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100793 | GERMANY & GREAT BRITAIN. HMS Royal Ark satirical cast iron Medal.

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    100793  |  GERMANY & GREAT BRITAIN. Satirical cast iron Medal. Dated 1939. "Totentanz (Dance of Death) Redux" type: The alleged sinking of the HMS Ark Royal (70mm, 108.51 g, 12). By G. Goetz.


    Death, with back facing, in the bomb-filled ocean, shrouding the Ark Royal with Union Jack inscribed ARK / ROYAL / ? in three lines; above, German bomber flying right / WIЄ SAG ICHS MЄI NЄM VOLKЄ (how do I tell my people?), Sir Winston Churchill, Neville Chamberlain, and Leslie Hore-Belisha seated around a table, plotting a scheme and with scroll inscribed DЄUSCHЄ / BOMBЄR / GЄGЄN / BRIT. SЄЄ– / STRЄITKRÄFTЄ / 22 SЄPT. 39; on table drapery, W - CH (Winston Churchill) surrounding crowned anchor and L - H - B (Leslie Hore-Belisha) around star of David. Edge: A few light marks as made, otherwise plain.


    Engstrom 5; Kaiser Coll. 1329.1. Mint State. Dark charcoal surfaces. A haunting and rare type.


    Carrying on the tradition of his father, Guido Goetz also had a career as a medalist, issuing some satirical pieces in the vein of the elder Goetz, Karl. Just as World War I and its aftermath were important to the work of the father, so too was that of World War II to the son, with a number of satirical medals designed with this backdrop. Drawing upon the skeletal approach of Walther Eberbach's Totentanz series, some of Guido's issues portray Death as a skeleton taking sadistic glee in the downfall of his enemies.


    In late September 1939, the HMS Royal Ark was in the Kattegat, an area of water located between Denmark and Sweden, responding to a British submarine in need of rescue. While returning to port, the Royal Ark and her entourage was spotted by German seaplanes, who quickly gathered more bombers for an assault. Though the Royal Ark was prepared and drove away three of the bombers, one got through and was able to deliver a bomb. The ship avoided a direct hit, but the nearby explosion caused a spout of water to spray over her. The German bomber, unsure of a successful hit and unable to spot the Royal Ark, reported that she was hit, a coup for the Nazis and their propaganda machine. The ship, however, escaped unscathed, and this fact was broadcast to both ally and enemy, an immense embarrassment to the Germans. The Royal Ark would eventually meet her end, similar to the SS Athenia and the HMS Courageous, torpedoed by a German U-boat in November 1941.


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