by Nicolas Trudgian
Overall Print Size: 37" x 25"
Edition Size: 500
The Green Heart Warriors carried their famous emblem throughout almost every European theatre during World War II. Having fought with distinction in the Battle of Britain, JG54 transferred to the Eastern Front, where it was to achieve historic success. Becoming one of the most successful combat fighter wings of the war, JG54 spawned a succession of top fighter Aces, no fewer than 20 achieving more than 100 air victories, its pilots collecting an impressive 58 Knights Cross awards. Flying both Fw190s and Me109s, JG54 took part in the heavy air fighting in the northern region of the Russian Front, where conditions were not for the faint hearted and demanded exceptional piloting skills. One young Austrian pilot, Walter Nowotny, won a reputation even among Allied pilots, and during the summer of 1943 became a virtual one-?man air force in the skies above the Eastern Front. In June 1943 he shot down 41 aircraft - 10 in one day. In August he collected a further 43 air victories, and another 45 the following month. In a dog-fight in October Nowotny shot down a P-40 fighter to record an astounding 250 air victories, becoming the first fighter pilot in history to achieve this score.
"ICE WARRIORS" magically captures the busy atmosphere of a Luftwaffe fighter station on the Russian Front in the dead of winter. It is February 1943, the countryside deep in snow, and the temperature well below freezing as Leutnant Walter Nowotny, Staffel?kapitan of l./JG54, taxis "White One" out from a crowded dispersal on to the snow covered runway at Krasnogvardeisk. With their temporary whitewash color scheme glinting in the early morning sunlight, the Fw190A-4s pose a menacing spectacle as they line up to follow the fighters of 2./JG54, already airborne, into the cold morning air.
In addition to the artist this print was individually signed by THREE famous Luftwaffe Aces who flew with JG54 'Green Hearts':
- Major HANS-EKKEHARD BOB
- Leutnant HUGO BROCH
- Major ERIC RUDORFFER
Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.