"Knights of the Northern Sky"
"Knights of the Northern Sky" by Jerry Anderson depicts three Brewster 239 fighters of the Finnish Air Force patrolling the evening sky during the winter of 1943.
During the Second World War, while epic battles raged around the world in now legendary places such as Normandy, Guadalcanal, and Stalingrad, another struggle for survival took place in the skies above the small Scandinavian nation of Finland. From November 1939 to September 1944, the Finns fiercely defended their territory against their powerful eastern neighbors, the Soviet Union.
Throughout the long, bitter arctic winters (when temperatures could drop to as low as -30 deg F) and during the brief summers of almost continuous daylight, aircraft of the Suomen Ilmavoimat rose into the air over their homeland to face an enemy that frequently outnumbered them by more than 10 to 1. Finnish pilots hurled themselves daily into swarms of attacking Russian fighters and bombers, using a combination of skill, courage, and aggressive tactics to inflict punishing losses that far exceeded Soviet estimates. Innovation and resourcefulness were also used on the ground; in winter, Finnish fighters were often dispersed into the vast forests of the region, sheltered beneath the branches of trees and using the frozen lake surfaces as makeshift runways.
Due to their excellent training and airmanship, and owing to the large number of targets provided by the Soviet Air Force, the Suomen Ilmavoimat finished the war with some of the highest-scoring pilots of any air arm in the world. In fact, they had the highest ratio of pilots that could claim the title of "ace" for the size of their force, leading historians to call the World War II Finnish Air Force "pound for pound, the finest fighter force in the world".
"Knights of the Northern Sky" was produced in 1997, measures approximately 21" by 26", and is suitable for framing. All 300 copies are signed by the artist and 5 World War II Finnish fighter aces:
Kyosti Karhila 32
Antii Tani 21.5
Lauri Pekuri 18.5
Jouko Huotari 17.5
Hemmo Leino 11
Size: 21" x 26"
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