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The Dam Busters: (Pan Military Classics Series) [Paperback]

Paul Brickhill
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Aug 2009 Pan Military Classics

On 17th May 1943 nearly 350 million tonnes of water crashed into the valleys of the Ruhr, when the Lancasters of 617 Squadron breached the giant Moehne and Eder Dams with colossal 'blockbuster' bombs.

The Dam Busters is the story of that raid and the squadron who carried it through. It tells how they took out the V3 rocket weapon and destroyed the Tirpitz in a Norwegian fjord. Again and again, the crews of 617 Squadron Bomber Command used their flying skills, their tremendous courage and Barnes Wallis' highly accurate bombs to deal devastating blows to Nazi Germany. This story is one of the classics of the Second World War, a massive bestseller that became a film.


Frequently Bought Together

The Dam Busters: (Pan Military Classics Series) + Reach for the Sky: Story of Douglas Bader, D.S.O., D.F.C. (CASSELL MILITARY PAPERBACKS) + Enemy Coast Ahead- Uncensored: The Real Guy Gibson (Soft Cover)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (21 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330509950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330509954
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 369,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Paul Brickhill was born in 1916 in Australia, and was a fighter pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force before becoming a Fleet Street journalist and one of the first British journalists to enter the Russian Zone of Germany. His various war books achieved immediate success. He died in 1991.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It wasn't all bouncing bombs.......... 14 Feb 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the story of the formation and operations of 617 squadron, from it's first, very famous dam busting mission, through to the end of the war. Many people believe that the dam busting mission was all there was to this squadron, but they went on to perform some remarkable feats of airmanship and precision bombing. The development and use of Barnes Wallis' other great bombs, the Tallboy and the ten ton Grand Slam, are described in some detail. Dropping one bomb from 18,000 feet and hitting the target is a little bit old hat with today's laser guided smart bombs, but these guys were doing it without any of todays technology.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best WWII bomber book you'll read this year 1 July 2009
Format:Paperback
I first read this when I was about 10 years old. Since then I've read it literally countless times and every time I enjoy it. If I had not read this book I would not be typing this review at my desk on 54 Squadron at RAF waddington (when I should be writing annual reports instead!). A lot of books/films about the Dambusters start a few weeks before the raid and finish as the last aircraft lands - this is the full story from Barnes Wallis' original idea through to the attacks carried out by 617 (and other squadrons)in the latter days of the war. It is a superb testament to the skill and bravery of all involved - as well as exposing a lot of the bureaucracy that had to be overcome to get the bombs made. Whether you've seen the film or not you will enjoy this book - follow it up with a visit to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight to see their gorgeous (flying) Lancaster and it really puts it in perspective.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WW2 Heroes 5 Feb 2009
By Magic Lemur VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
If you've ever seen The Dam Busters on tv, this is the book of it and it's brilliant fun reading about the exploits of Barnes Wallis and 617 squadron and not just for the bombing of the Merner and Eder dams.

Most of the book is dedicated to the Dambusting but, to be fair, it is the title! The bombing raid involved the now legendary bouncing bomb and crack pilots to bomb the two dams. Apparently the bombing caused industrial production to slip 20% one month and so was crucial to ending the war early as it deprived Germany of many man-hours of production.

The rest of the book I found more interesting as it moves onto more unfamiliar territory. Barnes Wallis, who designed the bouncing bomb, also designed 'Tall boys' and 'Earthquake' bombs which did serious damage to Nazi Germany. The book also details the bombing of the Tirpitz, and a bombing where 617 squadron bombed a French factory and intentionally left the canteen (where the workers were) untouched!

The technology of Pathfinding Mustangs and Earthquake bombs meant highly accurate bombing raids years ahead of their time and meant the war was ended sooner rather than later.

This book is a fascinating read and good for anyone who admires heroism and ingenuity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a gripping read 6 Jun 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's been 45 years since I read this book. I was pleased at how much I remembered, which has to be a testimony to the clear expression of the author. I still found the account totally gripping, quite humbling, and well balanced. The brilliance of Barnes Wallis, the leadership of Cochrane and the other officers, and the raw courage of the aircrews are all there without being overstated or undersold.

It should be compulsory reading for the study of twentieth century history.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dam Busting and Tear Jerking 2 Jan 2007
By Jay
Format:Paperback
This is the story of the formation and operations of 617 squadron, from it's first, very famous dam busting mission, through to the end of the war. I recently watched Band of Brothers and realized that our British boys were as brave...I also recently visited the River Kwai and you sense how brave our soldiers were in the face of adversity. Read Dam Busters and you will now what I am writing about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic! 8 Dec 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm delighted to see that this original has been reprinted. I read it first when I was 10 years old, an old Pan paperback belonging to my parents with a rather dodgy illustration of a Lancaster on the cover. I was captivated by the whole saga of 617 Squadron and have yet to find a more complete, and illustrated, history. Lancaster: The Second World War's Greatest Bomber is also a brilliantly absorbing and sobering piece of work that I thoroughly recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dam Busters Review 6 Mar 2011
By Albano
Format:Hardcover
I have read a french edition of this book 30 years ago, and I was impressed by the facts it refers. The original edition i have bought now it's not a first edition but a second printing from the 50's in excellent condition. A book to recommend
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the dam busters 19 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback
Still as great as when I read it many years ago, the history of 617 Squadron, Royal Air Force. This was life at the sharp end, to be dedicated to those wonderful aircraft,the men who flew them and those who kept them flying. "Lest we forget".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dam Busters book
The Dam Busters, by Paul Brickhill.
Excelent book, Author is ex RAF bomber and fighter aircraft. Read more
Published 13 months ago by brian Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dam Busters
this was the definitive book on the subject for so many years, and was excellent, taking the reader back to the days of 1943. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Ellen Campbell Beare
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
I had lost my original copy of this book and the anniversary of this most audacious raid reminded me to try and find a 2nd hand copy. Delivered promptly and in good condition. Read more
Published 14 months ago by JULIAN CROUCH
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring read.
Bought for 1p to replace my lent and lost original. Has inspire me to research Barnes Wallis more thoroughly. Read more
Published 15 months ago by R. Hart
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting reading
soon as you start reading it it is hard to put down., i would recomend the book to any one.
Published 16 months ago by liz
5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT READ!
I bought this for my husband as he'd read one similar as a school boy which he'd really enjoyed. This version was equally as enjoyable with lots of additional information and he... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Lesley
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration, perspiration and bravey
As a child of the sixties I loved the daring tales of the RAF. The ceiling of my terraced bedroom was festooned with (Spitfires (of course)), Hurricanes and Lancasters. Read more
Published 21 months ago by J. Brennan
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dam Busters
Bought as a Christmas present for my husband. He'd already read lots of WW2 material about this particular raid, but found this had lots more in it than he'd previously known. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Matron38
5.0 out of 5 stars Always a great read.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and more so as I am an obsessed fan of Guy Gibson. What a great Squadron.
Published 22 months ago by KABUKI
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than the Dambusters
I have literally just finished reading this fantastic book. Before reading it I thought to myself "hmmm not a very bulky book about an iconic Squadron". Read more
Published on 30 Aug 2012 by M JERVIS
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