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.
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!
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.
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.
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 same event or person, eg Guy Gibson.
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. A truly good read and more informative then just reading one historical account through the eyes of an historian.
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 !!
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.
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!