Breakout. Amiens Raid by Mosquitos by Ivan Berryman. (B)
When De Havilland built the prototype DH.98 Mosquito (E-0234) they did so as an act of the purest faith in their design since the Air Ministry had already dismissed the companys proposal for their all-wood aircraft as impractical and unworkable. However, when E-0234 first flew on 25th November 1940, it demonstrated remarkably smooth handling characteristics and its speed, as expected, was outstanding. Here at last was a bomber which, in a straight line, could outfly even the Spitfire, giving rise to such nicknames as Wooden Wonder and, succicntly The Aeroplane. With such an aircraft, it was soon realised, many new possibilities were laid open to the RAF, among them the chance to initiate precision raids whereupon carefully selected isolated targets could be attacked with pinpoint accuracy. Just such a raid took place on 18th February 1944, involving 18 Mosquitoes of Nos 64 and 487 Squadrons in an operation on the jail at Amiens, France, where a large number of the French Resistance were being held for questioning by the Gestapo. It was thought unlikely that any of them would survive their ordeal at the hands of their inquisitors and it was considered more sensible to try to aid their escape by breaching the prison walls, even if it meant that some of the prisoners might be killed in the process. An accurate model of the jail and the nearby town was constructed and each pilot viewed the model from eye level to familiarise themselves with the view that they would get from a planned height of 50 feet. With this knowledge and some carefully selected reference points such as church spires and chimneys, the Mosquitoes, led by Group Captain Charles Pickard, were able to brush over the rooftops of the town and deliver their bombs with incredible accuracy, breaching the prison walls in four places. 258 prisoners escaped in the ensuing chaos and were quickly spirited away by other Resistance groups who were waiting outside. Sadly, a number of French prisoners were killed in the raid and added to the losses of that day was Group Captain Pickard himself who fell victim to marauding Focke Wulf 190s, but the raid had been a tremendous success and further precision attacks using the most superb Mosquito were carried out throughout 1944 and 1945, each one making its own significant contribution to the downward turn in the fortunes of Hitlers Reich.
|Item Code : B0098B||Breakout. Amiens Raid by Mosquitos by Ivan Berryman. (B) - This Edition|
|PRINT||Signed limited edition of 5 remarques. || Image size 21 inches by 12 inches (53cm x 31cm)|| Sparks, Maxwell|
+ Artist : Ivan Berryman
Signature(s) value alone : £70
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