Dambusters: A Landmark Oral History and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Buy New

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
Price: 1.78

More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading Dambusters: A Landmark Oral History on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Dambusters: A Landmark Oral History [Paperback]

Max Arthur
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 2.40 (30%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 14 July? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 3.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 5.59  

Book Description

7 May 2009

On the night of 16-17 May 1943, nineteen Lancaster bombers from 617 Squadron headed for Germany. Their mission, for which they had been trained under a cloak of absolute secrecy, was to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley and in doing so cripple the Nazi industrial war effort. It was to become one of the most famous raids of WW2.

For the first time, acclaimed oral historian Max Arthur has gathered together the voices of the 'Dambusters', including Guy Gibson, commander of the mission and Barnes Wallis, who developed the iconic Bouncing Bomb. These voices tell of the hard training and sheer bravery that went into this legendary mission. We also hear from the German civilians who suffered the attack, who speak of the devastation that was wrought in their lives. This was a raid like no other, and in this extraordinary collection Max Arthur has created an enduring record of a unique event in British military history.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Spend 30 and get Norton 360 21.0 - 3 Computers, 1 Year 2014 for 24.99. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)

Frequently Bought Together

Dambusters: A Landmark Oral History + Enemy Coast Ahead- Uncensored: The Real Guy Gibson (Soft Cover) + Dam Busters: The Race to Smash the Dams, 1943
Price For All Three: 20.11

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books; paperback / softback edition (7 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753515733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753515730
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 13.2 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Max Arthur is an oral historian who specialises in bringing together first-hand recollections of the twentieth century. He is the best-selling author of Forgotten Voices of the Great War,Forgotten Voices of the Second World War and Last Post: The Final Word from our First World War Soldiers.

Other titles include the classic work on the Falklands Campaign, Above All, Courage; Busby Babes: Men and Magic; Men of the Red Beret; The Edwardians; Dambusters and Last of the Few. His most recent title is The Road Home: The Aftermath of the Great War Told by the Men and Women Who Survived It.

His awards include Audiobook of the Year 2004 from The British Book Awards, and he has recently made two documentaries based on his books: The Brits That Went to Spain to Fight for the History Channel and The Dambusters.

Prior to becoming a writer, he served with the Royal Air Force.

Product Description


"May well rival his seminal Forgotten Voices of The Great War ... hard to put down ... His precis of the complex story of how the scientist Barnes Wallis overcame all the obstacles to breaching the Dams, in which British bureaucracy proved as daunting as German efficiency, is a masterpiece of concise storytelling" (Sunday Express)

"What a story. And I do not believe that it has ever been better told" (Stephen Fry, from the foreword)

"Not only can Arthur make people talk; he also doesn't flinch from what he hears" (Sunday Express)

"A gripping tale capturing the exhilaration of the expedition, while contrasting the sense of loss of 56 men of Bomber Command. A thrilling read for anyone with a nose for a good true tale" (News of the World)


'May well challenge his seminal Forgotten Voices of the Great War... Hard to put down' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dambuster raid comes alive 11 Nov 2008
There are many histories written about the Dams raid where you can glean the clinical facts - and there was the film ... but there's nothing like oral history to engage the imagination and bring you close to the people who were there. The Dambusters, far from being 'gung-ho' come over as men of enormous skill, courage and resourcefulness, with a strong camaraderie among the crews. Their own words ring true - some readily admit that Gibson wasn't universally popular - but none doubted his resolve and courage. The crews trained to the increasingly exacting demands by the designer of the new bomb - they recall hair-raising flying at just 60 feet, honing their bombing accuracy - and their accounts build the tension until, on the day of the raid, they learn their night's target and recall their emotions. The accounts of the flight out and the bomb runs on the dams are riveting as some aircraft and crews go down in flames - and as an added bonus, there are detailed recollections from Germans who found themselves under the breaking dams. It's a brilliant read and a great tribute to all involved in the raid, from Barnes Wallis and his work to develop the bomb, to Gibson and all his crews and ground crews of 617 Squadron. Can't recommend it enough.
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dambusters: A Landmark Oral History 5 Feb 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An event from WW2 that many will know about, however this book takes you into the very centre of the events as those who took part in or supported the mission whether air crew, ground crew, as well as Barnes Wallis. It also includes a chapter of accounts of those who were on the receiving end of the attack. The book is gripping from the start and was difficult to put down. Even more remarkable is the age of many who took part, the leaer Wing Co Gibson was in his mid 20's and others much younger. Yet without the modern gizzmo's we take for granted they showd a level of xommitment in the face of danger that is rarely seen in today's society. The mission was deemed a success, yet thios can overlook the fact that many paid the ultimate sacrifice. A book that you should have on your bookshelf.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting 11 Mar 2009
Everyone has heard about the 'Dambusters' in some way or form but not many would know what was put in to make it possible. I haven't read a book written in this style before and i thought it was a very good way of doing it, avoiding the small talk to link stories and just getting straight to the facts. There are accounts from both sides which gives you the opportunity to judge the mission on a moral and war effort stage. In my opinion one of the great operations of WWII.

