BREACHING THE MÖHNE
by Anthony Saunders
THE DAMBUSTERS - TARGET X
Twenty minutes had passed and three Lancasters had attacked but there was still no sign of a breach in the Möhne Dam, the first of three primary targets for the newly- formed elite 617 Squadron under the command of Wg Cdr Guy Gibson. Gibson and Flt Lt ‘Mick’ Martin had made successful attacks but Flt Lt ‘Hoppy’ Hopgood, whose bomb bounced over the dam wall and exploded on the power station below, had been shot down by deadly flak. Now it was the turn of Sqn Ldr ‘Dinghy’ Young in Lancaster AJ-A. With Gibson and Martin heroically drawing enemy fire, Young’s Upkeep ‘bouncing bomb’ was spot on target with Gibson later noting it made ‘three good bounces’ before detonating against the dam wall. It held but Gibson was feeling upbeat, he was sure he’d seen movement in the wall after the explosion and called up David Maltby to begin his attack. He, too, was successful, and just as Flt Lt David Shannon was about to begin his attack the dam disintegrated – the Möhne had finally been breached. ‘There was a great breach 100 yards across’ Gibson wrote later, ‘and the water, looking like stirred porridge in the moonlight, was gushing out and rolling into the Ruhr valley...’.
An hour later the Eder dam was also breached, but the operation was a costly, if stirring, success; of the nineteen Lancasters sent out from RAF Scampton, eight would never return; of the 56 aircrew aboard only two survived.
To perpetuate the legend of the Dambusters, artist Anthony Saunders has once again created a stunning work depicting the scene at ‘Target X’ – the codename originally given to the Möhne dam. Always a master of his craft, Anthony portrays ‘Dinghy’ Young’s Lancaster AJ-A as he clears the dam wall moments after releasing his bomb. On his starboard side Guy Gibson, navigation lights ablaze, heroically draws enemy fire whilst below Young, the inferno created by Hopgood’s bomb lights up the sky.
Printed onto borders that were personally signed over many years, each copy carries the authentic autographs of six highly-regarded veterans who took part in Operation Chastise on the night of 16 / 17 May 1943. Since signing, most have sadly passed away giving even greater meaning to this print release which provides both aviation art and Dambuster enthusiasts a remarkable collector’s piece to be cherished.
Along with artist Anthony Saunders, every print bears the original signatures of six famous veterans who were all involved in the Dambuster Raids of 1943:
- Squadron Leader George Johnson MBE DFM
- Squadron Leader Les Munro CNZM DSO QSO DFC
- Flight Sergeant Grant McDonald
- Sergeant Fred Sutherland
- Sergeant Ray Grayston
- Corporal Ken Lucas
The Remarque Edition
Widely considered as some of the best and largest in the industry, Anthony’s unique pencil remarques are individually created in the lower margin of the print. The first edition, consisting of 15 single sized remarques, are a perfect way to collect original art.
The Double Remarques
Created specially for the serious collector, these dramatic pieces are much bigger than a standard remarque and exclusively restricted to just 10 copies worldwide. The demand for these superb creations is such that we urge collectors to reserve their remarques early to avoid disappointment.
- 31.75 x 23.75 inches
- Release Date:
Editions that feature original and unique artwork, such as Remarque, Tribute and matted editions, are specifically hand-crafted to order. As a result, our normal delivery policies do not apply to these items but we’ll be sure to update you as soon as your drawing is complete. If you have any particular request for your remarque drawing – such as specific aircraft markings – please ask when placing your order and we will do our best to accommodate.
Framing Service available on this item
Interested in having this item framed? Our expert team are on hand to review your bespoke requirements. Simply tick the framing box at the checkout and we’ll contact you to discuss the best framing choices for your piece plus delivery options. For further information about our framing service click here.