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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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9096 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»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2013-05-15 11:16:48 AM  
2 votes:

cwheelie: HELP THE BOMBADIER! HELP THE BOMBADIER!


I'm the bombardier, I'm all right.
2013-05-15 10:15:27 AM  
2 votes:

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 10:08:27 AM  
2 votes:
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 10:04:47 AM  
2 votes:

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 10:01:55 AM  
2 votes:
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.
2013-05-16 10:52:44 AM  
1 vote:

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!"
2013-05-15 03:40:42 PM  
1 vote:
what about the bombing of  Macho Grande
2013-05-15 02:24:45 PM  
1 vote:

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 02:01:32 PM  
1 vote:
It's attractive and successful Anglo-canine, Sir.  He's dead.
2013-05-15 01:25:17 PM  
1 vote:

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 01:18:02 PM  
1 vote:

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 12:58:21 PM  
1 vote:

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 12:45:49 PM  
1 vote:
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 11:56:39 AM  
1 vote:

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 11:26:17 AM  
1 vote:
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 11:08:37 AM  
1 vote:
HELP THE BOMBADIER! HELP THE BOMBADIER!
2013-05-15 10:41:37 AM  
1 vote:

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 10:34:43 AM  
1 vote:

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 10:26:39 AM  
1 vote:

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 10:21:12 AM  
1 vote:
the crews who did this were Canadians. Hamilton boasts one of two workable Lancasters left in the wolrld.
2013-05-15 10:15:51 AM  
1 vote:

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 10:14:59 AM  
1 vote:

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 10:13:14 AM  
1 vote:
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 10:13:08 AM  
1 vote:

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 10:09:05 AM  
1 vote:

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 10:01:33 AM  
1 vote:
My stepdad flew on Lancasters for the Canadian Air Force, though not the dam busters.
RIP hero step dad!
2013-05-15 10:00:53 AM  
1 vote:
There was a PBS Nova episode on this a little while back.
2013-05-15 10:00:32 AM  
1 vote:
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 09:59:53 AM  
1 vote:
25.media.tumblr.com
2013-05-15 09:59:46 AM  
1 vote:
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 09:50:03 AM  
1 vote:
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"
 
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