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Frank Wootton - ADLERTAG  15 AUGUST 1940 -  LIMITED EDITION PRINT Published by the Greenwich Workshop

          ADLERTAG 15 AUGUST 1940
by Frank Wootton

Original Retail Price $245.00
May Not Reflect Current Price

Limited Edition of: 1500
Image Size: 34"w x 23 3/8"h.
Published: May 1990

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From July 1 to October 31, 1940, the German Luftwaffe swept down upon England's shores, causing substantial damage to air fields, radar stations, towns and cities, taking a terrible toll in human life. On August 13, Adolf Hitler commanded a full-scale attack under the codeword "Adlertag" (Eagle Day). Inclement weather hindered his plans until August 15, when the Luftwaffe flew an astounding 1,786 sorties against the south and east coast of England. The German ME 109s and 110s sent to protect the Heinkel HE 111s and Junkers Ju 88s seemed invincible.

On this day, however, the men and the machines of the Royal Air Force, Allied pilots in their swift Spitfires and sturdy Hurricnes, proved their match. The Allied pilots who fought the battle came not only from Britain and her Common-wealth countries but also from the United States, Poland and Czechoslovakia. During the battle, these pilots were directed toward the bombers by the Sector Operations rooms working from Radar plots. When night fell, Germany had lost 76 aircraft to the British 34. It was a costly victory for the defenders but it demonstrated to the Luftwaffe that the RAF would not be a easy to defeat as they had always been led to believe. The British were willing to endure the long months remaining in the Battle of Britain, hopeful that they had survived the Third Reich's mightiest blow.

"Adlertag, 15 August 1940" focuses on Hurricanes as they scramble from a frontline airfield for their fourth "sortie" of the day. Yellow flags mark the bomb craters that the pilots had to avoid on take off. A German pilot, his Me 109 crashed in the foreground, is being questioned.

Countersigned by: Wing Commander Christopher F. Currant,ret., Wing Commander Robert F. T. Doe, ret., Wing Commander George C. Unwin, ret., Group Captain Frank R. Carey, ret., Group Captain John Cunningham, ret., Group Captain W. Dennis David, ret.

Frank Wootton
The late Frank Wootton can be credited with giving aviation art a bold new direction, transforming the genre from illustration to fine art. A gifted young artist when WWII broke out, Wootton volunteered for the Royal Air Force, but was invited by the commander-in-chief of the Allied Air Forces to accept a special duty commission as official war artist to the R.A.F. and Royal Canadian Air Force. Thus, between 1939 and 1945, Wootton painted the conflict from the front lines of France to remote airstrips in Southeast Asia. His aerial scenes brilliantly recreated the threat of enemy fire, the split- second maneuvers of fighter planes and the triumph of victory. After the war, Wootton’s paintings gained international recognition. His works hang in major aviation museums throughout the world, and he has painted numerous state occasions involving the R.A.F. and the Royal Family. In 1983 some fifty of his paintings were exhibited at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Following his death, Wootton remains one the aviation’s most widely respected artists.


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