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(BBC)   70 years ago today, 19 RAF Lancasters armed with special bombs and manned by heroic crews changed the course of WWII in ways we can only appreciate now - they were "The Dam Busters"   (bbc.co.uk ) divider line
    More: Hero, Dam Busters, WWII, RAF, surgical strikes, bombing raids, Red Army, heavy bombers  
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9093 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 May 2013 at 9:51 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-15 09:17:04 AM  
Good to see this getting attention. I don't know if I would call it a single pivot moment but this did definitely slow the war  machine enough to allow Russia to get a foothold back on the Eastern Front
 
2013-05-15 09:28:49 AM  
Good article.  It appears that the crews that manned those aircraft apparently needed to wear over-sized pants to contain their enormous balls...
 
2013-05-15 09:37:09 AM  
I only knew about this from my old Colecovision game. Loved the idea of the bouncing bombs.
 
2013-05-15 09:50:03 AM  
This was very cool, my dad made me watch the movie when I was a kid, and I didn't really appreciate it until much later. If you want to see something really weird, google "the name of the dog in dambusters"
 
2013-05-15 09:55:29 AM  
great movie

but the dog's name isn't so politically correct anymore.
 
2013-05-15 09:58:12 AM  
Bouncy bombs.  Way cool.
 
2013-05-15 09:59:46 AM  
Nope, subby, they were always appreciated by the military. Otherwise, those targets would not have been considered a target in the first place.
 
2013-05-15 09:59:53 AM  
25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-05-15 10:00:32 AM  
Just like the dolittle raid, it was more for propaganda then effectiveness.  Still have to say those pilots and crew had big clanking brass balls
 
2013-05-15 10:00:53 AM  
There was a PBS Nova episode on this a little while back.
 
2013-05-15 10:01:13 AM  

IdBeCrazyIf: Good to see this getting attention. I don't know if I would call it a single pivot moment but this did definitely slow the war  machine enough to allow Russia to get a foothold back on the Eastern Front


I've heard conflicting assessments of how much the raid affected the German war effort, but one side benefit was that apparently the Americans would later use the same tactics to great effect against Japanese ships.
 
2013-05-15 10:01:33 AM  
My stepdad flew on Lancasters for the Canadian Air Force, though not the dam busters.
RIP hero step dad!
 
2013-05-15 10:01:33 AM  
Big whoop.  Anyone ever think to remember the millions of innocent fish killed in these raids?  Where's their memorial?
 
2013-05-15 10:01:53 AM  
Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times. 

Thank god the 20th century is over.
 
2013-05-15 10:01:54 AM  

show me: This was very cool, my dad made me watch the movie when I was a kid, and I didn't really appreciate it until much later. If you want to see something really weird, google "the name of the dog in dambusters"


Also see the name of the cat in HP Lovecrafts "rats in the walls"
 
2013-05-15 10:01:55 AM  
Watch the movie again and see how heavily Lucas borrowed from it.  Lucas copied some of the dialog and shots from the final bomb run almost identically for the Death Star assault.
 
mhd
2013-05-15 10:02:15 AM  
I have to say that "après moi, le déluge" is a pretty cool unit motto, in a  "I see what you did there" way...
 
2013-05-15 10:02:42 AM  

UberDave: Good article.  It appears that the crews that manned those aircraft apparently needed to wear over-sized pants to contain their enormous balls...


Nah, men of courage, skill and resourcefulness, but they lived in a time where losing meant that they would lose everything they, their families, and their ancestors ever cared about. We here in the 21st Century western world have not really faced such a prospect since about the late 1980's.

It is one of the reasons that they seem larger than life to us, but I've worked with a number of Iraqi and Afghani US veterans and these are the same type of people. People of courage, skill and resourcefulness who answered a call. The veterans returning from those wars give me hope for the future, because they are really awesome.
 
2013-05-15 10:04:27 AM  
Welcome to the damn bombing raid briefing. Your mission is to destroy all the damn German damns. You can drop all the damn bombs you want on any damn Germans or German damns you want. Does anyone have any damn questions?
 
2013-05-15 10:04:47 AM  

ColSanders: Watch the movie again and see how heavily Lucas borrowed from it.  Lucas copied some of the dialog and shots from the final bomb run almost identically for the Death Star assault.


Yes and that was completely intentional on his part, as he has pointed out many times.
 
2013-05-15 10:05:20 AM  
Interesting movie. It's the one playing in the background in The Wall.

Official, Ministry of Aircraft Production: "You say you need a Wellington Bomber for test drops. They're worth their weight in gold. Do you really think the authorities will lend you one? What possible argument could I put forward to get you a Wellington?"

Barnes Wallace: "Well, if you told them I designed it, do you think that might help?"
 
2013-05-15 10:05:39 AM  

Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times. 

Thank god the 20th century is over.


Awwwwww. You butthurt? War is Hell. Sh*t gets broken. People die.
 
2013-05-15 10:07:08 AM  

kkinnison: Just like the dolittle raid, it was more for propaganda then effectiveness.  Still have to say those pilots and crew had big clanking brass balls


Moar liek the do little raid, amirite?
 
2013-05-15 10:07:09 AM  

kbronsito: Welcome to the damn bombing raid briefing. Your mission is to destroy all the damn German damns. You can drop all the damn bombs you want on any damn Germans or German damns you want. Does anyone have any damn questions?


damn it... i farked it up. i was supposed to turn some of those damns into dams before pressing add comment. (still drinking my coffee).
 
2013-05-15 10:08:15 AM  
I'm still waiting for the Peter Jackson remake.

http://dambustersblog.com/category/peter-jackson/
 
2013-05-15 10:08:27 AM  
Hell of a mission and an amazing feat of engineering to boot.

Also, in case you haven't seen it... Dam Busters a la Star Wars
 
2013-05-15 10:09:05 AM  

Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost? Good times, good times.



It was for more than just a morale boost, but it did flood a bunch of small towns in the Eder valley which displaced and killed an unknown number of civillians.  And there were a bunch of French and Belgian POWs working in those plants as well.  This has always been kind of a murky aspect of WWII to me.
 
2013-05-15 10:10:33 AM  

D_PaulAngel: Hell of a mission and an amazing feat of engineering to boot.

Also, in case you haven't seen it... Dam Busters a la Star Wars


Lucas has been pretty up front about Dam Busters being one of the main inspirations for the Death Star run.
 
2013-05-15 10:10:48 AM  

TV's Vinnie: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times. 

Thank god the 20th century is over.

Awwwwww. You butthurt? War is Hell. Sh*t gets broken. People die.


Awww, I hope you die too, Mr. John Wayne big man.
 
2013-05-15 10:11:17 AM  

johndalek: great movie

but the dog's name isn't so politically correct anymore.


The word... which was in general use as a dog's name at the time...

My grandparents once had a dog named Spooks. I wonder if that was in a similar vein.
 
2013-05-15 10:13:08 AM  

kkinnison: Just like the dolittle raid, it was more for propaganda then effectiveness.  Still have to say those pilots and crew had big clanking brass balls


Supposedly, the Doolittle Raid alarmed the Japanese so much that they decided to invade Midway Atoll, thinking that's where the Americans launched the airstrike from; and we know how that turned out.  That may not have been the intended consequence, but even if you consider it propaganda, it's really effective propaganda if it even worked on the enemy.
 
2013-05-15 10:13:14 AM  
The same guy who designed the bouncing bomb also designed the Tall Boy and Grand Slam earthquake bombs. They worked on the principle of liquefying earth by penetrating deeply next to a target. The explosion on detonation created a huge pool of liquid earth into which anything heavy (bunkers, viaducts, submarine pens, V1 launching, V3 gun emplacements) would collapse.

His design is being refined for use against Iranian targets.
 
2013-05-15 10:13:55 AM  

Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times. 

Thank god the 20th century is over.



I agree.  Nothing to celebrate.  Allied policy during the war didn't spare civilians quite often.
 
2013-05-15 10:14:09 AM  

Whiskey Dickens: TV's Vinnie: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times. 

Thank god the 20th century is over.

Awwwwww. You butthurt? War is Hell. Sh*t gets broken. People die.

Awww, I hope you die too, Mr. John Wayne big man.


It's not like the 21st century is moving in a much different direction.
 
2013-05-15 10:14:59 AM  

kkinnison: Just like the dolittle raid, it was more for propaganda then effectiveness.  Still have to say those pilots and crew had big clanking brass balls


Both were effective in more than propaganda.

The article pretty well covers what the dambusters accomplished, which wasn't the 'turning point of the war' but was certainly significant.

Doolittle's raid wasn't the 'turning point' of the Pacific, but it played a great role in triggering one of the major turning points.  The raid was a significant factor in the Japanese decision to further extend their defensive perimeter by occupying Midway and establishing a foothold in the Aleutian Islands - a plan that worked out somewhat less successfully than anticipated.
 
