Cherbourg, France: Mitchell Jamieson, August, 1944. ORIGINAL WORLD WAR II ART. Framed Art. An ORIGINAL WORK OF ART by Mitchell Jamieson showing Cherbourg, France (location of a critical Port) shortly after its capture by Allied Forces, being a part of the D Day invasion at Normandy, SIGNED AND DATED BY MITCHELL JAMIESON as part of a short presentation inscription by Jamieson, ALSO CAPTIONED, DATED AND INITIALED BY JAMIESON as the artist, all below the primary scene depicted in the painting. The image shows some Allied soldiers (presumably American), several military vehicles, several non-military individuals - one with a bicycle (presumably French citizens then residing in Cherbourg) and a dog. The inscription reads as follows: "Cherbourg - August 1944 // For Jack Long in appreciation and with every good wish Mitchell Jamieson". The work looks to have been titled: "Cathedral ______________ [not legible]". Thereunder is written "Watching explosion // Cherbourg August 44 // MJ". The background shows the Basilique Sainte-Trinité de Cherbourg and the scene depicts such individuals observing an explosion in or near Cherbourg. We speculate that the inscribee "Jack Long" belonged to the Independent Parachute Company who helped in the Normandy invasion. [During the War, small groups of parachute soldiers were put into ‘pathfinder’ units, which would parachute onto the selected drop zone ahead of the main force. Their tasks were to mark the drop zone, establish directional radio beacons to enable the coming transport aircraft to ‘home’ in on the exact drop point, and to clear and protect the area as the main force parachuted or air landed. Sergeant Jack Long was a member of the 22nd Independent Parachute Company.] The United States declared War on Germany on December 8, 1941 but it was two and one-half years before American forces entered the European theatre (on June 6, 1944, a day known as "D-Day"). Mitchell Jamieson served in the US forces and participated in the Allied invasion of Omaha beach during the Normandy Invasion on D-day during which he carried, and presumably used, an M1 Garand, as well as his sketchbook and supplies, going ashore with one of the first demolition units at Normandy, and arrived on Omaha Beach with the troops on an LST meaning "Landing Ship Tank", a ship used to bring Tanks to the shore. [Military Artists such as Mitchell Jamieson, a member of the United States Navy, have served in the American military since 1917.] Unlike a photograph which records only a moment in time, the military artist not only captures a moment in time, but also conflates instantaneous action with it, and the military Artist considers his Art to be capturing history in the making. Of his work, Jamieson stated: "I have confined my paintings to what I have experienced and know to be strictly true, at the same time having to adapt my way of working to the pressure of time and swift-moving events. Yet anything that is worthwhile or that has the bite of reality in the work produced under these circumstances probably derives from a constant effort to share as fully as possible in the lives and experiences of others.” [The image itself is in Fine condition. Beneath the mat resides some remnants of glue used by a prior owner to affix the sheet to an inferior mat. [The entire sheet has been professionally deacidified, matted, and framed in high-quality materials. The frame measures approximately 20 5/8 inches X approximately 16 1/4 inches.] Original works made by Jamieson during and depicting the Allied invasion of mainland Europe and its occupancy thereof conducted to free Europe from Hitler's grasp are EXCEEDINGLY SCARCE to the market. Further relevant historical information is set forth below:
D-Day; Operation Overlord: Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe during World War II.
At dawn on 6 June, nearly 7,000 U.S. and British ships and craft carrying close to 160,000 troops lay off the Normandy beaches, surprising German commanders, who had overestimated the adverse weather’s impact and were also expecting landings to the northeast, in the Pas-de-Calais area. Following assembly, and a 24-hour delay due to bad weather, the invasion fleet had proceeded across the English Channel along five lanes cleared by minesweepers toward the French coast. The waters off of the U.S. (Utah, Omaha) and British-Canadian (Gold, Juno, Sword) landing beaches had been divided into transport off-loading areas, fire-support channels and areas, and lanes for the assault craft. Cruisers and battleships bombarded enemy coastal fortifications and strongpoints.
The distance between Cherbourg and Omaha Beach is 62 km. The road distance is 82.6 km. The Battle of Cherbourg (Battle of Cherbourg, June 22-29 1944) was part of the Battle of Normandy during World War II. It was fought after the successful Allied landings on 6 June 1944. Allied troops, mainly American, isolated and captured the fortified port, which was considered vital to the campaign in Western Europe, in a hard-fought, month-long campaign. Cherbourg was one of the US Army’s first major targets during Operation Overlord. The city at the end of the Cotentin peninsula was a significant base for the occupying German forces. Capturing it would remove a threat from the Allies’ rear before they advanced south. It would also give them access to port facilities to unload necessary supplies.
The Battle of Cherbourg (Battle of Cherbourg, June 22-29 1944) was part of the Battle of Normandy during World War II. It was fought shortly after the successful Allied landings on 6 June 1944. Allied troops, mainly American, isolated and captured the fortified port, which was considered vital to the campaign in Western Europe, in a hard-fought, month-long campaign.
The planners for Overlord believed that the capture of an intact major port was essential if they were to be able to build up their forces faster than the Germans, and Cherbourg was the only such port in the Normandy area. ... The plan was to push west across the Cotetin peninsula, then turn north towards Cherbourg, with its facilities that could be used for landing reinforcements and materiel. Cherbourg was also a target because it was a great base for Nazi U-boats, protected from Allied bombing and gunnery by massive concrete "pens." The port benefits from a remarkable harbour, well sheltered except to the north, and is situated close to the great maritime routes that ply the English Channel. Although war's destruction was evident, the Allies captured Cherbourg with its port relatively intact.
Through all phases of the operation Navy combat artists Dwight Shepler, Mitchell Jamieson, and Alexander Russo observed and recorded different aspects of the vast and complicated campaign. Though it was also filmed and photographed, the artwork they created helps convey a sense of the feelings and emotions behind the events. For the young artists, the challenge was unique. During their training period, they lived with the crews of the vessels destined to take part in the invasion; they rode the ships across the channel, and accompanied the troops as they landed. Their paintings, including descriptions of their work, were subject to strict censorship. It was not until well after the events occurred that their works were allowed to become part of the accessible historic records.
Mitchell Jamieson was twice awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Award of Merit by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Lieutenant Jamieson crossed the channel on D-Day on the deck of an LST and went ashore with one of the first demolition units at Normandy. Fine. Item #3050