Voyage Into Destiny

Robert Taylor



Robert Taylor
Secondary Market Aviation Art

Voyage Into Destiny Robert Taylor

Leaving the port of Gdynia on May 18, 1941, two large German warships stealthily zigzagged their way up the coast of Norway at the outset of what was to become one of the shortest, most fiercely fought naval contests of the Second World War. "Operation Rheinubung" was under way. With Fleet Commander Admiral Lutjens on the bridge, the brand new battleship Bismarck would leave the relative safety of the Norwegian fjords, destined for the busy shipping lanes in the Atlantic.

After refueling, and in company with the battlecruiser Prinz Eugen, on May 21 the two heavily armed warships headed for the Denmark Strait and out into wide expanse of the Atlantic. Bound for the active convoy routes, Bismarck would play havoc with vital Allied merchant shipping. Faster than almost any warship afloat, the magnificent new 42,000 ton monster's awesome firepower would prove no match for the lightly protected merchantmen or their escorts, as they laboriously plied their desperately needed cargo across the ocean towards Europe. It seemed she was invincible.

Within three days of sailing, Bismarck's first encounter was a triumph! Intercepted south west of Iceland by the British Home Fleet, the German battleship's gunners went into action for the first time, their second and third salvos striking the battlecruiser Hood. She exploded and sank in three minutes. But Bismarck's success brought the wrath of the Royal Navy upon her and just three days later, on morning of May 27, with her rudder damaged by a torpedo, the pride of the German Navy fell to the guns of the British Home Fleet. Outnumbered, she fought bravely, but succumbed, the magnificent new battleship's active war lasting less than a week.

Robert Taylor's atmospheric painting shows Bismarck off the coast of Norway at the start of "Operation Rheinubung". Under the watchful eye of Jagdeschwader 77's Me109 fighters, in company with the battlecruiser Prinz Eugen, and destroyers Hans Lody and Z23, Germany's magnificent new battleship Bismarck is seen maneuvering near Korsfjord Bergen on May 21, 1941. That evening, with Prinz Eugen, she will leave for Arctic waters, the Denmark Strait, the Atlantic, and destiny. Within days the pride of the German Kriegsmarine will have passed into history.



Date of Issue : 2002

Edition Size : 500 Signed and Numbered Prints.

Signatories : Signed by the artist and two Luftwaffe pilots who flew in the Norwegian Theater, together with a veteran survivor from the battleship Bismarck: Hauptmann Hugh Dahmer, Stoker 1st Class Otto Peters, Oberleutnant Ernst Scheufele

Matching numbered certificate of authenticity included.

Overall print size 35" x 24" Printed in lightfast inks on acid free archival paper.


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Signed and Numbered Print
Edition Size - 500

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