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Pencil portraits, WWII and movie prints

World War 2 Pictures

The Dambusters -Operation Chastise : The Dams Await”

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World War 2 art - Operation Chastise The Dams Await by Dave Harris available to purchase as Giclee print.

“Operation Chastise : The Dams Await” - This piece of World War 2 art depicts how I imagined the interior of Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s personal barracks may have looked prior to the famous ‘Dambusters’ mission in May 1943.

Price above is for delivery within the UK. A delivery charge of £8 will be added to your total order at the PayPal checkout for delivery within the UK. For delivery to other countries within the *EU, please see the bottom of this page for further information.

 

Operation Chastise : The “Dambusters” Legend

 

On the evening of Sunday 16th May 1943 at 9.28pm during World War 2, 19 modified Lancaster bombers of 617 squadron of RAF Bomber Command, took off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire. Their mission, codenamed “Operation Chastise”, was to destroy a number of dams in the heart of the industrial Ruhr Valley in Western Germany, known as the Eder, Mohne and Sorpe.

 

The squadron was led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson in his Lancaster, AJ-G. The aircraft carried a revolutionary new weapon in the ‘bouncing bomb’, the brainchild of Dr.Barnes N Wallace. These bombs had to be dropped from the Lancaster bomber at a height of just 60 feet at a speed of 230mph. It took five attempts to successfully destroy the Mohne dam, the Eder followed, but the Sorpe could not be breached.

 

Guy Gibson was subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross as a result of the mission and 34 airmen of 617 squadron were decorated with varying honours. Of  the 19 Lancaster bombers that set off for Germany, only 11 returned. 53 airmen were killed and 3 were captured and spent the rest of World War 2 in prisoner of war camps. Guy Gibson and the men of 617 squadron would go down in history, forever remembered as the ‘Dambusters’.

 

 

The Dambusters - “Operation Chastise : The Dams Await”

 

In this new World War 2 picture above, I have depicted how I imagined the interior of Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s personal barracks may have looked prior to the famous ‘Dambusters’ mission in May 1943.

 

I have attempted to capture the scene from the window onto the runway, where stands Guy Gibson’s Lancaster bomber (AJ-G) along with the ‘bouncing bomb’ being readied by its groundcrew amid the early evening light of spring.

 

The items in the interior aim to relate to the RAF of the time, depicting actual RAF issue equipment from pilots wings insignia, canteen, aircraft recognition poster and playing cards to help identify enemy aircraft, tins of tea and powdered milk to other typically British items and personal effects, down to Guy Gibson’s very own faithful black Labrador. I’ve tried to pay particular attention to detail in every aspect of the drawing.

 

A2 Fine Art Giclee print on Hahnemuhle 310gsm paper. Limited edition of 200

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New World War 2 art - Dambusters by Dave Harris available to purchase as Giclee prints.
New World War 2 art - Band of Brothers "Night of Nights" by Dave Harris available to purchase as Giclee prints.

Operation Chastise : The Dams Await”

Night of Nights”

The Dambusters

The Band of Brothers

The Dambusters and the Band of Brothers pictures above show the many differences between the British and American supplies during World War 2, showing how much more the Americans had in comparison to the British. At the same time I’ve also tried to capture a number of similarities in their basic surroundings and living conditions in the two pencil drawings of their barracks’ interiors.  

 

Click on the images above or scroll below to view larger versions and for further information about the operations and purchasing the Giclee prints.

Print size and details for purchasing the Giclee print for delivery within the UK are found below the images. I’m using PayPal for all online transactions for ease of use and security.

 

*I also deliver to most other countries within the EU. For delivery of Giclee prints outside the UK, please email your order to orders@daveharrisart.co.uk. Payments can still be made via PayPal via email. Higher delivery costs will apply. The countries I deliver to and the delivery costs are set out in the Terms and Conditions.  

 

All the images above are low resolution for use on the Internet. A much higher resolution is used for the Giclee prints. All prints are sold unframed.

The Band of Brothers -Night of Nights”

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World War 2 art - Band of Brothers "Night of Nights" by Dave Harris available to purchase as Giclee print.

“Night of Nights” - This piece of World War 2 art depicts how I imagined Lieutenant Dick Winters’ barracks on Upottery airfield may have looked prior to Easy Company’s departure for the Normandy coast in the early hours of D-Day.

Fine Art Giclee print on Hahnemuhle 310gsm paper. Limited edition of 200

Price above is for delivery within the UK. A delivery charge of £8 will be added to your total order at the PayPal checkout for delivery within the UK. For delivery to other countries within the *EU, please see the bottom of this page for further information.

 

 

The Band of Brothers - “Night of Nights”

 

On the evening of  Monday 5th June 1944, during World War 2, Lieutenant Dick Winters and the men of Easy Company, a crack U.S. army rifle unit of the 506th regiment 101st Airborne division, prepared themselves for their part in the Normandy Invasion on D-Day.

