Today we're showing three pieces of artwork from our September 2023 series books! Let us know in the comments which books you'd like to see featured in our October 2023 Artwork Reveal!
By Angus Konstam
Illustrated by Edouard A. Groult
THE ‘BATTLE TURN-AWAY’ AT JUTLAND, 1820HRS, WEDNESDAY, 31 MAY 1916
The opening phase of the battle of Jutland involved a clash between the rival battlecruisers, and the detached division of British fast battleships. Inevitably, however, the climax would come when the two rival battle fleets clashed. It was Vizeadmiral Scheer’s misfortune that when they did meet, he found himself at an immense disadvantage. At the time his battle fleet was in line ahead formation, steering towards the north-east. Then, to the north, the leading German dreadnoughts spotted a line of British dreadnoughts blocking their path. Admiral Jellicoe’s battle fleet was steering towards the east-south-east, so effectively he was in a position to ‘cross the T’ of the German fleet, at a range of just six miles. This meant that all of his dreadnoughts could fire full broadsides at the enemy, while only the forward-facing guns of the leading German dreadnoughts could fire back. It was a potentially catastrophic situation for the German commander.
However, his battle fleet had practised a manoeuvre which was perfect for this appalling situation. The Gefechtskehrtwendung (or ‘Battle Turn-Away’) involved a simultaneous reversal of course by every ship in the German line. At 1818hrs, on his flagship Friedrich der Grosse, Scheer sent the signal which set the manoeuvre in train. It read ‘Turn together 16 points to starboard’. This shows the manoeuvre under way. The leading German dreadnought König attracted most of the British fire, and she was hit several times, as were the other leading ships Grosser Kurfürst, Kronprinz and Markgraf. Still, within five minutes or so the German ships were hidden by smoke, and the British lost contact with them. Scheer had pulled off the seemingly impossible, and saved his battle fleet. Their escape from under the guns of the Grand Fleet was thanks to extensive training, good ship handling and a sizeable slice of luck.
Requested by Paul Williams
By Michael Napier
Illustrated by Mads Bangsø
AD Skyraiders (VA-65) dive bomb the Suiho dam generating station, 23 June, 1952
An AD-4 Skyraider, BuNo 123820 from VA-65, which launched from USS Boxer, recovers from its dive-bombing attack against the hydro-electric power station on the Suiho Dam. The aircraft is climbing through 4,000ft over the Suiho reservoir, while other Skyraiders make their attacks behind it. A mass attack on the hydro-electric power stations in North Korea by Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps aircraft took place at 1600hrs on the afternoon of 23 June 1952. The AD-4 Skyraiders of VA-65 were tasked against the generator building at the foot of the Suiho dam (now known as the Supung dam). Each Skyraider delivered its load of two 2,000lb bombs, delivered from a 20° dive. F9F Panthers from the carriers USS Boxer, Philippine Sea and Princeton had attacked the anti-aircraft positions on the southern side of the Yalu River just prior to the attack by the Skyraiders. The same target was bombed a few minutes later by AD Skyraiders from USS Princeton and USS Philippine Sea, which were then followed by 45 F-80 Shooting Stars from 8th FBG and 79 F-84 Thunderjets from 49th and 136th FBG. Some 145 tons of bombs were dropped on the Suiho power station during the course of the attack.
Requested by Adam Cooper
By Steven J. Zaloga
Illustrated by Adam Hook
USS Texas at Omaha Beach on D-Day.
During the Operation Neptune landings on D-Day, 6 June 1944, USS Texas was assigned to provide fire support at Omaha Beach. Starting at 0550, Texas bombarded Pointedu- Hoc with 255 14in. shells. The bombardment lasted 35 minutes and was directed by a Spitfire Vb of VCS-7 overhead. After the Pointe-du-Hoc mission, Texas sailed eastward to Omaha Beach. The initial targets on D-Day morning were mostly camouflaged German artillery batteries inland from the beach. Texas engaged scattered targets until dusk, firing a total of 158 14in. projectiles during the course of the day in addition to the ammunition expended at Pointe-du-Hoc. Texas remained off the Normandy coast for the next few days, conducting occasional fire missions, returning to England periodically to reload ammunition. Its last fire mission in the invasion sector took place on 15 June during the fighting for Carentan. The range was in excess of 20,000yd, beyond its usual maximum range. As an expedient, the ship’s starboard blisters were flooded to provide a two-degree starboard list. This enabled Texas to get enough elevation to strike the target area, firing a total of 24 14in. rounds. On 18 June, Texas was ordered to return to Plymouth to replenish fuel and ammunition. Three days later, Texas joined the other warships of Task Force 129 in Portland harbour in anticipation of a new mission off Cherbourg. The Cherbourg bombardment is the centrepiece of the duel depicted in this book.