kommodore of JG26 until January 1943. Later, Kommodore of JG4 and JG6. He flew over 700 combat missions, achieving 40 victories, all in the West. He was awarded the Knight's Cross in 1940.
Oberleutnant Günter Seeger
In February 1940, Gunter Seeger was an Unteroffizier with 3./JG-2, scoring his first victory in the early days of the Battle of Britain, He served on the Channel Front until November 1942, including several months with the Geschwaderstabsschwarm. In December he transferred to the Mediterranean theatre with II./JG-2 before joining 6./JG-53. In February 1943 he joined 7./JG-53 becoming Staffekapitan in September 1944. He flew in North Africa, in the Dolomite region and in Sicily. Awarded the Knight's Cross, Gunter Seeger flew over 500 combat missions in the west and scored 56 victories.
Overall print size: 36" wide x 24" high.
Image size: 29 1/4" wide x 16" high.