Dambusters – Courage and Sacrifice

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I’m delighted to be able to unveil a major new painting of Operation Chastise that has been ongoing for the past few months.  Titled ‘Dambusters – Courage and Sacrifice’ it depicts the second attack on the Möhne Dam carried out by Flt Lt John Hopgood and his crew in ED925 ‘M’ Mother.  As many of you will know, Hopgood’s Lancaster had been hit on the way to the target and despite some of the crew being wounded, including Hopgood, they elected to continue to the target area.  Being the second aircraft to attack, the defences were primed and ready and ED925 was hit repeatedly in the port wing and fuselage, catching fire just as the Upkeep was dropped. With the aircraft rapidly becoming uncontrollable, Hopgood managed to gain enough height to allow three of his crew to bale out, (two successfully), before the Lancaster exploded and crashed in pieces, taking the remaining crew members to their deaths. John Vere Hopgood was just 21 years old.

As with all my Dambuster paintings, this one has been researched with the highest attention to detail.  The moon’s position is based upon 1943 lunar records and of course the pilots’ various debriefs where they all reported the moon as being off the port beam.  The rear spotlight is in the correct position of the undergunner’s hatch and there’s even the manual fusing cable running from the cockpit to the starboard calliper arm which I don’t think has ever been depicted before.  The only ‘guesswork’ is in the amount of the false trees placed on the dam and in whether Hopgood’s port outer was feathered at the time.  As the aircraft struggled to gain height, I tend to feel that it could have been and regarding the ‘trees’, there were probably a few more there on the night, but I’ve kept the central area clear to better show the events unfolding.

Prints are now available, please click HERE for more details.

The original canvas is a large 48″ x 24″ (120cm x 60cm).   At the moment it is for sale so if you’re interested in purchasing this significant piece of Dambuster art then please contact me directly via the ‘contact us’ tab at the top of the page.

Mark Postlethwaite