2013-05-15 10:15:27 AM  

show me: This was very cool, my dad made me watch the movie when I was a kid, and I didn't really appreciate it until much later. If you want to see something really weird, google "the name of the dog in dambusters"


Semi-obscure:  in the movie version of Pink Floyd's the Wall, Dambusters is the movie playing on the TV in Pink's hotel room.  One of the scenes is where they receive the news the dog has been hit by a car.   So sad.
 
2013-05-15 10:15:51 AM  

IdBeCrazyIf: Good to see this getting attention. I don't know if I would call it a single pivot moment but this did definitely slow the war  machine enough to allow Russia to get a foothold back on the Eastern Front


um... really?

explain to me how flooding parts of western germany helps destroy divisions in the Ukraine.

besides this was after stalingrad just before kursk. russia already had its "foothold"

the anglo americans in general need to quit thinking they were anything but jr. partners in the war against hitler. the Reds did all the heavy lifting. sure, we bankrolled it and supplied it, but the russians did all the killing/dying.
 
2013-05-15 10:16:17 AM  
Mission was largely unsuccessful right? "Changed the course"; not even remotely......
 
2013-05-15 10:16:24 AM  
Interesting/good article.

Wonder why it didn't occur to the war planners to hit the dams again during the reconstruction/repair efforts?
 
2013-05-15 10:18:02 AM  
Hell, even 25 years ago there were video games about it.  It's not like it's not well known about.
 
2013-05-15 10:21:12 AM  
the crews who did this were Canadians. Hamilton boasts one of two workable Lancasters left in the wolrld.
 
2013-05-15 10:21:40 AM  

pkellmey: Whiskey Dickens: TV's Vinnie: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times. 

Thank god the 20th century is over.

Awwwwww. You butthurt? War is Hell. Sh*t gets broken. People die.

Awww, I hope you die too, Mr. John Wayne big man.

It's not like the 21st century is moving in a much different direction.


What's 250,000 dead and wounded Iraqi civilians? A trend.
 
2013-05-15 10:22:47 AM  

Astorix: the crews who did this were Canadians. Hamilton boasts one of two workable Lancasters left in the wolrld.


australians, americans, new zealanders, canadians, brits...
 
2013-05-15 10:26:21 AM  
Albert Speer, the German armaments minister, expressed amazement that the repair operations were left untroubled by further bombing raids which would have delayed the vital reconstruction and turned a nuisance into a major crisis.

The short-term plan worked, but if the Allies had thought a bit longer-term (bomb reconstruction efforts), they would have caused some big issues.
 
2013-05-15 10:26:39 AM  

Father_Jack: IdBeCrazyIf: Good to see this getting attention. I don't know if I would call it a single pivot moment but this did definitely slow the war  machine enough to allow Russia to get a foothold back on the Eastern Front

um... really?

explain to me how flooding parts of western germany helps destroy divisions in the Ukraine.

besides this was after stalingrad just before kursk. russia already had its "foothold"

the anglo americans in general need to quit thinking they were anything but jr. partners in the war against hitler. the Reds did all the heavy lifting. sure, we bankrolled it and supplied it, but the russians did all the killing/dying.


What the Russians did was keep Berlin from getting nuked.

If they aren't involved then the war in Europe's nowhere near finished in 1945 but the US has a wonder weapon - and yes I fully believe we would have used it.
 
2013-05-15 10:27:46 AM  

signaljammer: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times. 

Thank god the 20th century is over.


I agree.  Nothing to celebrate.  Allied policy during the war didn't spare civilians quite often.


Because it was a real war, not a political action.  We weren't trying to win over the hearts of the locals.  The skilled civilians working in the plants to build tanks were just as much targets as the tankers themselves, and the homes in any vicinity of the factories were collateral damage due to imprecise weaponry.  Nature of war at that time.
 
2013-05-15 10:31:26 AM  
I remember watching a documentary (NOVA?) sometime in the past few years as they tried to re-create this. It was amazing all of the different aspects of this. Hell, during the re-creation one of the barrels bounced higher than the aircraft itself, almost taking it out. And at 50 ft, there would be no recovering. Very, very cool operation.
 
2013-05-15 10:32:24 AM  

UberDave: Good article.  It appears that the crews that manned those aircraft apparently needed to wear over-sized pants to contain their enormous balls...


And bigger bomb bay doors.
 
2013-05-15 10:32:32 AM  

TheShavingofOccam123: Astorix: the crews who did this were Canadians. Hamilton boasts one of two workable Lancasters left in the wolrld.

australians, americans, new zealanders, canadians, brits...


the Brits like to take the credit. The Americans did the daring daylight raids and had a high casualty rate. Pretty much a suicide mission.
 
2013-05-15 10:32:45 AM  

roughridersfan: Albert Speer, the German armaments minister, expressed amazement that the repair operations were left untroubled by further bombing raids which would have delayed the vital reconstruction and turned a nuisance into a major crisis.

The short-term plan worked, but if the Allies had thought a bit longer-term (bomb reconstruction efforts), they would have caused some big issues.


Indeed I read Speer's books and he posited that this type of operation with adequate follow ups conducted by Germany would have been far more effective than bombing civilians during the blitz
 
2013-05-15 10:34:43 AM  

UberDave: Good article.  It appears that the crews that manned those aircraft apparently needed to wear over-sized pants to contain their enormous balls...


The bouncing bombs were modelled directly on their testes, so yes, probably.

I've been dipped in this stuff since I was a kid and the survivors were barely middle-aged. I think the notable thing is that Britain was so up against it militarially that they would entertain a great number of "faint hope" ideas that would've been condemned as lunatic at any other point. Wallis's "final approach at 60 feet, counter-spin skipping bomb" was one of those".

The definition of badass, really. The effect on German war production was not in the end significant, but the effect on German morale and on how they had to shift troops to protect previously attack-immune dams and infrastructure was significant. Like the V-2 rocket, which was complex, expensive and, being more or less ballistic, didn't actually destroy much of the British war effort, but it sure filled up the psych wards in a hurry as people felt completely helpless under a rain of the sort of bomb where the boom preceded the boom.
 
2013-05-15 10:38:45 AM  

rosemary's baby daddy: Indeed I read Speer's books and he posited that this type of operation with adequate follow ups conducted by Germany would have been far more effective than bombing civilians during the blitz


I think the Germans / everyone has always known this.  The Blitz was a Hitler order done in revenge for the accidental British bombing of a German civilian population.  The Luftwaffe was against the Blitz because it took away air planes that were previously attacking RAF air fields.
 
2013-05-15 10:39:34 AM  

WelldeadLink: And bigger bomb bay doors.


www.greaseman.org
/waddle-uddum-daddum!
 
2013-05-15 10:40:39 AM  

TheShavingofOccam123: Astorix: the crews who did this were Canadians. Hamilton boasts one of two workable Lancasters left in the wolrld.

australians, americans, new zealanders, canadians, brits...


Pretty certain no Americans were crew on the raids. Any Americans serving in the RAF, RCAF, RAAF or RNZAF would have been transferred to the USAAF late 1942.

Could be painfully wrong of course.
 
2013-05-15 10:40:50 AM  

bhcompy: signaljammer: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times. 

Thank god the 20th century is over.


I agree.  Nothing to celebrate.  Allied policy during the war didn't spare civilians quite often.

Because it was a real war, not a political action.  We weren't trying to win over the hearts of the locals.  The skilled civilians working in the plants to build tanks were just as much targets as the tankers themselves, and the homes in any vicinity of the factories were collateral damage due to imprecise weaponry.  Nature of war at that time.


if the civilians weren't rising up agains the nazi farkers in power, then they were enabling them.We can try to minimize collateral damage when you have a clear advantage... but given that victory against the Germans wasn't certain, it seems that the allies did what had to be done. We were also right to nuke Japan. (had they surrendered after the first nuke, maybe i'd feel sorry about it... but since it took two, they obviously didn't get the message from the first one).
 
2013-05-15 10:41:04 AM  

OtherBrotherDarryl: I only knew about this from my old Colecovision game. Loved the idea of the bouncing bombs.


One of the best games ever for what the then-current technology allowed.
 
2013-05-15 10:41:37 AM  

kidgenius: I remember watching a documentary (NOVA?) sometime in the past few years as they tried to re-create this. It was amazing all of the different aspects of this. Hell, during the re-creation one of the barrels bounced higher than the aircraft itself, almost taking it out. And at 50 ft, there would be no recovering. Very, very cool operation.


They should have watched the test video where that exact thing happened resulting in loss of aircraft and crew...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCGpzRzY7fY
 
2013-05-15 10:41:40 AM  
My company (Hatch) was involved in building a mock dam to test the spinning bomb drop a couple years ago for the Discovery channel, very cool
 
2013-05-15 10:42:14 AM  

bhcompy: signaljammer: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times.

