Breaching of Amiens Prison

Place Europe: France, Picardie, Somme, Amiens
Accession Number ART25687
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 60.9 x 91.4 cm; Framed: 85 x 115 cm
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on canvas
Maker Adams, Dennis
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Date made 1944
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

Inside the grim walls of Amiens Prison, several hundred prisoners - many of them members of the French Resistance Movement - were known to be awaiting trial or execution by the Germans for their Resistance activities. In this operation, six Mosquito aircraft each from No. 487 Squadron, RNZAF, No. 464 Squadron, RAAF, and No. 21 Squadron, RAF, with fighter escort, attacked the goal from very low altitude and enabled the escape of 258 prisoners. Unfortunately, although the bombing was carried out with exceptional accuracy, casualties were caused among non-political inmates; the leader of the mission and his navigator were shot down and killed; and many of the escapees were subsequently recaptured.