"VITAL ASSAULT" - NEW RELEASE by SIMON SMITH
THE LIMITED EDITION
Edition Size - 125
THE COLLECTORS EDITION
Edition Size - 75
THE COLLECTORS ARTIST PROOFS
Edition Size - 25
Edition Size - 15
THE DOUBLE REMARQUES
Edition Size - 10
(subject to availability)
THE TRIBUTE EDITION
Edition Size - 5
(subject to availability)
The Allies believed Pointe du Hoc to be the most dangerous battery on the Normandy coast. If the D-Day landings were to succeed, the guns that threatened the American beaches had to be destroyed.
Sited on a high rocky headland jutting out into the sea four miles to the west of Omaha beach, Pointe du Hoc would be a tough nut to crack. Despite intensive Allied bombing in the months leading up to D-Day the concrete casements remained stubbornly unscathed and, although reports from the French Resistance suggested the guns might have been moved, nobody knew for sure. It was equally possible the guns were in place and that was a risk that couldn’t be taken if the amphibious assault of Omaha beach was to stand any chance of success.
The Pointe du Hoc battery was protected to seaward by near-vertical cliffs and, on the land side, by a web of intricate defences. To take it would need a crack unit and the task was given to three companies of the US 2nd Ranger Battalion and on the morning of 6 June 1944 the Rangers would need to call on all of their elite training.
As they made their approach three of their landing craft and an amphibious DUKW had been incapacitated by the rough seas and the delay caused by battling the strong currents had lost them the element of surprise, giving the Germans plenty of time to prepare a hostile reception when the Rangers finally hit the pocket-sized beach. Taking casualties immediately on landing, they had little time to ascend the cliff.
Scaling the 90-foot cliffs under relentless enemy fire, the first Rangers hit the top intent on destroying the guns – guns that had remained ominously silent. The French Resistance had been right; the guns had been moved. The Americans quickly sent out patrols in search of their quarry and soon found the guns, hidden in an orchard and trained directly on Utah beach, ready to fire. They were swiftly destroyed with grenades but the men now had to hold their ground enduring ferocious fighting for almost two days before reinforcements could get through.
Overall print size: 30 ¼” wide x 21 ½” high
Image size: 24” wide x 14” high
Simon Smith’s piece Vital Assault, one of the most dramatic depictions of the assault on Pointe du Hoc, portrays the men of Dog Company as they unleash a withering volley of return fire, forcing the Germans to retreat. With the prints personally signed by veterans that fought with the US 2nd Ranger Battalion, this dramatic edition is an authentic account of this most historic and famous battle.
Joining artist Simon Smith in individually signing each print in every edition is a distinguished veteran who took part in the assault of Pointe du Hoc with the US 2nd Rangers:
Captain GEORGE KLEIN
Platoon Leader of 'Fox' Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion, 80th Infantry Division, on D-Day.
THE COLLECTOR’S EDITION, ARTIST PROOFS AND REMARQUES
are also signed by:
Private 1st Class VINCE HAGG
Served with 'Dog' Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion, 80th Infantry Division, landing on D-Day+1.
THE D-DAY TRIBUTE EDITION
Each signed print is issued with a separate specially commissioned original pencil drawing by Simon Smith which has been conservation matted to include the original pencil signatures of two veterans who fought at ‘Bloody’ Omaha Beach on D-Day and would go on to join the Rangers in their advance through Normandy:
Private DON McCARTHY
Served with the Intelligence and Reconnaissance Squad of 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division in the first wave of the assault on Omaha Beach.
Private 1st Class NORMAN GROSSMAN
Landing in the first wave on Omaha with the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division he fought his way through the beach to take out a German gun position in the bluffs.
VITAL ASSAULT by SIMON SMITH (D-Day: Normandy: Pointe du Hoc: DUKW)@vbader.com