Thank god the 20th century is over.


I agree.  Nothing to celebrate.  Allied policy during the war didn't spare civilians quite often.

Because it was a real war, not a political action.  We weren't trying to win over the hearts of the locals.  The skilled civilians working in the plants to build tanks were just as much targets as the tankers themselves, and the homes in any vicinity of the factories were collateral damage due to imprecise weaponry.  Nature of war at that time.


Not only that, but a kind of war introduced by the Germans themselves. It was foreshadowed in World War I with relatively ineffective but very scary Zeppelin bombing raids, further developed during the Spanish Civil War, and perfected in the Blitz. Yes, civilians had been killed in wars before, but Germany made it a deliberate strategy to target not merely the means of military production, but to directly terrorize the civilian population to reduce its will to resist.
 
2013-05-15 10:44:03 AM  

kbronsito: if the civilians weren't rising up agains the nazi farkers in power, then they were enabling them.



/The slope, it a-slippery.
 
2013-05-15 10:46:37 AM  

HumbertoEcho: I'm still waiting for the Peter Jackson remake.

http://dambustersblog.com/category/peter-jackson/


Pretty amusing. Also a record of how far special effects progressed in 22 years in England.
 
2013-05-15 10:49:29 AM  

Astorix: TheShavingofOccam123: Astorix: the crews who did this were Canadians. Hamilton boasts one of two workable Lancasters left in the wolrld.

australians, americans, new zealanders, canadians, brits...

the Brits like to take the credit. The Americans did the daring daylight raids and had a high casualty rate. Pretty much a suicide mission.


One of the best documentaries I ever saw was The Bombing of Germany. Traces the American and British approaches to aerial bombing from 1939 to 1945. Pretty farking sad to watch the race to the bottom. I don't fault anyone for doing anything they did--like a guy in the doc said "the most immoral thing America could have done was to lose the war"--but these things have consequences, even 70 years on. OBL justified his terror attacks and the use of nuclear terror weapons due to our atomic bomb use and firebombings. Eisenhower had sense enough to tell MacArthur to fark himself about using nuclear weapons in the Korean Conflict. Eisenhower knew the world would see that America only used nuclear weapons on non-whites and we would have used them twice.
 
2013-05-15 10:58:37 AM  

kbronsito: bhcompy: signaljammer: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times.

Thank god the 20th century is over.


I agree.  Nothing to celebrate.  Allied policy during the war didn't spare civilians quite often.

Because it was a real war, not a political action.  We weren't trying to win over the hearts of the locals.  The skilled civilians working in the plants to build tanks were just as much targets as the tankers themselves, and the homes in any vicinity of the factories were collateral damage due to imprecise weaponry.  Nature of war at that time.

if the civilians weren't rising up agains the nazi farkers in power, then they were enabling them.We can try to minimize collateral damage when you have a clear advantage... but given that victory against the Germans wasn't certain, it seems that the allies did what had to be done. We were also right to nuke Japan. (had they surrendered after the first nuke, maybe i'd feel sorry about it... but since it took two, they obviously didn't get the message from the first one).


Through the use of IBM technology and the massive files of the Gestapo, pretty much anyone who tried to overthrow Hitler was farked.

The head of the Abwehr (military intelligence) was a spy for the Allies. He probably contributed more to fighting Hitler than any other German. He kept the Nazis from moving into Spain which would have meant the loss of the Mediterranean to the Allies, etc...

He was part of Operation Valkyrie. Unfortunately, he kept a complete set of diaries which talked very clearly about who was involved in Valkyrie.

The SS held him prisoner then stripped him naked, marched him from his cell to another room where they strung him up with thin piano wire. They waited until he was almost dead, then brought him down, revived him, then strung him up again, repeating the process for over a half an hour.

The White Rose student leader was guillotined after a show trial.

Approximately 77,000 German citizens were killed for one or another form of resistance by Special Courts, courts-martial, and the civil justice system. Many of these Germans had served in government, the military, or in civil positions, which enabled them to engage in subversion and conspiracy; in addition the Canadian historian Peter Hoffman counts unspecified "tens of thousands" in concentration camps who were either suspected or actually engaged in opposition.
 
2013-05-15 11:03:28 AM  
this is their story. *doink doink*
 
2013-05-15 11:05:41 AM  
From this video, it appears that the Germans won this battle

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKHc-U2FNHk
 
2013-05-15 11:06:53 AM  

Arkanaut: IdBeCrazyIf: Good to see this getting attention. I don't know if I would call it a single pivot moment but this did definitely slow the war  machine enough to allow Russia to get a foothold back on the Eastern Front

I've heard conflicting assessments of how much the raid affected the German war effort, but one side benefit was that apparently the Americans would later use the same tactics to great effect against Japanese ships.


Not really. While the Lancasters dropped their depth charges (they weren't really bombs in that sense) from very low levels, the devices were rotated backwards to skip over anti-torpedo nets the Germans had put up to protect the dams.

Later (and it wasn't that much later, the USAAF sank nearly an entire convoy of Japanese ships this way in 1943) the US practiced "skip bombing" by just dropping conventional bombs with delayed fuses from very low altitudes. I'm not aware that the USAAF in the SW Pacific got tips on how to practice this from the RAF at all; their tactics were homegrown and also involved very heavily armed B-25's flying ahead of the skip bombers to suppress the ships' antiaircraft fire.

I've also read that the Dam Busters attacked those dams to take power away from their atomic bomb research, but the BBC article didn't mention that.
 
2013-05-15 11:07:47 AM  
Crap beer, classic commercial:

http://youtu.be/iVSBtivbUs4
 
2013-05-15 11:08:37 AM  
HELP THE BOMBADIER! HELP THE BOMBADIER!
 
2013-05-15 11:11:29 AM  

TheShavingofOccam123: Astorix: TheShavingofOccam123: Astorix: the crews who did this were Canadians. Hamilton boasts one of two workable Lancasters left in the wolrld.

australians, americans, new zealanders, canadians, brits...

the Brits like to take the credit. The Americans did the daring daylight raids and had a high casualty rate. Pretty much a suicide mission.

One of the best documentaries I ever saw was The Bombing of Germany. Traces the American and British approaches to aerial bombing from 1939 to 1945. Pretty farking sad to watch the race to the bottom. I don't fault anyone for doing anything they did--like a guy in the doc said "the most immoral thing America could have done was to lose the war"--but these things have consequences, even 70 years on. OBL justified his terror attacks and the use of nuclear terror weapons due to our atomic bomb use and firebombings. Eisenhower had sense enough to tell MacArthur to fark himself about using nuclear weapons in the Korean Conflict. Eisenhower knew the world would see that America only used nuclear weapons on non-whites and we would have used them twice.


OBL talked a lot of shiat. But there's no way his terror attacks were in any way related to our tactics in an unrelated conflict 60 years earlier.
 
2013-05-15 11:15:20 AM  

Cubicle Jockey: There was a PBS Nova episode on this a little while back.


I saw that. The development of the bombs was fascinating, but I found myself more interested in the brilliantly simple altitude/bomb release indicator system they devised.
 
2013-05-15 11:16:48 AM  

cwheelie: HELP THE BOMBADIER! HELP THE BOMBADIER!


I'm the bombardier, I'm all right.
 
2013-05-15 11:17:31 AM  

Bendal: I've also read that the Dam Busters attacked those dams to take power away from their atomic bomb research, but the BBC article didn't mention that.


I thought it had to do with supplying Germany's steel producing region.
 
2013-05-15 11:23:49 AM  

buckler: I saw that. The development of the bombs was fascinating, but I found myself more interested in the brilliantly simple altitude/bomb release indicator system they devised.


His work on ground penetration and "earth quake" bombs were brilliant as well.
 
2013-05-15 11:26:17 AM  
Wow. Several people in here who either admire Hitler's efforts, or would have had the U.S. whine bitterly, posture politically, and surrender at the first sign of aggression, while Hitler happily conquered Europe. You know, to avoid any loss of life, because war is the worst thing ever.

It's astonishing just how removed from reality our worldwide military supremacy has allowed the average American to be.
 
2013-05-15 11:26:54 AM  
Hell of a mission.   Even if the Nazi claims that all was back in order in 5 months, that's a hell of disruption in their war machine.

Also, a fun little mission in the game Secret Weapons Over Normandy.  Too bad no Lancaster was available in the game.  The Mosquito seemed best for the job.
 
2013-05-15 11:38:22 AM  
Was expecting a map of Africa
/Leaves dam(n) disappointed
 
2013-05-15 11:39:18 AM  

UberDave: Good article.  It appears that the crews that manned those aircraft apparently needed to wear over-sized pants to contain their enormous balls...


My great-uncle (my grandfather's brother) Bertie Bishop flew in a Lancaster as a tail-gunner.  The got hit hard one mission, and both the pilot and co-pilot were killed or too wounded to fly.