 

They set off from their barracks on Upottery airfield in England on-board a squadron of American Douglas C-47 ‘skytrain’ aircraft. Their mission was to parachute in behind enemy lines covering the Normandy coastline of Northern France and to take out a series of four 105mm cannons that were firing down on to the American troops landing on Utah beach in the early hours of D-Day.

 

Although initially a large majority of Easy Company paratroopers failed to land in the correct area or ‘Drop Zone’, enough men were able to assemble and successfully take out the German guns at Brecourt Manor.

 

As a result of the battle, Dick Winters received the *Distinguished Service Cross and 11 Easy Company members received *Silver and *Bronze Stars.

 

The capture of the German battery on D-Day by Easy Company became a textbook case of an assault on a fixed position and is still demonstrated at the United States Military Academy at West Point today. Repeatedly sent on the toughest missions of World War 2, Dick Winters and the brave men of Easy Company, these ‘Band of Brothers’, fought, went hungry, froze and died in the service of their country.

 

*Distinguished Service Cross – A bronze cross awarded for heroism in combat

*Silver Star – A bronze star with a small silver star in the centre, awarded for gallantry in action

*Bronze Star – A bronze star awarded for valour in military operations

 

 

“Night of Nights”

 

My latest pencil drawing, is this new World War 2 picture, “Night of Nights”, paying homage to the Band of Brothers television series. In “Night of Nights”, I have depicted how I imagined the interior of Lieutenant Dick Winters’ barracks on Upottery airfield may have looked prior to Easy Company’s departure for the Normandy coast in the early hours of D-Day during World War 2.

 

This picture captures the view out of the window onto the runway, where a Douglas C-47 ‘skytrain’ troop carrying aircraft stands amid the fading afternoon light of early summer 1944.

 

The items and personal effects in the pencil drawing relate to the U.S. army of the era, from the iconic Lucky Strike cigarettes and Zippo lighter, aircraft recognition poster and playing cards (to aid the soldiers familiarity with enemy aircraft) , to the standard issue dog-tags, K-rations, M1–Garand carbine rifle, boots and helmets.

 

 

 

 

V.E. Day

New World War 2 art -'It's All Over!' by Dave Harris available to purchase as Giclee prints.

El Alamein -Rats Against  The Fox”

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World War 2 art - Rats Against the Fox by Dave Harris available to purchase as Giclee print.

“Rats Against The Fox” - The second battle of El Alamein was a battle that lasted from October 23rd to November 3rd 1942 during World War II. Following the first battle which had stalled the Axis advance, British General Bernard Montgomery took command of the 8th Army, the “Desert Rats” and led them into battle against the Afrika Korps of General Rommel, known as the “Desert Fox”, and to ultimate victory in the North African campaign.  

A2 Fine Art Giclee print on Hahnemuhle 310gsm paper. Limited edition of 200

Price above is for delivery within the UK. A delivery charge of £8 will be added to your total order at the PayPal checkout for delivery within the UK. For delivery to other countries within the *EU, please see the bottom of this page for further information.

By July 1942 Rommel’s Afrika Korps had advanced deep into Egypt, posing a great threat to the vital Allied supply route along the Suez Canal. However, facing a lack of reinforcements while being aware of large scale Allied reinforcements arriving, Rommel sought to hit the British while their build-up was incomplete. This attack on 30th August 1942 at Alam Halfa failed and so fearing a counter-attack by the British 8th Army, the Afrika Korps dug in.

 

It took a further six weeks until the 8th Army were ready to attack with a force of 200,000 men and 1,000 tanks, against the 100,000 men and 500 tanks at Rommel’s disposal. They were holed-up along two lines, known by the Allies as the Oxallic and Pierson lines and they had laid around 500,000 mines along these.

 

Following the first battle of El Alamein which had stalled the Axis advance, British General Bernard Montgomery had taken over command of the 8th Army in August 1942. With ‘Operation Lightfoot’ Montgomery expected to slice two corridors through the Axis minefields in the North. The 8th Army would then pass through and defeat the German armour. Diversionary attacks in the South would hope to keep the rest of the Axis forces from moving North.

 

The second battle of El Alamein lasted from October 23rd to November 3rd 1942. Montgomery ultimately led the Desert Rats and the rest of the 8th Army to victory as German forces withdrew on November 3rd. By November 6th the Axis forces were in full retreat and over 300,000 troops had surrendered.

 

 

El Alamein - “Rats Against The Fox”

 

In this new World War 2 picture, I have captured the opposing forces of the British 8th Army’s famous division the “Desert Rats” and Germany’s Afrika Korps and each forces’ commanding officer, General Bernard Montgomery and Field Marshall Erwin Rommel.

