Unique Battle of Britain paintings donated
News Article / October 27, 2016
By Captain Wright Eruebi
Major-General Christian Drouin, the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division / Canadian NORAD Region in Winnipeg, accepted three Battle of Britain paintings on behalf of the Royal Canadian Air Force from the Intrepid Society on Battle of Britain Sunday – September 18, 2016.
Colonel (retired) Gary Solar, president of the Intrepid Society, donated the paintings to mark the 76th commemoration of the Battle. Known as the Trilogy, the paintings are the rare work of Robert Taylor, better known as a Canadian wildlife photographer.
Major-General Drouin expressed gratitude to the Intrepid Society for the gift. He told Gary Solar and the audience in attendance that the paintings would join an already impressive collection of historical artifacts in the 1 Canadian Air Division / Canadian NORAD Region Headquarters atrium.
The collection includes three themed paintings.
Summer depicts a German pilot inspecting his Messerschmitt 109 aircraft in the English countryside on an English summer day, after apparently losing a dogfight to a Spitfire.
Hurricane Force captures the day the tremendous air battles between the Royal Air Force and the Luftwaffe reached a climax on September 15, 1940. The artist skillfully depicts the sky as it was embroiled in a mass of aerial warfare on the day Churchill was told: “There are no reserves!”
Finally, Eagle Attack portrays an attack by the Luftwaffe’s highly capable Messerschmitt 109 fighters (Me 109). Eagle Attack – Aderlangriff – was the second phase and major Luftwaffe assault during the Battle of Britain. It was marked by attacks on radar positions and massive attacks against airfields to destroy Great Britain’s fighter capability in the air and on the ground. The launch of the main assault took place on August 13, called Eagle Day (Adlertag) by German High Command – this is the day portrayed in the painting Eagle Attack.
“Ultimately, the Battle of Britain was won and the Germans were stopped from invading Great Britain, but it came at a cost,” said Major-General Drouin. “The Royal Air Force lost 1,542 aircrew and 1,744 aircraft were destroyed . . . Of the losses, 23 were Canadians. Luftwaffe losses were severe: 2,585 aircrew and 1,977 aircraft destroyed, and they too will not be forgotten.”
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