Bertie happened to be a pilot and was able to land the plane safely, holes and all.  D.F.C.

He said the 40's equivalent of "fark those farking farks, I'll go up again."  He was shot down in the raid on Essen; his remains are in the Reischwald Forest War Cemetery.
 
2013-05-15 11:42:15 AM  

show me: This was very cool, my dad made me watch the movie when I was a kid, and I didn't really appreciate it until much later. If you want to see something really weird, google "the name of the dog in dambusters"


wtf
 
2013-05-15 11:44:03 AM  

SuperChuck: TheShavingofOccam123: Astorix: TheShavingofOccam123: Astorix: the crews who did this were Canadians. Hamilton boasts one of two workable Lancasters left in the wolrld.

australians, americans, new zealanders, canadians, brits...

the Brits like to take the credit. The Americans did the daring daylight raids and had a high casualty rate. Pretty much a suicide mission.

One of the best documentaries I ever saw was The Bombing of Germany. Traces the American and British approaches to aerial bombing from 1939 to 1945. Pretty farking sad to watch the race to the bottom. I don't fault anyone for doing anything they did--like a guy in the doc said "the most immoral thing America could have done was to lose the war"--but these things have consequences, even 70 years on. OBL justified his terror attacks and the use of nuclear terror weapons due to our atomic bomb use and firebombings. Eisenhower had sense enough to tell MacArthur to fark himself about using nuclear weapons in the Korean Conflict. Eisenhower knew the world would see that America only used nuclear weapons on non-whites and we would have used them twice.

OBL talked a lot of shiat. But there's no way his terror attacks were in any way related to our tactics in an unrelated conflict 60 years earlier.


From Bin Laden's 2002 letter to America, as an example:

(xi) That which you are singled out for in the history of mankind, is that you have used your force to destroy mankind more than any other nation in history; not to defend principles and values, but to hasten to secure your interests and profits. You who dropped a nuclear bomb on Japan, even though Japan was ready to negotiate an end to the war. How many acts of oppression, tyranny and injustice have you carried out, O callers to freedom?

(d)As for the war criminals which you censure and form criminal courts for - you shamelessly ask that your own are granted immunity!! However, history will not forget the war crimes that you committed against the Muslims and the rest of the world; those you have killed in Japan...


etc...

He might have been talking shiat but he was talking shiat about using nuclear weapons on Japan. He was justifying the use of nuclear weapons in terror attacks against the United States. When a dirty bomb is set off or a nuclear explosion occurs on US soil it will be because the terrorists have justified the use of those weapons by our military's movement from refusing to bomb civilians to incinerating them by the hundreds of thousands at a time. Not that terrorist have to look far in their minds to find justification for attacking the US. If it's Tuesday, they're justified.
 
2013-05-15 11:48:15 AM  
aah, the weekly WWII story. The last "good war". Never gets old.  Notice how we don't have these stories about Vietnam, Desert Storm, Grenada, etc. etc.?
 
2013-05-15 11:51:51 AM  
Prisoner No. 6

Big whoop. Anyone ever think to remember the millions of innocent fish killed in these raids? Where's their memorial?

The poor sealake-kittens
www.inquisitr.com

/// yes peta is that insane.
 
2013-05-15 11:52:44 AM  
I'm waiting for the American film version of this, where Ben Affleck leads an ethnically-diverse group of brave, lovable misfits in a daring USAF raid to bomb the dams, rescue a stunningly beautiful American agent, and personally punch out Hitler.

fireclown: google "the name of the dog in dambusters"

Also see the name of the cat in HP Lovecrafts "rats in the walls"


Yeah stay away from some of his poetry then O_o.  Fun writer, hugely racist though.
 
2013-05-15 11:56:39 AM  

Valiente: The definition of badass, really. The effect on German war production was not in the end significant, but the effect on German morale and on how they had to shift troops to protect previously attack-immune dams and infrastructure was significant.


I have to wonder about the war production, from the article it mentions 'armies of forced laborers working around the clock' to repair the dams.  A single hydroelectric power station had 'thousands of troops, hitler youth, prisoners of war, and enslaved workers'.

By the sounds of it, that's tens of thousands of workers busy repairing the damage instead of repairing other infrastructure, building more, or making more war material.

At the cost of a few planes, an extremely cost effective attack.  Post-war analysis probably said that more attacks to KEEP the dams out of operation might have been good, but it was probably the assessment of the time that the Germans had shifted enough anti-air to make that impractical.  Of course, simply removing that much anti-air from other areas would have beneficial effects of it's own.
 
2013-05-15 11:58:17 AM  
JustGetItRight:
What the Russians did was keep Berlin from getting nuked.

If they aren't involved then the war in Europe's nowhere near finished in 1945 but the US has a wonder weapon - and yes I fully believe we would have used it.


Except that they could have wiped it off the map roughly any time after February of 1945 (and seeing what happened to Dresden).  Dresden's population wasn't big enough to rate on the huge death tolls (death tolls on an order of Japanese firebombing of Chongqing in the 1930s), but a similar attack on Tokyo killed somewhere between that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Don't forget that those bombs weren't SS-20 H-bombs, and only really flattened downtown.  Berlin was subject to Soviet artillery, which didn't have any such restriction.

/do we really need so many ways to kill each other?
//do we have to use them all?
 
2013-05-15 11:58:25 AM  

johndalek: great movie

but the dog's name isn't so politically correct anymore.


Digger please.
 
2013-05-15 11:58:37 AM  
I cant wait for the Hollywood remake replacing all the Brits with Americans.

USA USA USA
 
2013-05-15 12:19:40 PM  

Clash City Farker: I cant wait for the Hollywood remake replacing all the Brits with Americans.

USA USA USA


With the Buddy Holly/Wu Tang sound track!
 
2013-05-15 12:27:58 PM  
Skip to the Loo, my darling
 
2013-05-15 12:28:00 PM  

yet_another_wumpus: JustGetItRight:
What the Russians did was keep Berlin from getting nuked.

If they aren't involved then the war in Europe's nowhere near finished in 1945 but the US has a wonder weapon - and yes I fully believe we would have used it.

Except that they could have wiped it off the map roughly any time after February of 1945 (and seeing what happened to Dresden).  Dresden's population wasn't big enough to rate on the huge death tolls (death tolls on an order of Japanese firebombing of Chongqing in the 1930s), but a similar attack on Tokyo killed somewhere between that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Don't forget that those bombs weren't SS-20 H-bombs, and only really flattened downtown.  Berlin was subject to Soviet artillery, which didn't have any such restriction.

/do we really need so many ways to kill each other?
//do we have to use them all?


Harris tried very, very hard to destroy Berlin like his RAF destroyed Dresden and Hamburg. He failed; Berlin wasn't built the same way as those two cities and the RAF lost hundreds of bombers on repeated missions to that city. In the end it didn't matter; Berlin was a shell of a city when the Germans surrendered thanks to both the RAF and USAAF bombing nearly every square foot of it.
 
2013-05-15 12:34:29 PM  

TV's Vinnie: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times. 

Thank god the 20th century is over.

Awwwwww. You butthurt? War is Hell. Sh*t gets broken. People die.


They'll be even more butthurt when they grow up and realize that things haven't really changed.  War is hell.  People die.  Often innocent people.
 
2013-05-15 12:37:23 PM  
Father_Jack: IdBeCrazyIf: Good to see this getting attention. I don't know if I would call it a single pivot moment but this did definitely slow the war  machine enough to allow Russia to get a foothold back on the Eastern Front

um... really?

explain to me how flooding parts of western germany helps destroy divisions in the Ukraine.

besides this was after stalingrad just before kursk. russia already had its "foothold"

the anglo americans in general need to quit thinking they were anything but jr. partners in the war against hitler. the Reds did all the heavy lifting. sure, we bankrolled it and supplied it, but the russians did all the killing/dying.


95% of German casualties in WW2 were on the Eastern Front.
 
2013-05-15 12:45:13 PM  

Source4leko: TV's Vinnie: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times.

Thank god the 20th century is over.

Awwwwww. You butthurt? War is Hell. Sh*t gets broken. People die.

They'll be even more butthurt when they grow up and realize that things haven't really changed.  War is hell.  People die.  Often innocent people.



Nice to see Farkers with common sense. Maybe there's a backbone in our Nation's future after all.


Source4leko: They'll be even more butthurt when they grow up and realize that things haven't really changed.


Not guaranteed. Thanks to Pax Americana, naive idealism is often sheltered through a person's entire life.
 
2013-05-15 12:45:49 PM  
I played that game:
www.gamesdbase.com
Then I got a better version:
i2.ytimg.com

And then I got an even better version
i3.ytimg.com
 
2013-05-15 12:58:16 PM  

johndalek: great movie

but the dog's name isn't so politically correct anymore.


, please.
 