 

I have also incorporated each army’s military vehicles, such as the Grant and Tiger tanks and the planes that assisted each side, the British Hawker Hurricane of the RAF and the Messerschmitt Bf 109G of the German Luftwaffe.

 

I have aimed to show a sense of British characteristics of tea drinking and stopping for a smoke. With the Germans I have shown their vehicles in motion and the British standing their ground, so as to portray how the British stalled the Axis advance in the battle of El Alamein.

 

I also wanted to portray the unique terrain of the harsh desert battlefield and show the subsequent uniforms of the soldiers as they fought beneath the searing heat of the North African desert.

 

 

 

 

The Second Battle of El Alamein

WW2
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I hope you enjoy the series of World War 2 pictures below, focusing on various outstanding moments of the war. The six World War 2 pictures seen here relate to the 92nd squadron of the RAF during the Battle of Britain, the U.S. 1st Division’s troops being transported to Omaha Beach on D-Day, celebrations of V.E. Day in 1945, the momentous battle between Montgomery’s Desert Rats and Rommel’s Afrika Korps, the famous Dambusters squadron of RAF Bomber Command, and Easy Company of the 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army as depicted in the Band of Brothers TV series.

 

In my younger days, the world of the services was a constant influence on me, with my father in the Royal Air Force his whole working life, regular visits to RAF bases were the norm, as we spent many years going to air shows and social events. It was probably no surprise then that this childhood background, an almost fanatical following of World War 2 movies and a passion for art would result in my own series of World War 2 art.

 

I want to focus not only on the machinery of the war, the tanks, the planes and the vehicles, but above all else, the people, both forces and civilians. I aim to portray both the highs and lows of one of the darkest periods of the twentieth century, from the dark days of the Battle of Britain, to the joyous celebrations of V.E. Day and some of the most legendary and heroic missions in between. I  have also provided some of the history that goes with each of the pictures.

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El Alamein

New World War 2 art - Rats Against The Fox by Dave Harris available to purchase as Giclee prints.

“It’s All Over!”

Rats Against The Fox

V.E. Day - “It’s All Over!

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World War 2 art -It's All Over! by Dave Harris available to purchase as Giclee print.

“It’s All Over!” - On Tuesday 8th May 1945, the World War Two Allies formerly accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany. In the United Kingdom, more than one million people celebrated in the streets to mark the end of the war in Europe and six long years of misery, suffering and hardship across the world.

A2 Fine Art Giclee print on Hahnemuhle 310gsm paper paper.

 

Price above is for delivery within the UK. A delivery charge of £8 will be added to your total order at the PayPal checkout for delivery within the UK. For delivery to other countries within the *EU, please see the bottom of this page or Terms and Conditions for further information.

V.E. Day - It’s All Over!

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In this piece of World War Two artwork, I’ve aimed to capture the celebratory mood of V.E. Day on the 8th May 1945 when the world finally overcame six long years of misery and oppression under the iron grip of Nazi Germany. I have incorporated the British Army, Navy and Air Force in with the jubilant civilians along with the three iconic aircraft of the Royal Air Force Memorial Flight - the Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane.

 

The German unconditional surrender was made official on the 7th May 1945 at General Eisenhower’s HQ in Rheims, France. It was signed to take effect from midnight on the 8th, the day that would be celebrated as Victory in Europe, or V.E. Day. On the 9th the surrender was ratified in Berlin and signed for the Allies by Eisenhower’s Deputy A.C.M. Tedder and the Russian General, Marshal Zhekov. Fighting persisted in Czechoslovakia for a further four days, but the long conflict in Europe was effectively over.

 

Prime Minister Winston Churchill made his official V.E. Day speech on Tuesday 8th May from the balcony of the Ministry of Health as tens of thousands packed the streets below him.

 

Although the war continued in the Pacific, Europe had now been liberated after years of hardship and uncertainty and hundreds of street parties across the country began.

Omaha Beach, D-Day - “ Omaha Approach”

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World War 2 art - Omaha Approach (Omaha Beach, D-Day) by Dave Harris available to purchase as Giclee print.

“Omaha Approach” - On the morning of 6th June 1944, D-Day, soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division approached the Normandy coast inside their landing craft and leapt into the choppy waters off Omaha Beach. As German small-arms fire raked the surface of the water, the division suffered 30% casualties in the first hour of the assault.

A3 Fine Art Giclee print on Hahnemuhle 310gsm paper paper.

 

Price above is for delivery within the UK. A delivery charge of £8 will be added to your total order at the PayPal checkout for delivery within the UK. For delivery to other countries within the *EU, please see the bottom of this page or Terms and Conditions for further information.

