Limited Edition of 200

Overall Print Size – 32¼” x 24”
Image Size – 25¾” x 16½”
14 January 1945; and the war was not going well for Germany. The noose was tightening as American, British and Canadian armies, having broken out from their Normandy landings seven months earlier, stood on the banks of the Rhine. In the east vast numbers of Russians were driving relentlessly towards Berlin. On their bomb-cratered airfields the Luftwaffe prepared for the final onslaught during the Defence of the Reich.

Despite the shock of Operation Bodenplatte on New Year’s Eve – the Luftwaffe’s unexpected yet unsuccessful attempt to wipe out the Allied air forces on their advanced airfields in the Low Countries – Germany had all but surrendered air superiority to the Allies. This day, therefore, was yet another gamble as they assembled some 200 fighters to counter nearly 900 Eighth Air Force bombers, and almost as many fighter escorts, tasked with destroying oil refineries, storage depots and other strategic targets in central Germany. For the Luftwaffe the day was to end in retreat and disaster; they lost 161 fighters, the highest number ever recorded. Never again would the once mighty Jagdverbänd rise in strength to challenge the Mighty Eighth.

The print captures a moment during that massive aerial battle in January 1945 near Ludwigslust in northern Germany, as enemy fighters from JG300 and JG301 make a head-on attack through a close formation of B-17s from the 390th Bomb Group who are heading to bomb Magdeburg. But their ever-vigilant P-51 escorts are aware of the threat and quickly engage the enemy with devastating results.

In the centre of the action Flt Lt Joe Peterburs of the 20th Fighter Group screams past the Bf109G of Lt Bruno Klostermann from II./JG300 who is attempting to penetrate the bomber formation. Peterburs claimed an Fw190 during the battle, Klostermann, however, will not survive the day.
Signed by the Artist & 3 veterans of the battle:
Leutnant Gunther Sinnecker
Bf109 Ace with JG302 & JG300 – 5 victories
Colonel Joe Peterburs
P-51 pilot with the 20th Fighter Group – 2 victories
T/Sergeant William Stovall
Top Turret gunner on B-17s with the 390th Bomber Group

Also available is the Collectors Edition of 75 (+£90)
Additionally signed by 4 veterans of the Defence of the Reich:
Lieutenant Colonel ‘Lucky’ Lowman
P-51 pilot with the 20th Fighter Group
1st Lieutenant Ken Sharpe
Pilot on B-17s with the 388th Bomber Group
Oberleutnant Gunther Seeger KC
Bf109 Ace with JG2 & JG53 – 56 victories
Oberleutnant Walter Wolfrum KC
Bf109 Ace with JG52 – 137 victories

Also available is the War in Europe Edition (+£300)

fighter escort
Issued with the additional companion print – Fighter Escort &
Additionally signed by 6 further veterans:
Fw Oskar Bosch
Bf109 & Fw190 Ace with JG3 – 18 victories
Leutnant Fritz Teftmeier KC
Bf109 & Me262 Ace with JG54 & JG7 – 146 victories
1st Lieutenant Leo Croce
Co-pilot on B17s with 398th Bomber Group
Colonel ‘Bud’ Anderson
P511 Ace with the 357th Fighter Group – 16¼ Victories
Lieutenant Colonel Walter Drake
P51 pilot with the 479th Fighter Group – 1 victory
Captain Leo Kerns (companion print)
P51 pilot with the 20th Fighter Group – 1 victory