by Nicolas Trudgian
Overall Print Size: 31½" x 23½"
Edition Size: 350
Nobody, least of all Allied aircrew, ever doubted the tenacity of the Luftwaffe, more particularly that of the German fighter pilots. From the early encounters during the Battle of Britain to the great air battles in defense of their homeland late in the war, at all times they were held in high regard, even if resented as a foe. At no time was their dedication, determination, and courage better demonstrated than during the final stages of World War II. By the summer of 1944 the Allies had gained a foothold in Normandy, and total air superiority above northern France. German installations and ground positions were being pounded daily from the air, and the Ruhr, the heartland of industrial Germany, was under constant siege. Even the factories in southern Germany were not safe from the attentions of the USAAF bombers by day and the RAF by night. But in spite of the pressures of mounting losses and diminished supplies, the Luftwaffe fought doggedly on in best traditions of the fighter pilot.
The morning of July 19, 1944 saw the USAAF's 8th and 15th Air Forces mount an attack of awesome proportion against the aircraft factories in the region of Munich. To combat a seemingly overwhelming force of 1400 bombers and almost as many fighter escorts, the Luftwaffe were able to put up just three Gruppen from JG300 and one from JG302, flying a mix of Me109G's and Fw190's - barely 50 serviceable fighters between them. They were joined by a dozen Me109's of II./JG27, these fighters desperately trying to defend the very factories in which they were made.
"MESSERSCHMITT COUNTRY" is a beautiful and symbolic painting showing the Messerschmitt Me109G's of II./JG27, sporting their sage green 'Defense of the Reich' markings, returning to base at Fels am Wagram after the ferocious combat fought on that warn summer day. A P-38 Lightning, one of 47 Allied aircraft brought down during the air fighting, lies crash-landed in the spectacular Bavarian countryside, testimony to the fact that this is still very much "Messerschmitt Country".
In addition to the artist this print is individually signed in pencil by:
- Oberleutnant SIEGFRIED BETHKE
- Oberleutnant GÜNTHER SEEGER
- Colonel DARRELL G. WELSH
- Oberleutnant ERNST SCHEUFELE
Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.