2013-05-15 12:58:21 PM  

Bendal: like his RAF destroyed Dresden and Hamburg.


My foster father, Maj. Charles E Kerwin, was the commander  of the 303rd "Hell's Angles" bomb group, 8th Air force. He was the pathfinder for the American raids on Dresden. He would argue that the British has some help.

And contrary to what the revisionists would have you believe, Dresden was a major rail hub for the movement of men and material to the Russian front. We bombed it at Stalin's insistence that we do more to directly  help on the Eastern front.
 
2013-05-15 12:58:23 PM  

yet_another_wumpus: Except that they could have wiped it off the map roughly any time after February of 1945 (and seeing what happened to Dresden). Dresden's population wasn't big enough to rate on the huge death tolls (death tolls on an order of Japanese firebombing of Chongqing in the 1930s), but a similar attack on Tokyo killed somewhere between that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Don't forget that those bombs weren't SS-20 H-bombs, and only really flattened downtown. Berlin was subject to Soviet artillery, which didn't have any such restriction.


The threat wasn't the destruction or the TNT equivalent in and of itself. It was that it was a single bomb delivered by a single bomber. American had thousands of similar bombers. And any one of them could be holding that wonder weapon which could erase a city in less than the blink of an eye.

You can stop half the bombers. But you can't stop all of them. And if the enemy only needs one, there's no place left to hide. It's a huge morale hit.
 
2013-05-15 01:08:09 PM  

smells_like_meat: Bendal: like his RAF destroyed Dresden and Hamburg.

My foster father, Maj. Charles E Kerwin, was the commander  of the 303rd "Hell's Angles" bomb group, 8th Air force. He was the pathfinder for the American raids on Dresden. He would argue that the British has some help.

And contrary to what the revisionists would have you believe, Dresden was a major rail hub for the movement of men and material to the Russian front. We bombed it at Stalin's insistence that we do more to directly  help on the Eastern front.


Help Russia in March 1945? Bull crap.

USA strategic bombing in WWII was nothing but a waste of resources and a tremendous failure. It soon became clear that the 'precision' bomb sights could not work through smoke and fog so tactics were switched to area bombing and later fire-bombing. AKA murder.
 
2013-05-15 01:17:15 PM  

Arkanaut: IdBeCrazyIf: Good to see this getting attention. I don't know if I would call it a single pivot moment but this did definitely slow the war  machine enough to allow Russia to get a foothold back on the Eastern Front

I've heard conflicting assessments of how much the raid affected the German war effort, but one side benefit was that apparently the Americans would later use the same tactics to great effect against Japanese ships.


5th AAF under Gen Kenny developed and used "skip bombing" against shipping in the SW pacific by October 1942. B-17s, B-25s and A-20s.
 
2013-05-15 01:18:02 PM  

Clash City Farker: USA strategic bombing in WWII was nothing but a waste of resources and a tremendous failure. It soon became clear that the 'precision' bomb sights could not work through smoke and fog so tactics were switched to area bombing and later fire-bombing. AKA murder.


Bomb sights weren't perfect, so we should have just packed up and gone home, right? Told Hitler to hold on tight for a few decades until satellite guidance could be invented and fine-tuned? Good thinking.

It must make the world seem much simpler, completely ignoring historical context and projecting modern ideas and methods onto historical events. I envy the happiness that your simplistic, childlike understanding of history, along with the resulting judgments, must bring you.
 
2013-05-15 01:18:51 PM  

UberDave: Good article.  It appears that the crews that manned those aircraft apparently needed to wear over-sized pants to contain their enormous balls...


And when they were doing their runs to the dams flying four-engine aircraft at basically zero feet, in the dark, with ack-ack shooting at 'em, I imagine the oversize trousers came in pretty damn handy.
 
2013-05-15 01:25:17 PM  

smells_like_meat: Bendal: like his RAF destroyed Dresden and Hamburg.

My foster father, Maj. Charles E Kerwin, was the commander  of the 303rd "Hell's Angles" bomb group, 8th Air force. He was the pathfinder for the American raids on Dresden. He would argue that the British has some help.

And contrary to what the revisionists would have you believe, Dresden was a major rail hub for the movement of men and material to the Russian front. We bombed it at Stalin's insistence that we do more to directly  help on the Eastern front.


Exactly. To quote Harris, I man I don't like but occasionally agree with,
" ... assume that the view under consideration is something like this: no doubt in the past we were justified in attacking German cities. But to do so was always repugnant and now that the Germans are beaten anyway we can properly abstain from proceeding with these attacks. This is a doctrine to which I could never subscribe. Attacks on cities like any other act of war are intolerable unless they are strategically justified. But they are strategically justified in so far as they tend to shorten the war and preserve the lives of Allied soldiers. To my mind we have absolutely no right to give them up unless it is certain that they will not have this effect. I do not personally regard the whole of the remaining cities of Germany as worth the bones of one British Grenadier.
The feeling, such as there is, over Dresden, could be easily explained by any psychiatrist. It is connected with German bands and Dresden shepherdesses. Actually Dresden was a mass of munitions works, an intact government centre, and a key transportation point to the East. It is now none of these things
"
When you start a world war, if you're on the losing end, expect to get curb-stomped.
 
2013-05-15 01:26:12 PM  
kbronsito:
if the civilians weren't rising up agains the nazi farkers in power, then they were enabling them.We can try to minimize collateral damage when you have a clear advantage... but given that victory against the Germans wasn't certain, it seems that the allies did what had to be done. We were also right to nuke Japan. (had they surrendered after the first nuke, maybe i'd feel sorry about it... but since it took two, they obviously didn't get the message from the first one).

(Bolded)  This is the same logic used by people who commit acts of terror on civilians.
 
2013-05-15 01:32:26 PM  

Clash City Farker: smells_like_meat: Bendal: like his RAF destroyed Dresden and Hamburg.

My foster father, Maj. Charles E Kerwin, was the commander  of the 303rd "Hell's Angles" bomb group, 8th Air force. He was the pathfinder for the American raids on Dresden. He would argue that the British has some help.

And contrary to what the revisionists would have you believe, Dresden was a major rail hub for the movement of men and material to the Russian front. We bombed it at Stalin's insistence that we do more to directly  help on the Eastern front.

Help Russia in March 1945? Bull crap.

USA strategic bombing in WWII was nothing but a waste of resources and a tremendous failure. It soon became clear that the 'precision' bomb sights could not work through smoke and fog so tactics were switched to area bombing and later fire-bombing. AKA murder.


Area bombing?  With one of these?

upload.wikimedia.org
www.raf.mod.uk

Many of those bomb craters you see around this viaduct are left-overs from previous bombing raids before earth-penetrating bombs were used to destroy it.

Submarine pens, V3 installations and a whole variety of very hard targets were damaged or destroyed by bombing methods other than carpet bombing with conventional or incendiary bombs.
 
2013-05-15 01:35:50 PM  
www.thedambusters.org.uk
www.thedambusters.org.uk

Butt Ugly compared to the American counterparts of the day.

encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com
 
2013-05-15 01:44:10 PM  
Military Industrial Complex. The pre-war heavy bomber advocates sold the country and the military a bill of goods. Willow Run. Aviators from Britain and USA paid the price in blood. Did you ever think about the casualty figure and the price of a bomber? The US government and tax payer paid in dollars while the industrialist cashed in. A pitiful few bombs landed anywhere near the target. German arms production peaked in 1944.
 
2013-05-15 01:49:55 PM  

MOGGEE: [www.thedambusters.org.uk image 600x400]
[www.thedambusters.org.uk image 533x400]

Butt Ugly compared to the American counterparts of the day.

[encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com image 296x170


Oh, bugger yourself with a RR crankshaft. The Lanc had a way classier look. The 17 looks like an ambitious Gooney Bird that someone tried to stuff too big a load of M2's into, then remembered at the last second they were supposed to fit a bombload into so they left a space big enough to fit a case of hand grenades and a couple sticks of TNT into.
Just trollin', I love the B17 too. But I loves me the Merlin engine Lancs even more.
 
2013-05-15 01:52:21 PM  

Clash City Farker: German arms production peaked in 1944.


Axis arms production peaked in 1941.

French production declined throughout, and Italy peaked in 1942. We were bombing them, too.
 
2013-05-15 02:01:32 PM  
It's attractive and successful Anglo-canine, Sir.  He's dead.
 
2013-05-15 02:02:02 PM  

This text is now purple: Clash City Farker: German arms production peaked in 1944.

Axis arms production peaked in 1941.


Is that right?

http://ww2total.com/WW2/History/Production/Germany/arms-production.h tm
 
2013-05-15 02:06:38 PM  

MOGGEE: Butt Ugly compared to the American counterparts of the day.


I would say the exact opposite.
 
2013-05-15 02:24:45 PM  

Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times.

Thank god the 20th century is over.


Eh, the 21st century is young.  By 1913 we hadn't had ANY world wars, after all...

