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Heavy Flak over Leuna ~ 1944 by zulumike Heavy Flak over Leuna ~ 1944 by zulumike
The German oil supply was tight throughout the war, and was a controlling factor for German military operations. During 1944, the chief source of supply, and the only source for aviation gasoline, was 13 synthetic plants throughout Germany. Thus synthetic oil targets became the highest priority targets in 1944 during WW II. Even without much help from the Luftwaffe, these targets would become very deadly due to the “dreaded 88’s”.

Merseburg’s Leuna I.G.Farbenindustries was to be one of the most dangerous targets of the War. The 14th Flak Division responsible for protecting Leuna had 28,000 troops, 18,000 RAD personnel, 6,000 male and 3,050 female auxiliaries, 900 Hungarian and Italian 'volunteers', 3,600 Russian Hiwis, and 3,000 others, thus making up a total of 62,550 persons. As the most heavily defended industrial target in Europe, Leuna would become so dark from flak, German smoke pots, and exploding oil tanks that the pilots had difficulty in viewing their target as the rear bombers came into the target area.

Leuna bombing from May 12, 1944 to April 5, 1945 cost the Eighth Air Force 1,280 airmen. In three separate attacks by the Eighth, 119 planes were lost and not one bomb fell on the Leuna works

From the first attack to the end, production at Leuna averaged 9 percent of capacity. There were 22 attacks on Leuna, 20 by the Eighth Air Force and 2 by the RAF. Due to the urgency of keeping this plant out of production, many of these missions were dispatched in difficult bombing weather. Consequently, the order of bombing accuracy on Leuna was not high as compared with other targets. To win the battle with Leuna a total of 6,552 bomber sorties were flown against the plant, 18,328 tons of bombs were dropped and an entire year was required.

Credits: the B-17 model is from "Wings of Power". The sky BG is from mayyang.com
Artwork edited Painter 12, GIMP, Piant.net and VUE. Thanks for Looking. Cheers, Mike
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:iconrobromangamin:
robromangamin Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015
AMERICAN BOMBER:THERES TO MUCH HAY!!

LEAD BOMBER:STAY TOGETHER JACKPOT I NEED YOU ALL IN ONE PIEACE!!


AMERICAN BOMBER:SIR YES SIR!!
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:icontemplerman:
templerman Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2015
I am looking at this and am reminded of "Return From Schweinfurt" by Robert Taylor. You have wrought a masterful work of art, and a great image depicting the courage of the average man, called upon to meet great tasks. I am awed by it.
Just sitting here in my comfortable and peaceful home,(Well except when the Apaches, Cobras, and Black Hawks buzz overhead on their way back to the Army 1st Battalion, 158 Aviation Regiment (Attack) Dust-Off base at the airport) but looking at your painting I can remember vividly my Father's relating his experience of flying through flak ridden skies. That was over forty years ago and it still gives me the willies just thinking about going through that stuff. This work is a testament to those men and the price they paid for our Freedoms. Parenthetically, I was listening to some music while browsing these images, and just after I found yours, Norah Jones' "American Anthem" started playing. I tear-up every time I hear it, and think about my Father and all of those men, and women, and the magnitude of what they endured. They truly were "The Greatest Generation", and for me, especially my Father, who is my HERO, it is always remembrance day in my heart. Lest We Forget.
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:iconeyeswide71:
eyeswide71 Featured By Owner May 28, 2015
Amen.
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you, I have been inspired by some Ww2 pilots and aircrews of WW2.
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:iconwagmorebarkless:
WagmoreBarkless Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is truly amazing!  This communicates the airborne hell of flack better than any painting or still photo I have ever seen. 
Also, it seems to me that you put as much effort in research/history as you put into the actual artwork. 

You Sir, are a class act!
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
History and art go together. Let us not forget the "Greatest Generation"

These airmen had a 50% chance of completing 25 missions. Their contribution and heavy sacrifice help shorten the war.

if you have ever talk to a WW2 vet they are so humble, "it's a job that had to be done"

Thank you you for the kind words appreciate the feedback. 
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:iconwagmorebarkless:
WagmoreBarkless Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Your welcome.
I have been a student of WWII (especially the aviation and naval aspect of that period) history ever since my childhood in the mid 1950s, a good part of which was spent on Kodiak Naval Air station in Alaska. Our house overlooked the runway, and I soon developed a love for aircraft that has never left me.  

















 
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:icontonygcampagna:
TonyGCampagna Featured By Owner May 26, 2014  Professional General Artist
Amazing...the mood, the atmosphere, the action and the horror...all there! :) Love it!
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is my favorite aviation artwork and highest favorite among DA members. After reading about these dangerous missions, I had to create something dynamic to portray the hazards of war. 

