Posts Tagged ‘Military History’
80 years on from El Alamein: The battle we simply had to win…
“Before Alamein we never had a victory. After we never had a defeat.”
It’s 1942 and the fortunes of war are running against the Allies on almost every front.
In the east, the Soviets are in collapse.
In the Atlantic, U-boats are crippling the ferrying-in of Britain’s vital supplies.
While, in western Europe, Nazi troops are the occupying force in country after country.
To North Africa, where Rommel’s Afrika Korps are trying to break through to the Suez Canal – and to that all important oil of the Middle East.
To stop them, the Egyptian village of El Alamein, situated between the Mediterranean Sea and the Qattara Depression, simply had to be held.
The defending Allies were represented by the Eighth Army – the ‘Desert Rats’, led by General Montgomery.
Montgomery had a plan. He would launch a diversionary attack to the south, while the main attack would come from the north, nearer to the coast.
And 80 years ago, on the night of 23-24 October 1942, the attack began.
A noise so great, the gunners’ ears bled
It started with the firing of over 800 artillery pieces at the German lines, creating a noise so great that, according to legend, the ears of the gunners bled.
When the infantry attacked, they were followed by tanks that moved through the minefield along a path cleared by engineers.
Outnumbered and under constant attack from land and air forces, on November 4th, Rommel, refusing to carry out Hitler’s suicidal order to fight to the last, retreated.
The Battle of El Alamein, fought in the deserts of North Africa with tank warfare at the heart of it, was undoubtedly one of the pivotal battles of World War II.
The battle revived the morale of the Allies and helped turn the tide during the war. As Churchill noted, “After Alamein we never had a defeat”.
The Battle of El Alamein NumisProof
A Silver Proof NumisProof Commemorative has been issued to mark the 80th Anniversary of the battle of El Alamein.
This stunning NumisProof has been struck from Sterling Silver to a perfect Proof finish, it features a full colour design created by world renowned digital artist Adam Tooby.
It depicts the two leading military commanders involved in the battle – Britain’s Bernard Montgomery and Germany’s Erwin Rommel, with the battle raging in the background.
For such an important anniversary of such an important WWII battle, you’ll be surprised by the edition limit. Just 250 have been authorised.
Today I invite you to be one of just 250 people in the world to own this scarce 80th anniversary commemorative.
Click here to own the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein NumisProof >>
The 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpiece – Creating a Masterpiece
Here at The Westminster Collection, we’ve had the privilege of working in partnership with the Royal British Legion for over a decade.
Each year, we issue bespoke coins and commemoratives for the RBL Poppy Appeal and Remembrance Day.
And we’re incredibly proud to have so far raised over £1 million for the Royal British Legion.
Unboxing the 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpiece
The Masterpiece is a remarkable coin and this year, creating the Masterpiece has more of a personal touch than ever before.
Each coin has been meticulously painted by hand, making each one unique.
Never has the name “Masterpiece” been more appropriate. Each coin is a work of art, but how do you go about creating 350 pieces of unique artwork?
“The 2022 Masterpiece Poppy Coin is a timeless token of Remembrance. Not only is this coin a poignant reminder of all those who have served and sacrificed, but it also helps the Royal British Legion continue to be there for today’s Armed Forces community, no matter what.”
Charles Byrne , Director General of the Royal British Legion
One of a Kind – Creating a Masterpiece
This year’s Masterpiece coin has been expertly designed by Beata Kulesza-Damaziak. Beata has a studio in Warsaw, Poland, designing sculptures, book covers and has produced many coin designs.
Beata’s design has been struck in high relief on 5oz Pure Silver blanks, with different heights of relief applied to give a real depth to the design.
Keen-eyed observers will see a map of the Falklands on the very bottom layer, with a total of 40 poppies poignantly sitting on top to mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War.
The largest and 40th poppy sits proudly in the middle of the coin. It’s that poppy that elevates the coin to status of “Masterpiece”.
Every single coin has had that poppy hand-painted by artist Adam Taylor, making each one unique.
Most colour on coins these days is printed using high-speed pad-printing machines or using modern UV printing techniques. Adam has used traditional model-painting techniques on the coins, which means each one has unique brush-strokes and subtle differences in the colours.
Adding acrylic paint to the high relief poppy gives it that iconic red colour and further enhances the coin design. The time, care and attention required on a project such as this, truly does make each one of the 350 a one-off.
Adam dedicated hour upon hour to these coins, adding the personal touches to make each one a true Masterpiece.
Secure your hand-painted, one of a kind RBL Poppy Masterpiece Coin here>>
The 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpiece – Gifting a Masterpiece
Each year, we work in partnership with the Royal British Legion to create bespoke coins and commemoratives, including a Poppy Masterpiece coin.
This year’s official Royal British Legion Poppy Masterpiece coin has just been released. And this 2022 issue is especially important as it marks the 40th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict. The 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpiece features 39 stylised poppies surrounding one central, hand-painted, red poppy.
Every 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpiece coin is individually hand-painted by our in-house artist Adam Taylor. He used traditional model painting techniques, which means each one has unique brush strokes and subtle differences in colour.
Gifting a Masterpiece
We met with Falklands Veteran Chris Caroe to learn about his experience during the conflict and his subsequent support of the Royal British Legion.
To thank Chris for his service and for sharing his story with us, we gifted him one of the 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpieces. You can watch his reaction below.
If you’re interested…
We’re now taking commissions for this year’s Masterpiece (just like the one we gifted to Chris Caroe!) so you have a limited opportunity to own one for yourself. Click here to find out more about this impressive release and reserve yours >>