I'm sure we can pull off another one.
 
2013-05-15 02:25:19 PM  

Astorix: the crews who did this were Canadians. Hamilton boasts one of two workable Lancasters left in the wolrld.


My grandfather was a tail gunner with the Dambusters, flew that raid and was with them through the end of the war, earning a DFC along the way. I wish he could have told some stories, but most of my life before he passed he spent in a bottle. =/

I really need to get to Hamilton and see that plane.
 
2013-05-15 02:26:51 PM  

Whiskey Dickens: kbronsito:
if the civilians weren't rising up agains the nazi farkers in power, then they were enabling them.We can try to minimize collateral damage when you have a clear advantage... but given that victory against the Germans wasn't certain, it seems that the allies did what had to be done. We were also right to nuke Japan. (had they surrendered after the first nuke, maybe i'd feel sorry about it... but since it took two, they obviously didn't get the message from the first one).

(Bolded)  This is the same logic used by people who commit acts of terror on civilians.


True. But just because someone else uses similar logic, it doesn't mean they are right. Whether or not to target civilians needs to be sorted out on a case by case basis. As someone mentioned before, it would have been more inmoral to lose the war against the Nazis. People working in Germany's industrial areas were building the machinery that was being used to kill people in allied and neutral countries alike.

If you for instance look at the case of El Salvador, the guerrillas there were probably justified in using some tactics that would be considered terrorism but when you look at Peru, the shinning path was not justified in using the terror tactics they used. In fact the Salvadorans who fought as guerrillas that I've met actually roll the name of the shinning path off their tongue with disdain because the SP targeted the center left, killing labor leaders and community organizers (as opposed to people who represented the right) in order to cause as much chaos and poverty as they could to bring forth their revolution. Anyone trying to improve the conditions of poverty "slightly" was a target becuase they were delaying their revolution. To the Salvadorans who were measuring their attacks to meet specific objectives, that was unacceptable. They claimed to be on the side of the poor and killing labor leaders and community organizers because they tried to help the poor by means other than armed conflict was wrong. Two communist guerrillas in slightly similar contemporary latinamerican contexts and yet one generally seems to take the moral highground over the other (and rightly so)

It can also be counterproductive for terror groups to try to maximize civilian casualties since that may erode support and sympathy for their cause. Some of the more succesful terror campaigns (like the Irish) did well by targeting police officers and soft military targets (while attempting to minimize collateral damage) to invite retaliation against civilians. This caused the civilians to get mad and the government because they don't so much care why they got retaliated, they only care about the fact that they were hurt or arrested even though they weren't directly responsable for the incident that started the cycle. Where the Irish evil for using terror tactics? (I think i would sympathize with their cause for independence and for the need to use the tactics that they did since they didn't have too many other options).
 
2013-05-15 02:28:10 PM  

D_PaulAngel: Hell of a mission and an amazing feat of engineering to boot.

Also, in case you haven't seen it... Dam Busters a la Star Wars


Awesome :)
 
2013-05-15 02:30:09 PM  

signaljammer: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times. 

Thank god the 20th century is over.


I agree.  Nothing to celebrate.  Allied policy during the war didn't spare civilians quite often.


As opposed to AXIS policy?  Please.
 
2013-05-15 02:38:35 PM  
One of the most famous stories from World War II, and of no practical value whatsoever.
 
2013-05-15 03:34:22 PM  

Clash City Farker: This text is now purple: Clash City Farker: German arms production peaked in 1944.

Axis arms production peaked in 1941.

Is that right?

http://ww2total.com/WW2/History/Production/Germany/arms-production.h tm


Read it again.
 
2013-05-15 03:40:42 PM  
what about the bombing of  Macho Grande
 
2013-05-15 03:50:57 PM  

PunGent: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times.

Thank god the 20th century is over.

Eh, the 21st century is young.  By 1913 we hadn't had ANY world wars, after all...

I'm sure we can pull off another one.


Sure we did, they just weren't called World Wars. What about the Seven Years War or the vast war against Revolutionary/Napoleonic France which went on in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and all the oceans?
 
2013-05-15 03:52:27 PM  

MOGGEE: [www.thedambusters.org.uk image 600x400]
[www.thedambusters.org.uk image 533x400]

Butt Ugly compared to the American counterparts of the day.

[encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com image 296x170]


I like the Lanc's pugnacious jaw.
 
2013-05-15 04:15:38 PM  

Five Tails of Fury: Astorix: the crews who did this were Canadians. Hamilton boasts one of two workable Lancasters left in the wolrld.

My grandfather was a tail gunner with the Dambusters, flew that raid and was with them through the end of the war, earning a DFC along the way. I wish he could have told some stories, but most of my life before he passed he spent in a bottle. =/

I really need to get to Hamilton and see that plane.


If you like heavy metal from the World War 2 era check out the RCAF museum in Trenton. They have a restored Halifax.
 
2013-05-15 04:30:58 PM  

Bendal: I've also read that the Dam Busters attacked those dams to take power away from their atomic bomb research, but the BBC article didn't mention that.


Yes, there was a very large research installation that was being powered by one of the dams

Father_Jack: explain to me how flooding parts of western germany helps destroy divisions in the Ukraine.


The intense effort to rebuild the dams took 5 months and sapped millions of labor hours away from what could have built replacement tanks for effort in the eastern front, tanks that just might have allowed Germany to redirect misguided resources from an ill attempted invasion.

Also, on technicality it wasn't even Russia who was instrumental in this war......it was the cocktails of chemicals slowly killing Hitler and stealing his mind over time. So we all owe a debt of thanks to his doctors really.
 
2013-05-15 04:38:54 PM  

Five Tails of Fury: My grandfather was a tail gunner with the Dambusters, flew that raid and was with them through the end of the war, earning a DFC along the way. I wish he could have told some stories, but most of my life before he passed he spent in a bottle. =/


Well MY grandfather started the Dambusters, and piloted all of the planes simultaneously by remote control.

Not really, though. He flew P-51s for the CACW, and had the same problem later in life that yours did...I wish I'd met him, the man was a spectacular American.
 
2013-05-15 05:06:16 PM  
How many video games has this appeared in?
 
2013-05-15 05:11:00 PM  

Lord Summerisle: PunGent: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times.

Thank god the 20th century is over.

Eh, the 21st century is young.  By 1913 we hadn't had ANY world wars, after all...

I'm sure we can pull off another one.

Sure we did, they just weren't called World Wars. What about the Seven Years War or the vast war against Revolutionary/Napoleonic France which went on in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and all the oceans?


They were pretty global in scale, but somehow lacked the gravitas that industrialization brings to the killing arts.

Interesting factoid:  the 100 Years' War was harder on Germany's population than WWI and WWII combined.
 
2013-05-15 05:30:37 PM  

pkellmey: MOGGEE: Butt Ugly compared to the American counterparts of the day.

I would say the exact opposite.


encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com

Sorry, Lads... but THIS is what a sweet looking British airframe looks like.

also
encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com

WWII would've been over quick if Harris had a few of these
 
2013-05-15 05:33:19 PM  
I met a chap named Frank Cawley a few weeks ago, flew with Guy Gibson before he led the Dambusters. I was in awe that they had met. "What was Gibson like?" I asked. He said "Gibson had a very nice wife and I liked his dog too". My Dad met Douglas Bader (almost knocked him over), I guess this is as close as i'm going to get to meeting one of my Heros. Sorry for bad spelling etc. I'm on a bus with no suspension I think.
 
2013-05-15 05:34:39 PM  

show me: This was very cool, my dad made me watch the movie when I was a kid, and I didn't really appreciate it until much later. If you want to see something really weird, google "the name of the dog in dambusters"


I think the American version changed it to Blackie.
 
2013-05-15 05:41:00 PM  

PunGent: Lord Summerisle: PunGent: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times.

Thank god the 20th century is over.

Eh, the 21st century is young.  By 1913 we hadn't had ANY world wars, after all...

I'm sure we can pull off another one.

Sure we did, they just weren't called World Wars. What about the Seven Years War or the vast war against Revolutionary/Napoleonic France which went on in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and all the oceans?

They were pretty global in scale, but somehow lacked the gravitas that industrialization brings to the killing arts.

Interesting factoid:  the 100 Years' War was harder on Germany's population than WWI and WWII combined.


wat
 
2013-05-15 05:45:56 PM  

Clash City Farker: USA strategic bombing in WWII was nothing but a waste of resources and a tremendous failure. It soon became clear that the 'precision' bomb sights could not work through smoke and fog so tactics were switched to area bombing and later fire-bombing. AKA murder.


Adolf Galland, Heerman Goering, and Albert Speer all say you're full of shait.  If in no other area, US strategic bombing devastated the German POL industry.  By mid to late 1944, the Luftwaffe still had aircraft and the Wehrmacht still had tanks.  What they didn't have was fuel - and that was a direct result of US strategic bombing.
 
