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This is the story of a single, daring bombing raid that captured the imagination of the world. Carried out by a handful of skilled air crew, who were prepared to risk their lives in attacking an impossible target.
It was 1943. The war in Europe hung in the balance. Germany still occupied the whole mainland of Europe, with its immensely powerful armies that stood secure and unassailable behind the thousand miles of fortifications known as the Atlantic Wall.
The Allies, Britain and the U.S., were in no position to break through these fortifications. The only offensive strategy available to them was to bomb from the air. The RAF went by night, with its tough, battle hardened Lancaster squadrons. The U.S. 8th Air Force went by day with its fleets of heavily armed Flying Fortresses. Their task was to bomb the German industrial machine to a standstill.
Throughout 1942 and 1943 the damage inflicted on the German arms’ industry was immense, but so were the losses in men and aircraft. The U.S. Air Force for example, had lost over 500 aircraft and 5,000 young men.
The decision was taken to strike powerfully at single targets that could have an overwhelmingly decisive effect on the German war effort. Thus was born the idea of THE DAMBUSTERS RAID. If bombers could breach 3 major dams in North Germany, it would deprive a whole swathe of German industry of the water it needed. There was a problem though, no conventional bomb could breach the dams.
The bombers would have to fly in at low level, at a precise speed and height, right into the barrels of the German guns, to place a unique, spherical bouncing bomb onto the surface of the water, so that it would skip, like a pebble, across the water and slam into the face of the dam as it exploded.
Nothing like it had ever been done before. This is the story of THE DAMBUSTERS RAID.