Omaha Beach, D-Day - “Omaha Approach”

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This latest piece of World War Two artwork is my first piece done in Acrylic paint. I’ve aimed to portray the cramped and claustrophobic conditions inside the landing craft transporting the U.S. 1st Division’s troops to Omaha Beach. It’s a piece I’ve been wanting to produce for some time now and perhaps may be the first of many to be done in Acrylic. This picture, “Omaha Approach” is also available to buy as a photographic print on my home page.

 

And when he gets to heaven,
To St. Peter he will tell,
"Another Marine reporting, Sir,
I've served my time in Hell!"

 

The Supreme Allied Commander, General Eisenhower, gave the order for the long-awaited invasion of France to commence on 6th June 1944: D-Day. Decoy activity in the Calais area fooled the Germans into believing an attack was imminent along that part of the coast, and soon after midnight parachutists and glider-borne troops landed behind German lines in Normandy.

 

Simultaneously, a vast invasion fleet of over 4,000 vessels closed in on the beaches. At first light, with cover from thousands of aircraft, the invasion began, at Omaha Beach, however, fierce German resistance and a lack of cover caused terrible losses. American troops, including those of the U.S. 1st Division approached the beach in their landing craft and many were killed before even managing to disperse from the vessels.

 

Omaha Beach had cost around 3,000 casualties, more than were suffered on all the other target beaches of Utah, Gold, Juno and Sword put together.

Battle of Britain

Battle of Britain World War 2 picture -'Downtime At Biggin Hill' by Dave Harris available to purchase as Fine Art Giclee prints.

“Downtime At Biggin Hill

D-Day, Omaha Beach

World War 2 art -'Omaha Approach' by Dave Harris available to purchase as Giclee prints.

“Omaha Approach”

Battle of Britain - “Downtime At Biggin Hill”

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Battle of Britain World War 2 picture - Downtime At Biggin Hill by Dave Harris available to purchase as a Giclee print.

“Downtime At Biggin Hill” - The Battle of Britain raged in the skies above southern England between the 10th July and 31st October 1940. During these crucial weeks R.A.F. aircrews of 92nd Squadron based at Biggin Hill took part in the historic battle against the German Luftwaffe. It became a decisive point of World War II and a defining moment in world history. The fighter pilots involved became known as “The Few” after Prime Minister Winston Churchill made his famous speech in which he said “Never in the field of human conflict, was so much owed by so many, to so few.”  

A2 Fine Art Giclee print on Hahnemuhle 310gsm paper paper.

 

Price above is for delivery within the UK. A delivery charge of £8 will be added to your total order at the PayPal checkout for delivery within the UK. For delivery to other countries within the *EU, please see the bottom of this page or Terms and Conditions for further information.

Battle of Britain - “Downtime At Biggin Hill”

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In this latest piece of World War 2 artwork, I have tried to capture the essence of the 92nd Squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940. The heroics of this squadron based at Biggin Hill in Kent have gone down in history, as have that of all the R.A.F. squadrons in that conflict over 70 years ago. I wanted to show the elegance of the Supermarine Spitfire, one of the crucial factors in Britain’s success and the unsung, but vital work of both the groundcrews and the W.A.A.F’s whose sterling work kept those Spitfires and their pilots in the air. I think our country owes “The Few” a massive debt and their courageous exploits should never be forgotten.

 

 

 

 

Downtime At Biggin Hill A2(16.5"x23.4")

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92nd Squadron, Biggin Hill, 1940

The Battle of Britain was one of the most crucial phases of World War 2 and saw the R.A.F. fend off a German attempt to gain air superiority over southern England in preparation for their planned invasion of Britain, codenamed Operation Sealion. The battle was the first major defeat suffered by Hitler’s forces in the war and by keeping Britain in the air denied Hitler the swift victory that he had expected.

 

No. 92 (East India) Squadron went operational with the Supermarine Spitfire on 9th May 1940, just in time to play its part in the desperate fighting over France in May and June that year. After its endeavours in France the squadron was moved to South Wales to regroup until September 1940, when the squadron was transferred to Biggin Hill. This move placed them directly at the heart of the Battle of Britain. The squadron’s pilots consisted of not just British airmen, but also two Canadians, a New Zealander, a South African and an Irishman and its squadron leader was Roger Bushell who later in the war became famous as the organiser of the ‘Great Escape’ from Stalag Luft III P.O.W. Camp.

 

The then Prime Minister Winston Churchill summed up the Battle of Britain and the contribution of Fighter Command with the words, “Never in the field of human conflict, was so much owed by so many, to so few.” Pilots who fought in the battle have been known as “The Few” ever since.

 

 

 

 

It's All Over! A2(16.5"x23.4")

 

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Operation Chastise The Dams Await  A2(16.5"x23.4")

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Night of Nights A2(16.5"x23.4")

 

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Rats against the Fox A2(16.5"x23.4")

 

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Omaha Approach A3 (11.8”x16.5”)

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