The Dambusters by Simon Smith.
On the night of 16/17th May 1943,under a full moon, 19 specially modified Lancaster bombers from 617 Squadron carried out one of the most daring and effective air raids of the Second World War. Led by wing commander Guy Gibson the 19 aircraft took off and headed for Germany at extreme low level.. Their mission, code named Operation Chastise, was to destroy the Ruhr dams which supplied water and electricity to the industrial heart of Reich. Each aircraft carried the ingenious Upkeep mine, developed by the engineer Barnes Wallis. Shaped like a large oil drum, the bomb was spun prior to release at exactly 60ft above the water and 150 yards from the dam wall. This caused the weapon to bounce across water and on impact would also make it stay close to the wall of the dam as it sank. The bomb, technically a mine, was fitted with a hydrostatic fuse similar to a depth charge causing detonation at the required depth.The correct height above the water was achieved by aligning the beams of two spotlights to meet on the surface of the water. Delivering such a weapon on target at night at such low altitude and under enemy fire was thought by many to be impossible. The nineteen pilots,some as young as eighteen had been hand picked by Gibson only two months before and formed into 617 squadron whose first mission was to remain top secret and unknown to them up until the last moment. The Mohne Dam was attacked first and several attempts were made under heavy fire with one lancaster being shot down as it flew over the target.Guy Gibson then attempted to draw fire away from the attacking aircraft by switching on his navigation lights and flying to one side of Mick Martins aircraft ,the scene depicted in Simon Smiths painting.Just as another aircraft was about to go in,excited shouts came over the intercom - its gone! The main target achieved, Gibson led the remaining aircraft on to the Eder Dam deep amongst the mountains of the Eder valley. Here, although no flak defenses, the terrain made the approach extremely hazardous. Two bombs were released yet still the target remained unbreached leaving only one last aircraft ,that of Les Knights to attack. A steep descent from a thousand feet then a dive over a spit of land left very little time to line up and release the bomb.Worse still there was a huge mountain on the far side of the dam! Added to this Edward Johnson the bomb aimer recalled that the spinning bomb had an alarming gyroscopic effect on the handling of the aircraft,so it was with superb flying and teamwork that their bomb struck and finally destroyed the massive stonework of the Eder Dam. Gibsons leadership and bravery led to the award of the VC and many other decorations were bestowed upon the other crews.The squadron however paid a heavy price with 8 lancasters being lost.
|AMAZING VALUE! - The value of the signatures on this item is in excess of the price of the print itself!|
|Item Code : DHM1460||The Dambusters by Simon Smith. - This Edition|
|TYPE||EDITION DETAILS||SIZE||SIGNATURES||OFFERS||YOUR PRICE||PURCHASING|
|PRINT|| Signed limited edition of 500 prints. |
Less than 12 copies available of this sold out edition.
Great value : Value of signatures exceeds price of item!
| Image size 25 inches x 17 inches (64cm x 43cm)|| Johnson, George L|
Grayston, Raymond E
Sutherland, Frederick E
+ Artist : Simon Smith
Signature(s) value alone : £235
|£100 Off!||Now : £125.00|
|EXCLUSIVE website offer from Cranston Fine Arts - FREE art print(s) supplied with the above item!|
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FREE PRINT : The One That Broke The Dam by Ivan Berryman.
This complimentary art print worth £60
(Size : 12 inches x 9 inches (31cm x 23cm))
has been specially chosen by Cranston Fine Arts to complement the above edition, and will be sent FREE with your order.
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|Extra Details : The Dambusters by Simon Smith.|
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|The Aircraft :|
|Lancaster||The Avro Lancaster arose from the avro Manchester and the first prototype Lancaster was a converted Manchester with four engines. The Lancaster was first flown in January 1941, and started operations in March 1942. By March 1945 The Royal Air Force had 56 squadrons of Lancasters with the first squadron equipped being No.44 Squadron. During World War Two the Avro Lancaster flew 156,000 sorties and dropped 618,378 tonnes of bombs between 1942 and 1945. Lancaster Bomberss took part in the devastating round-the-clock raids on Hamburg during Air Marshall Harris' "Operation Gomorrah" in July 1943. Just 35 Lancasters completed more than 100 successful operations each, and 3,249 were lost in action. The most successful survivor completed 139 operations, and the Lancaster was scrapped after the war in 1947. A few Lancasters were converted into tankers and the two tanker aircraft were joined by another converted Lancaster and were used in the Berlin Airlift, achieving 757 tanker sorties. A famous Lancaster bombing raid was the 1943 mission, codenamed Operation Chastise, to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley. The operation was carried out by 617 Squadron in modified Mk IIIs carrying special drum shaped bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Also famous was a series of Lancaster attacks using Tallboy bombs against the German battleship Tirpitz, which first disabled and later sank the ship. The Lancaster bomber was the basis of the new Avro Lincoln bomber, initially known as the Lancaster IV and Lancaster V. (Becoming Lincoln B1 and B2 respectively.) Their Lancastrian airliner was also based on the Lancaster but was not very successful. Other developments were the Avro York and the successful Shackleton which continued in airborne early warning service up to 1992.|
|Artist Details : Simon Smith|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by Simon Smith|
Simon Smith was born in 1960 into a military family and quickly developed an interest in history and the armed forces. He has worked continually as an illustrator in the historical field since leaving art college in 1982, having graduated with a First in Fine Art and Illustration.. He has work on permanent display in London and countries as far afield as Taiwan and Israel. Simon owes his lifelong interest in military subjects to his family connections with the services.
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