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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 153
    More: Hero, Dam Busters, WWII, RAF, surgical strikes, bombing raids, Red Army, heavy bombers  
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9078 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 May 2013 at 9:51 AM (1 year 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
 
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