Led by SS-Hauptsturmführer Michael Wittmann, a company of MkVI Tiger tanks from SS-Panzer-Abteilung 101 heads towards the small Normandy town of Villiers-Bocage, June 1944.
If Hitler had deployed his reserve Panzer divisions earlier the Germans might well have stymied the Allied advance off the Normandy beaches. But he dithered, still convinced that the long-expected invasion would come in the Pas-de-Calais. It took valuable time for the German armour to reach the front line by which time the Allies were probing deep inland.
Artist Richard Taylor has superbly created this impressive drawing depicting SS-Hauptsturmführer Michael Wittmann, arguably the most successful Panzer Ace of the war, leading his company of Mk.VI Tiger tanks west towards the heavy fighting around Caen. On the morning of 13 June Wittmann surprised a squadron of British Cromwell tanks in the town of Villiers-Bocage where, in the space of just 15 minutes, he and his small force destroyed 14 British tanks and a large number of other vehicles and guns.
Hitler was thrilled, awarding Wittmann Swords to his Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, but the jubilation was short-lived. On 8 August Wittmann himself was ambushed, this time in an apple orchard south of Caen, when his Tiger was destroyed by a timely hit from the 17-pounder anti-tank cannon of a British Sherman Firefly. The legendary Panzer Ace was dead.
Just ELEVEN copies of this memorable edition are available worldwide!
Deservedly respected for his skilful technique of incorporating pencil and colourwash highlights, Richard adds to his growing list of highly-collectible masterworks with this superb piece.
The Veteran's Edition
Faithfully reproduced as high quality giclée fine art prints on archival paper, the historical importance of this restricted edition is highlighted by the inclusion of the extremely RARE and hard-to-come-by ORIGINAL autograph of Michael Wittmann himself which has taken a number of years to source and collect. Alongside is a museum-quality reproduction Panzer Badge and the original signatures of a further two German veterans who served with Panzer Divisions during the Battle for Normandy:
- SS-Hauptsturmführer Michael Wittmann
- Obergefreiter Henry Metelmann
- Sturmann Karl-Heinz Decker
- 24 x 16.5 inches
- Release Date:
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