2013-05-15 05:49:57 PM  

LibertyHiller: PunGent:
Interesting factoid:  the 100 Years' War was harder on Germany's population than WWI and WWII combined.

wat


Sounds like the 30 years war.  The 100 year war was between England and France (the one with Joan of Arc, IRC).

The 30 years war was a crusade where Catholics and Protestants settled their differences like Christians.  It wasn't just worse than WWI and WWII combined, it was roughly as bad as the Black Plague (the flu was worse than WWI.  Avoid, don't ask about, the plague).
 
2013-05-15 05:52:13 PM  

roughridersfan: Albert Speer, the German armaments minister, expressed amazement that the repair operations were left untroubled by further bombing raids which would have delayed the vital reconstruction and turned a nuisance into a major crisis.

The short-term plan worked, but if the Allies had thought a bit longer-term (bomb reconstruction efforts), they would have caused some big issues.


This. They needed to bomb that dam (and the area around it) that day, 2 days later, and every third day afterwards for about 2 more months, just to make sure no one got it into their silly Nazi brains that repairing/replacing the dam was considered A Good Idea. Unfortunately, the Allied air forces didn't have the numbers even then to carry out such a sustained single-target-area bombing campaign without taking away aircraft that were being used for other target areas (and one could argue that the British-inspired city strikes were a waste of resources that could have been better used to continually attack factories, oil fields, transportation infrastructure, and power-generation plants over and over until the Germans gave up trying to repair/replace them).
 
2013-05-15 06:25:41 PM  
I read the book in my early teens. Recently, I had occasion to use 2 laser pointers to determine distance in the same way the bombers achieved the precise height -- when the two dots merge, you're there.
Nobody else on the team got the reference...
 
2013-05-15 06:26:57 PM  

LibertyHiller: PunGent: Lord Summerisle: PunGent: Whiskey Dickens: Remember that time we drowned all of those civilians and Slavic forced labourers for the purpose of a morale boost?  Good times, good times.

Thank god the 20th century is over.

Eh, the 21st century is young.  By 1913 we hadn't had ANY world wars, after all...

I'm sure we can pull off another one.

Sure we did, they just weren't called World Wars. What about the Seven Years War or the vast war against Revolutionary/Napoleonic France which went on in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and all the oceans?

They were pretty global in scale, but somehow lacked the gravitas that industrialization brings to the killing arts.

Interesting factoid:  the 100 Years' War was harder on Germany's population than WWI and WWII combined.

wat


D'oh, my bad, as wumpus pointed out, I meant the Thirty Years' War.

I've got some kind of mental block about those two conflicts, I really should check myself before posting about either one...
 
2013-05-15 06:45:02 PM  
"Historian Dan Snow" is a TV presenter with a degree in history. He has done no research and has no publication record in history. On the other hand, his father is a TV presenter too, which is about the only qualification the BBC cares about.
 
2013-05-15 06:45:14 PM  

Clash City Farker: smells_like_meat: Bendal: like his RAF destroyed Dresden and Hamburg.

My foster father, Maj. Charles E Kerwin, was the commander  of the 303rd "Hell's Angles" bomb group, 8th Air force. He was the pathfinder for the American raids on Dresden. He would argue that the British has some help.

And contrary to what the revisionists would have you believe, Dresden was a major rail hub for the movement of men and material to the Russian front. We bombed it at Stalin's insistence that we do more to directly  help on the Eastern front.

Help Russia in March 1945? Bull crap.

USA strategic bombing in WWII was nothing but a waste of resources and a tremendous failure. It soon became clear that the 'precision' bomb sights could not work through smoke and fog so tactics were switched to area bombing and later fire-bombing. AKA murder.


Check the (highly supressed) pentagon reports.  Strategic bombing just doesn't work until you break out the nukes.  Ask the brits how much the blitz stopped them from fighting Germany.  The worst part of the whole thing was how many USAA pilots and crew died to attack ball bearing factories.  Ball bearing factories was thought to be a weakness in the US, but it turned out that the Germans could rebuild faster than anything really needed spare ball bearings.  About the only thing that helped at all was bombing the oil refineries.  A tiger tank might be worth 5 Shermans, but not if it's out of gas.  A less surpressed and well known example would be the Blitz on England during WWII.  The Luftwaffe was steadily attacking and defeating the RAF until one time a bomber went off course and attacked a non-military target.  England retaliated.  Hitler [allegedly] lost it [the Germans love to blame Hitler for obvious reasons.  Who knows the truth now?] and essentially changed the target of the entire bombing campaign from the RAF (to allow easy access to destroy sea defences and allow an invasion) to simply destroying England from the air.  This allowed the RAF to continue the fight (had the "so few" gotten any fewer they would have lost) and rebuild fighter command to an effective means of defence.  The obvious lesson is clear: tactical bombing destroys armies, strategic bombing loses wars.

Riddle me this: the US dropped more (conventional) bombs on Viet Nam than Germany and Japan combined.  Obviously we won that war, amiright?  The US didn't bother with strategic bombing in the Gulf War (I): all the bombing targeted actual military units and operations.  Obviously we lost that war, amiright?

Attacking civilian targets should be considered nothing but terrorism (not claiming that WWII generals should know that without any data or be held to that standard , but I think the Viet Nam era generals who had the data should).  Whatever effect on increasing morale due to slating bloodlust at home is going to be more than offset by the increased morale of the attacked (Rise and Fall of the Third Reich mentions a speech where Hitler promised to rain death upon Britain to a mass of batshait frauleines who were egging him on).  Did you consider surrendering after 9/11?  Plenty of people surrendered their freedom, but I didn't hear anybody try to surrender to Al Queda.  The British had a similar attitude toward the Blitz, and that was a relentless, ongoing attack.
 
2013-05-15 07:57:20 PM  
BBC History Magazine recently had an interview with the last surviving member of the Dambusters who is still in the UK. Here's the recording.
 
2013-05-15 08:46:18 PM  

JustGetItRight: Clash City Farker: USA strategic bombing in WWII was nothing but a waste of resources and a tremendous failure. It soon became clear that the 'precision' bomb sights could not work through smoke and fog so tactics were switched to area bombing and later fire-bombing. AKA murder.

Adolf Galland, Heerman Goering, and Albert Speer all say you're full of shait.  If in no other area, US strategic bombing devastated the German POL industry.  By mid to late 1944, the Luftwaffe still had aircraft and the Wehrmacht still had tanks.  What they didn't have was fuel - and that was a direct result of US strategic bombing.


That was more a result of losing the areas that had the fuel or through which the fuel had to transfer.
 
2013-05-15 09:53:56 PM  

yet_another_wumpus: Clash City Farker: smells_like_meat: Bendal: like his RAF destroyed Dresden and Hamburg.

My foster father, Maj. Charles E Kerwin, was the commander  of the 303rd "Hell's Angles" bomb group, 8th Air force. He was the pathfinder for the American raids on Dresden. He would argue that the British has some help.

And contrary to what the revisionists would have you believe, Dresden was a major rail hub for the movement of men and material to the Russian front. We bombed it at Stalin's insistence that we do more to directly  help on the Eastern front.

Help Russia in March 1945? Bull crap.

USA strategic bombing in WWII was nothing but a waste of resources and a tremendous failure. It soon became clear that the 'precision' bomb sights could not work through smoke and fog so tactics were switched to area bombing and later fire-bombing. AKA murder.

Check the (highly supressed) pentagon reports.  Strategic bombing just doesn't work until you break out the nukes.  Ask the brits how much the blitz stopped them from fighting Germany.  The worst part of the whole thing was how many USAA pilots and crew died to attack ball bearing factories.  Ball bearing factories was thought to be a weakness in the US, but it turned out that the Germans could rebuild faster than anything really needed spare ball bearings.  About the only thing that helped at all was bombing the oil refineries.  A tiger tank might be worth 5 Shermans, but not if it's out of gas.  A less surpressed and well known example would be the Blitz on England during WWII.  The Luftwaffe was steadily attacking and defeating the RAF until one time a bomber went off course and attacked a non-military target.  England retaliated.  Hitler [allegedly] lost it [the Germans love to blame Hitler for obvious reasons.  Who knows the truth now?] and essentially changed the target of the entire bombing campaign from the RAF (to allow easy access to destroy sea defences and allow an invasion) to simply destroying England from the air ...


I guess one could say that area bombing is terrorism. Indiscriminate bombing of a civilian population center is now a war crime, as seen currently in Syria. But WWII was a different time and a different situation. That was total war. Nothing was spared and the Allied generals were trying to end the war as quickly as possible.
 
2013-05-16 12:00:22 AM  

moku9: Mission was largely unsuccessful right? "Changed the course"; not even remotely......


Unsuccessful by what standard? Compared to a B-2 and smart bombs? Striking the German heartland had plenty of psychological effect.
 
