The Dambusters – Last Moments of the Möhne Dam by Robert Taylor
As they cleared the surrounding hills the valley unfolded to reveal the black waters of the lake glistening in the crystal clear moonlight. And then, away in the distance, they saw the target they had come to destroy – the Möhne Dam.
The largest dam in Europe, the fortress-like walls of Möhne held back nearly 140 million cubic metres of water essential to the industry and factories of the Ruhr. The Air Ministry had long ago decided that if the Möhne dam, and the two other major Ruhr dams – the Eder and Sorpe – were destroyed, it could deliver a massive blow to the Nazi war machine.
But cracking open the mighty dams would require exceptional flying skills; and so, on 21 March 1943, a new squadron was formed specifically for the task, the only time this ever happened in Bomber Command. Known as 617 Squadron and led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, it was not only the squadron that was unique, so was the weapon they would be using – Upkeep – a cylindrical, hydrostatic ‘bouncing’ bomb. The brainchild of Barnes Wallis, Upkeep was designed to skip across the surface of the water, sink against the dam’s massive wall, and explode with enormous force at a precise depth.
In Robert Taylor’s sensational new painting Guy Gibson and Mick Martin draw the enemy’s fire as ‘Dinghy’ Young clears the dam’s parapet seconds after releasing his bomb. A few moments later Young’s bomb will successfully detonate against the dam leaving it mortally wounded allowing David Maltby in AJ-J to finish the task. With the Möhne Dam breached Gibson, with the remaining crews, will turn south to repeat the operation at the Eder Dam.
THE LIMITED EDITION
Along with the artist Robert Taylor, every print in each edition is personally signed by the following THREE veterans of the Dambuster Raid:
Squadron Leader GEORGE L. JOHNSON DFM RAF
Served as Bomb Aimer on Joe McCarthy’s Lancaster AJ-T which attacked the Sorpe Dam.
Corporal KENNETH LUCAS RAF
Ground Crew for 617 Sqn carrying out the special modifications to the Lancasters before the raid.
Sergeant FREDERICK E. SUTHERLAND RCAF
Served as front gunner on Les Knight’s Lancaster AJ-N which breached the Eder Dam.
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