Photos Military Art

1917 Udet vs Guynemer by Benjamin Freudenthal

A painting by Polish marine artist Adam Werka depicting the destroyer ORP Piorun engaging the German Battleship Bismarck. Piorun under the command of Commander Eugeniusz Pławski was part of the British 4th Destroyer Flotilla (HMS Cossack, HMS Maori, HMS Sikh and HMS Zulu), commanded by Captain Philip Vian. On the night of May 26th Piorun was the first of the destroyers to spot the Bismarck.


While Maori maneuvered to launch torpedoes, Piorun charged at Bismarck by herself. According to one report detailed at the Auschwitz I exhibition, Oświęcim, Poland, Pławski transmitted the message "I am a Pole" before commencing fire on Bismarck; other sources say the signal to commence fire was "Trzy salwy na cześć Polski" translation “Three salvoes in honour of Poland".
Alone, Piorun exchanged fire with Bismarck for an hour, with neither side scoring any hits, although after the third salvo, Bismarck missed by only 20 yards, causing Pławski to pull away the manoeuvre and the subsequent withdrawal caused Piorun to lose contact with Bismarck.
Running very low on fuel at 05:00 Piorun was ordered home before she had used her torpedoes. Pławski was very reluctant to leave the area and ignored Vian's order for an hour before returning to the United Kingdom.
11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars, c.1914, Reconnoitring by Harry Payne


The regiment landed in France as part of the 1st Cavalry Brigade in the 1st Cavalry Division in August 1914 for service on the Western Front with the British Expeditionary Force. The regiment took part in the Great Retreat and the regiment, working with the 2nd Dragoon Guards, conducted a cavalry charge which led to the capture of eight guns at Néry in September 1914. In an action during the Battle of Messines in October 1914 a squadron from the regiment endured a heavy German bombardment that left many of its soldiers buried in a trench while another squadron from the regiment used a vantage point at the top of a building to train a machine gun on the Germans. At the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915 the regiment, working with the Durham Light Infantry and 9th Lancers, held the village of Hooge despite being under attack from the German forces using poison gas. In spring 1918 the commanding officer of the regiment Colonel Rowland Anderson led a bayonet assault at Sailly-Laurette which, taking the Germans by surprise, led to them being completely repulsed.
6th Dragoon Guards (Carabineers), A Dangerous Path by Harry Payne.


The regiment landed in France at the outbreak of the First World War as part of the 4th Cavalry Brigade in the 1st Cavalry Division on 16 August 1914 for service on the Western Front.[6] It took part in the Battle of Mons in August 1914, the First Battle of the Marne in September 1914, the First Battle of Ypres in October 1914 and the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915 before going on to see further action at the Battle of the Somme in Autumn 1916, the Battle of Arras in April 1917 and the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917.
Royal Navy HMS Exeter (68)
By Derek Blois


HMS Exeter was the second and last York-class heavy cruiser built for the Royal Navy during the late 1920s. Aside from a temporary deployment with the Mediterranean Fleet during the Abyssinia Crisis of 1935–1936, she spent the bulk of the 1930s assigned to the Atlantic Fleet or the North America and West Indies Station. When World War II began in September 1939, the cruiser was assigned to patrol South American waters against German commerce raiders. Exeter was one of three British cruisers that fought the German heavy cruiser Admiral Graf Spee, later that year in the Battle of the River Plate. She was severely damaged during the battle, and she was under repair for over a year.

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