A great book which will have you reading till the small hours, thoroughly recommended.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dambusters 16 Aug 2009
I found this book first class, after having been on a tour of the dams the book brought the whole experience to me. It really should be considered a classic
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living History 3 Jun 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a gift for my husband. He is very well read when it comes to war books, and so, quite hard to impress. He has really enjoyed this book,and would certainly recommend it to anyone who is interested in The Dambudters Raid. He found the 'living history' aspect especially rivetting, and felt that there is nothing to compare with hearing from the people who were actually involved. A great read, easy to dip into, but difficult to put down !!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dambusters an oral history 1 Jun 2009
fascinating record from opposing sides of the raid, really enjoyed reading it, also as I was serving in Germany in 1968 went to see the Mohne, and the rebuild showed no sign of the previous damage! Interesting sign of the times that most of the officers received 'gongs' whilst the Sgts did not!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all the witnesses 27 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read Guy Gibson's autobiography, Enemy Coast Ahead, Paul Brickhill's narrative of the Dambusters, and 617 Squadron I thought I had read everything useful on this subject. But this volume is excellent and essential to anyone trying to understand this perplexing and valiant raid. What makes this book different is that it is made up of extracts from interviews with all the players, arranged in chronological/thematic order. And this means it presents the voices of Dutch and German witnesses too, whether downstream from the dams, manning anti-aircraft stations, or finding the remains of RAF crews on the ground. A moving and four dimensional book that re-places all the actors where they were before during and after that destructive night. Much to be recommended if you wish to understand further the nature of war for all its participants.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dambusters 23 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A brilliant book, about a brilliantly carried out wartime operation. Very appropriate that it should be available on Kindle in this, the seventieth anniversary of it being carried out. If you haven't already read it, I heartily recommend it as a must read!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars bought for my husband to read on holiday.
my husbands choice, loaded onto my kindle for him to read on holiday. he enjoyed the read, but prefers the film
Published 3 months ago by babs
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of repetition.
Enjoyed the book and found the first hand accounts very informative. The issue foe me was having to read several accounts of the same incident which although from different people... Read more
Published 10 months ago by bob bigland
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book!
I have read many many books on the great Dams Raid and this book is very good. It is highly detailed and goes into the raid in its entirety.
Published 10 months ago by Guy Fleshbourne
4.0 out of 5 stars Dambusters, an inside view.
This book is different from any other that I have read on any subjectinsofar as the actual reflections of those who were there is exclusively used to give the reader an indepth... Read more
Published 12 months ago by sturat
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A new slant on a familiar story. Because it is told in their own words by people involved, it is sometimes repetitive, but it also interesting to see slight different views of the... Read more
Published 12 months ago by I. Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Dave
An excellent account through the voices of the aircrew and also the often forgotten ground crew,who enabled the raid to take place by modifying the aircraft. Read more
Published 13 months ago by david holliday
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings the raid to life
I have read many books on the Dambusters but this book brings the crews to life in a way that no mere narrative can. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Guy Giibson
This is the third one I have read about 617 Squadron but wont be the last very interesting subject always very readerable.
Published 17 months ago by BR STANIER
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I Have Read many Dambuster books this one gives a more accurate account of events from both sides, the book has given me a greater insight into what actualy happend on the raid
Published 17 months ago by Mikeyb
5.0 out of 5 stars It's oral history Jim, but not as we know it
This is a weird definition of "Oral history" since some of the accounts, most noticeably Gibson's are clearly taken from his book. Read more
Published on 12 Mar 2012 by John Fareham
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category