Original Artist's Proof: “Winter Wolves” Painting of German Luftwaffe Fw190Ds of JG26 Flying By Panzer Column; Signed by Artist, 3 German Knight's Cross Recipients - 37" x 27 ½", in Museum Grade Frame

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a lovely framed artist's proof of Nicolas Trudgian's painting WINTER WOLVES, matted and put into a museum grade frame measuring 37" x 27 ½". This is number 20/60 of a small run of these artist proof prints made for collectors, and will make a fantastic display piece on any wall.

The painting is set in 1944 during the middle of the "Battle of the Bulge", also referred to as the "Ardennes Offensive", the last large German offensive during the war. The surprise attack was intended to capture the port of Antwerp, split and encircle the Allied Armies, and force a Peace Treaty. This did not go as planned, and after pushing back Allied lines forming a large "Bulge", the German forces were stopped and gradually pushed back. They lost many men and also much of their armored equipment, and would only be able to retreat for the rest of the war.

The painting shows German Luftwaffe Fw190D aircraft from the 1st and 4th Squadrons of I. Gruppe Jagdgeschwader 26 (I. / JG-26) flying over an advancing German Armored forces on 26 December 1944. This was 10 days into the offensive, when it had mostly stalled across the front, and forces were being redistributed while trying to break through the lines.

This is described in the paragraph below the framed print, which reads:

Nicolas Trudgian

Pilots of the 1st and 4th Staffels, I. / JG-26, fly their brand new Focke-Wulf Fw 190Ds at dawn, in support of advancing German armor, during the final stages of the Ardennes Offensive, 26th December, 1944.

Additionally, the print is signed by artist Nicolas Trudgian on the far left, along with two Luftwaffe Flying Aces and one Panzer tank commander, all of whom received the Knights Cross:

- Generalleutnant Walter Krupinski – Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves - a WWII Flying Ace with 197 Aerial victories, he commanded several different squadrons during the war, rising to the rank of Hauptmann (Captain). Post war he was a member of the Bundeswehr and was trained by the RAF in England, and after returning rose to the rank of Generalleutnant (Major general).

- Major Gerhard Schöpfel – Knights Cross - a WWII Flying Ace with 40 Aerial victories, he had been commander of JG-26 from 6 December 1941 to 10 January 1943, and later commanded JG-4 and JG-6.

- Oberst Eberhard Stephan – Knights Cross - One of the leading Panzer commanders of WWII, he had commanded Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 116 (Tank Reconnaissance Team 116), which is when he received the Ritterkreuz.

A great display item ready for further research and display!

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