2013-05-16 02:09:55 AM  

Five Tails of Fury: I really need to get to Hamilton and see that plane.


I remember taking a break from work to eat a bag of chips outside and looking up to the sky just in time to see it fly overhead accompanied by a Spitfire and a Hurricane. I wondered for a moment if I had travelled back in time and whether I should run for cover...
 
2013-05-16 05:57:21 AM  

gaslight: BBC History Magazine recently had an interview with the last surviving member of the Dambusters who is still in the UK. Here's the recording.


The Daily Express last week contained, in one edition, two interviews with the two elderly men, each of whom was described as the only surviving member of 617 Squadron.
 
2013-05-16 05:59:52 AM  

ImpendingCynic: Striking the German heartland had plenty of psychological effect.


Just as German bombing of London completely disheartened the British and led to our defeat? Just as the 9/11 attacks led America to open peace negotiations with Al-Qaeda?
 
2013-05-16 07:28:24 AM  

TheVeryDeadIanMartin: Five Tails of Fury: I really need to get to Hamilton and see that plane.

I remember taking a break from work to eat a bag of chips outside and looking up to the sky just in time to see it fly overhead accompanied by a Spitfire and a Hurricane. I wondered for a moment if I had travelled back in time and whether I should run for cover...


Hurricane?  Them's shiat planes for remtards on free dinners.
 
2013-05-16 09:50:07 AM  

yet_another_wumpus: Clash City Farker: smells_like_meat: Bendal: like his RAF destroyed Dresden and Hamburg.

My foster father, Maj. Charles E Kerwin, was the commander  of the 303rd "Hell's Angles" bomb group, 8th Air force. He was the pathfinder for the American raids on Dresden. He would argue that the British has some help.

And contrary to what the revisionists would have you believe, Dresden was a major rail hub for the movement of men and material to the Russian front. We bombed it at Stalin's insistence that we do more to directly  help on the Eastern front.

Help Russia in March 1945? Bull crap.

USA strategic bombing in WWII was nothing but a waste of resources and a tremendous failure. It soon became clear that the 'precision' bomb sights could not work through smoke and fog so tactics were switched to area bombing and later fire-bombing. AKA murder.

Check the (highly supressed) pentagon reports.  Strategic bombing just doesn't work until you break out the nukes.  Ask the brits how much the blitz stopped them from fighting Germany.  The worst part of the whole thing was how many USAA pilots and crew died to attack ball bearing factories.  Ball bearing factories was thought to be a weakness in the US, but it turned out that the Germans could rebuild faster than anything really needed spare ball bearings.  About the only thing that helped at all was bombing the oil refineries.  A tiger tank might be worth 5 Shermans, but not if it's out of gas.  A less surpressed and well known example would be the Blitz on England during WWII.  The Luftwaffe was steadily attacking and defeating the RAF until one time a bomber went off course and attacked a non-military target.  England retaliated.  Hitler [allegedly] lost it [the Germans love to blame Hitler for obvious reasons.  Who knows the truth now?] and essentially changed the target of the entire bombing campaign from the RAF (to allow easy access to destroy sea defences and allow an invasion) to simply destroying England from the air ...


You raise some solid points, but it's not quite that simple.  Strategic bombing, unaccompanied by invasion, as in your example of Germany vs. Britain, or the US vs. North Vietnam?  sure, you can argue it's a waste.  And, if you can take out your enemy quickly enough, as in the US vs Iraq, you don't WANT to do more bombing than you have to, since you're the one stuck with cleanup duty.

But the Allies bombing Germany in WWII, despite those Pentagon reports, WAS a valid tactic.  (just because something's in a Pentagon report, doesn't mean it's accurate.)

Scholarly thinking on WWII has gone something like "it's all we CAN do" during the conflict, to "our boys were heroes, end of story" after the war, to "bombing was counterproductive"...that's the stage you're at.

The ball bearing thing does focus on a weakness, but completely ignores the successes of the bomber campaign, cutting German supply lines...their artillery was restricted to five shells a day in many sectors by '44; they'd have had a hard time holding off Napoleonic troops with those constraints, let alone combined arms assaults.

Much of modern criticism also completely ignores the alternate scenario:  a Germany left UN-bombed.  Think of all those thousands of 88mm guns, pointed at Russian tanks, instead of Allied bombers.  All those interceptors, freed up to provide air cover for Stukas, and to shoot up Russian truck convoys.  Imagine what Speer could have done with the German economy WITHOUT having to repair bomb damage.

The war might well have dragged on another year...and given our 'Germany first' policy, we might have used a nuke on the Ruhr, instead of Hiroshima.
 
2013-05-16 10:52:44 AM  

kbronsito: Whiskey Dickens: kbronsito:
if the civilians weren't rising up agains the nazi farkers in power, then they were enabling them.We can try to minimize collateral damage when you have a clear advantage... but given that victory against the Germans wasn't certain, it seems that the allies did what had to be done. We were also right to nuke Japan. (had they surrendered after the first nuke, maybe i'd feel sorry about it... but since it took two, they obviously didn't get the message from the first one).

(Bolded)  This is the same logic used by people who commit acts of terror on civilians.

True. But just because someone else uses similar logic, it doesn't mean they are right. Whether or not to target civilians needs to be sorted out on a case by case basis. As someone mentioned before, it would have been more inmoral to lose the war against the Nazis. People working in Germany's industrial areas were building the machinery that was being used to kill people in allied and neutral countries alike.

If you for instance look at the case of El Salvador, the guerrillas there were probably justified in using some tactics that would be considered terrorism but when you look at Peru, the shinning path was not justified in using the terror tactics they used. In fact the Salvadorans who fought as guerrillas that I've met actually roll the name of the shinning path off their tongue with disdain because the SP targeted the center left, killing labor leaders and community organizers (as opposed to people who represented the right) in order to cause as much chaos and poverty as they could to bring forth their revolution. Anyone trying to improve the conditions of poverty "slightly" was a target becuase they were delaying their revolution. To the Salvadorans who were measuring their attacks to meet specific objectives, that was unacceptable. They claimed to be on the side of the poor and killing labor leaders and community organizers because they tried to help the poor by means other ...


"Don't you mean 'Shining?'"
"Shhh, d'ye wanna get sued!"
 
2013-05-16 12:57:27 PM  

dittybopper: Hurricane?  Them's shiat planes for remtards on free dinners.


I cannot disagree with that.
 
2013-05-16 01:43:29 PM  

TheVeryDeadIanMartin: dittybopper: Hurricane?  Them's shiat planes for remtards on free dinners.

I cannot disagree with that.


In case you are wondering where I dug that phrase up from:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGp4DvFEgh8
 
2013-05-16 02:47:39 PM  
"special bombs" brought out to the planes by a short bus.
 
2013-05-16 03:02:40 PM  

TheVeryDeadIanMartin: Five Tails of Fury: I really need to get to Hamilton and see that plane.

I remember taking a break from work to eat a bag of chips outside and looking up to the sky just in time to see it fly overhead accompanied by a Spitfire and a Hurricane. I wondered for a moment if I had travelled back in time and whether I should run for cover...


I've stood in the Lanc at the museum at Hamilton (they were doing maintenance and my mother-law's dad trained the bombadiers in WWII so we got an in).  Very moving to see how *small* it actually is on the inside.  Also to think how cold and noisy it would have been, as it is just metal and struts, no apparently insulation.

Also for the low low price of something like C$2000 you can go for a ride in it.
 
2013-05-16 03:10:59 PM  
HeFixesTheCable:
"Don't you mean 'Shining?'"
"Shhh, d'ye wanna get sued!"


*golf clap* nice one.
 
2013-05-16 03:34:27 PM  

ObscureNameHere: TheVeryDeadIanMartin: Five Tails of Fury: I really need to get to Hamilton and see that plane.

I remember taking a break from work to eat a bag of chips outside and looking up to the sky just in time to see it fly overhead accompanied by a Spitfire and a Hurricane. I wondered for a moment if I had travelled back in time and whether I should run for cover...

I've stood in the Lanc at the museum at Hamilton (they were doing maintenance and my mother-law's dad trained the bombadiers in WWII so we got an in).  Very moving to see how *small* it actually is on the inside.  Also to think how cold and noisy it would have been, as it is just metal and struts, no apparently insulation.

Also for the low low price of something like C$2000 you can go for a ride in it.


I've been inside a B-17 several times, and a B-25 once.   They *LOOK* big on film, but they are much smaller in real life.

Fun fact:  A small jet fighter like an F-16 can carry about the same bomb load as a B-17.
 
2013-05-16 03:43:21 PM  

kbronsito: HeFixesTheCable:
"Don't you mean 'Shining?'"
"Shhh, d'ye wanna get sued!"


*golf clap* nice one.


Hey thanks! I also see you're local. Small world!
 
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