This is an example of why the odds of bomber crews had only a 50/50 chance of completing their tour of 25 missions. thank you.
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:icontonygcampagna:
TonyGCampagna Featured By Owner May 28, 2014  Professional General Artist
I got that feel right from the start. After seeing the movie "Memphis Belle" years ago, I really got the interest for the period history. Wonderful artwork. :)
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:iconeduardoleon:
EduardoLeon Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome!!
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you, appreciate it, I was happy with the AA effects. 
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:iconmornofvivec:
MornofVivec Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013
Brilliant work. Looking at this while listening to "Ride of the Valkyries" makes this image even more epic.
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Powerful music and jets are the best. thanks.
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:iconthehouseofthedead4:
thehouseofthedead4 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013
Awesome.
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much.
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:iconmidway2009:
Midway2009 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great detail.
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you, appreciate it.
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:iconmidway2009:
Midway2009 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your welcome.
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:iconmistikfantasy:
Mistikfantasy Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
that's amazing!
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you much.
Reply
:iconmistikfantasy:
Mistikfantasy Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
you're welcome
Reply
:iconwarrior1944:
warrior1944 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013
Woha! Thats awesome!
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks warrior, appreciate it.

No bomber crews never wanted to hear their morning briefing's mission was Luena.
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:iconmobiusonedt:
mobiusonedt Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You know the funny (well not haha funny( thing is that as the German's lost ground, the Anti Aircraft defenses became more concentrated, making the bomber crews' job even more dangerous.

Awesome picture. Highlights how costly the daylight bombing campaign in Europe was.
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:iconraguleader:
RaguLeader Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
And at the same time, once the Luftwaffe folded late in the war and was only able to offer token resistance, they began removing gunners from the bombers and reassigning them to ground units to help take all that ground the Germans were losing, meaning that losing the air war translated directly to the Germans facing a larger ground force.  I don't know how the aerial gunners felt about becoming infantry, of course.
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank You, glad you like the artwork.

At one time, I think Hitler told Speer to build more 88's since the Luftwaffe's aircraft had fell to defend Germany.

The sacrifice was high on both sides.
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:iconfocallength:
focallength Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013
Nice work. Used to know someone whose father was a B-17 commander.
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank You.

My dad was a WW II flight instructor during the War. He got me interested aviation. Met several of his friends who were pilots. They were all polite and never really talked about it much. They were the "Greatest Generation".
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:iconfocallength:
focallength Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013
I never met my friend's father, but he showed me photos from his dad's time in the USAAF and his father's plane, "Little MIss Mischief" was featured on the cover of the original Squadron "B-17 In Action" and is one of the marking options on the Revell "Pro Modeler" 1/72nd scale B-17G kit.
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That is a good piece of history and tribute. Thanks for sharing.
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:iconfocallength:
focallength Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013
You're welcome.
Reply
:iconchaos-sandwhich:
chaos-sandwhich Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
bomber crews have gotten a lot of criticism over the years, but as your description illustrates , they did one hell of an important job
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Prior to 1944, the air crews of U.S. bombers tour of duty was (25) missions. the odds of completing this tour was 1 in 4.
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:iconchaos-sandwhich:
chaos-sandwhich Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
daylight bombing is not a safe occupation to say the least
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"The Luftwaffe employed other flak defenses using smaller caliber guns against bombers and fighters flying at low altitudes. The Allied bombing attacks on the Axis powers during WWII, in addition to its primary role of reducing the enemy's ability to wage war, tied down by the end of the war over 1,250,000 flak troops that were sorely needed on both the eastern and western fronts. The war was shortened considerably by the loss of these troops. The 88mm flak cannon was a formidable weapon which inflicted heavy losses on the Allied bomber formations. But as good as the weapon was, it could not prevent the bombers from coming through."

Bud Markel (484th BG). Reprinted With Permission From The Torretta Flyer (484th BG Assn). The Welcome Wagon It Was Not! The Journal 2nd Air Division. Volume 47 Number 2, Summer 2008.
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:iconblanket86:
blanket86 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
This is so amazing! Very good style!
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank You.
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:iconmaty12:
Maty12 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
Cool.
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:iconzulumike:
zulumike Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, appreciate it.
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:iconmaty12:
Maty12 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
No problem, really like your drawings.
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Details

Submitted on
January 25, 2013
Image Size
4.3 MB
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3898×2924
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20,013
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Camera Data

Make
OLYMPUS OPTICAL CO.,LTD
Model
C2000Z
Shutter Speed
10/5000 second
Aperture
F/4.5
Focal Length
19 mm
ISO Speed
100
Date Taken
Jun 11, 2002, 4:59:41 PM
Software
Paint.NET v3.5.10
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