Stunning Aviation Art Reveals WWII Fighting That'll Never Be Seen Again

WWII art, military, defence

Photo: Hawaii Veterans Association

Battlefield artists are quickly fading in relevance as digital cameras become smaller, more accurate, and cost effective.

Old hand-crafted, battlefield art, though, often characterises best the antiquated past of armed conflict — war has since become a speedy affair, quick as the shutter of a photographer’s camera.

Check out this blast from the past art, as a time machine to the way war used to be waged …

Outraged when his guns jammed and determined to take down his foe, Parker Dupouy slammed his fighter into the Japanese plane to take it down.

Way less precise, way more aggressive.

The US was caught so off-guard by the attack on Pearl Harbor that few pilots made it into the air: Lt. Joe Moore was one of them.

The German Ju-88 was built by the Junkers aircraft factory, named for its founder, Hugo Junkers, who died under Nazi house arrest in opposition to the war in 1935.

Oil is the friend and enemy of everyone during the World War II and cutting off supplies was a major strategic goal.

The P47 Thunderbolt was one of the most popular birds of the war, filling out orders with the U.S., France, Britain, Soviet Union and Mexico.

During WWII Britain underwent a severe bombing campaign, prompting air patrols to become a common sight.

The Tuskegee Airmen flew a variety of aircraft, but it wasn't until they got the P51 Mustangs that they became known as Red Tails.

The German ME-163 'Komet' was one of the fastest planes in the sky ... but it didn't do so well in a fight.

The U.K.'s Fairey Swordfish biplane featured folding wings and a torpedo payload — it's even said that some of her missions inspired Japan's planning for Pearl Harbor

The Italian Machi Veltro was the best of Italy's fleet. It topped off at about 400 mph, and was equipped with both a 20 mm canon and twin 12.7 mm machine guns.

Armorers often improvised when it came to testing the accuracy of weapons sights.

One of Germany's greatest pilots, Hauptman Marseille, was victorious in 158 missions against the Brits — and died bailing out of his fighter when it suffered engine problems.

More often than not, WWII bomber art featured the female form.

Capt. John D. Shaw, USMC, and his fighter at Guadalcanal, would pave the way for future Marine Corps close air support doctrine.

The P40 fighter was adorned with a ferocious set of teeth, the practice of which lives on today in the Air Force's A-10 Warthogs.

The Battle of Midway was one of the most decisive of the war, the Japanese outnumbered Americans 4:1, and the U.S. trounced the Imperial Navy.

There will never again be combat like the kind between gunners on the B-17 flying fortress and German fighters.

German U-Boats were the scourge of the Atlantic, and some analysts thought they would win the war for Germany

The Germans presented a stalwart defence right until the end, knocking down 9 fortresses in one fight over the city of Weisbaden.

The British Hawker Typhoon had a rough start in development, but eventually sealed its role as a low-flying, long range interceptor.

These two bitter enemies became friends after the war.

A depiction of the Battle Of Britain shows just how close the UK came to succumbing to the German Air Force.

German flight crews painted the bottoms of low-flying aircraft red in order to make them distinct for friendly anti-aircraft guns.

U.S. Intelligence locates Admiral Yamamoto, engineer of Pearl Harbor, on a bomber flight and Allied fighters close in for revenge

Erich Hartman, the deadliest pilot of the war with 325 kills, depicted still fighting for the Germans on the last day of the war.

The U.S. B-25 Bomber was the first medium sized bomber to successfully take off from a carrier, effectively sealing the fate of those on mainland Japan.

This is what a German 'reconnaissance' or spy planes looked like during WWII; a far cry from modern stealth aircraft.

Tactics of the day would be considered almost brutish — here we see Allied forces bombing a dam to flood out downstream targets.

The Allies' best answer to the German U-Boat scourge were planes outfitted to carry depth charges.

A Spitfire tips one of Germany's feared V-1 Bombs. The V-1 would pave the way for modern bomb design.

The German ME-262 was the first operational jet-powered fighter of the war ... fortunately for the US it arrived late in the game

Pilots sometimes had to ditch aircraft in the water, as a result of low fuel, damage, or inability to find a carrier — but alive at sea can be as scary as fighting in the sky.

People forget how important the African campaign was — here's a P-40 strafing Rommel's Tunisia Tank Corps.

Germany's Walther Dahl once rammed a B-17 with his fighter.

The German Luftwaffe, though technologically advanced, couldn't keep up with the sheer number of Allied planes.

Hawker Typhoons were so deadly at low altitudes that they made perfect anti-tank aircraft — destroying as many as 175 in a single engagement.

They called this American dive bomber the 'Dauntless' — it scored the fatal blows against Japanese carriers in Midway — and pilots dove straight at their targets unable to pull away until the last second.

Though American bomber crews each had individual parachutes, sometimes the g-forces in falling planes would pin them inside, unable to ditch.

In 1940, while the U.S. still enjoyed relative peace, the Brits battled for the skies over England.

You've checked out World War II aviation art ...

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