Limited Edition $295
Collector’s Edition $345
Aces Edition $525
April 1945: the end of the war was growing closer. By now the weather was improving and, as the days began to lengthen, the American Eighth Air Force was able to dispatch well over a thousand bombers, with a fighter escort to match, on some of the largest raids of the war. The Allies’ overwhelming strength meant the contest was all but one-sided; yet the expert pilots of the Luftwaffe were still a force to be reckoned with – especially when armed with their revolutionary Me262 jets.
Had Hitler recognized the jets’ full potential as a fighter, as Adolf Galland had pushed for, then the course of the war might have been very different. But he didn’t, and by the time this radical new jet was put into mass production as a fighter, it was too late to save Hitler’s Reich.
Although some 1,400 Me262s were built, rarely more than a couple of hundred were fully operational at any one time, continually hampered by shortages of fuel, spare parts and trained pilots. American factories, in contrast, could build that number of combat aircraft in a day.
Even so, Allied bombers had frequent contacts with Me262s, especially those of JG7, and had run into serious trouble from the large jet formations that the Gruppe had managed to assemble. Eight B-17s had been lost in one such encounter and the Fortress crews were more than wary of what they might expect as they battled through the skies above what remained of the Nazi heartland.
THE LIMITED EDITION Joining artist Robert Taylor, every print is individually numbered and personally signed by the artist together with two highly-regarded Jet pilots, including the Ace featured in Stormbirds Rising:
Oberst HERMANN BUCHNER Knight’s Cross / 58 victories Oberleutnant WOLFGANG WOLLENWEBER Iron Cross First Class
THE COLLECTOR’S EDITION & ARTIST PROOFS Each print in this memorable four signature edition is signed by two more prominent veterans who flew Luftwaffe jets in combat during the final days of the war in Europe:
Major ERICH RUDORFFER Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves & Swords / 222 victories Leutnant JORG CZYPIONKA Iron Cross / 2 victories