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In what often feels `now' like another lifetime, in a previous career in the British Army, I once occupied a splendid married quarter overlooking the Möhnesee and from where (in the winter months when the leaves had fallen) we could see the very structure made famous by the exploits of the Dambusters which is the subject of this book. I often took my family for a walk along the road which runs along the top of the dam and have two abiding memories from that time. Firstly, the original and very distinctive twin towers were still intact and secondly, the repaired dam wall was easily discernible against the original material.

As a scuba diving instructor based well inland in what was then Western Germany, we visited many of region's reservoirs - often in search of a mythical Lancaster bomber which we believed had crashed into the water. After many a fruitless search, 1977 was a year of such drought that all the reservoirs were reduced to a trickle of water which was not deep enough for any water sports. That dry summer, however, did allow us to survey each of those reservoirs and finally answer the question of whether or not a Lancaster aircraft existed. There were none. But I digress!

Another in a series of what might be described almost as "booklets" by Osprey Publishing, this one covers the subject of the Dambusters in fascinating detail and includes much that I did not know already. With refreshing insights into such pivotal personalities as Barnes Wallis and Guy Gibson plus additional details of each dam and the three-dimensional ground plan models with which the aircrews had to work and plan, this work answers a good many questions about one of the most successful air raids of all time.

I found the explanation of the Dann Bombsight to be particularly revealing. Each `bouncing' bomb had to be released at exactly the correct height and exactly the right distance from each target in order to be effective and the device produced by Wing Commander Dann was simplicity itself.

Nineteen aircraft took part in the raid, each manned by a seven-man crew. Of the 133 men, therefore, who took part in the operation, no fewer than 37 were later decorated for their role. The decorations awarded included; One VC (Victoria Cross), six DSOs (Distinguished Service Order), fourteen DFCs (Distinguished Flying Cross), another fourteen DFMs (Distinguished Flying Medal) and two CGMs (Conspicuous Gallantry Medal). Guy Gibson's and all his crew were decorated with Gibson receiving the VC, his five officers each receiving the DFC and the lone sergeant the DFM.

Altogether, of considerable interest to those who want to know more about this extraordinary exploit from WW2.

NM
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on 12 November 2013
Wanted to read something of the Dam-busters raid on the 2013 anniversary and bought this. There is nothing wrong with the book and it is a good read but it left me wanting to know more - my plea perhaps would have been for a bit more detailed content.
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on 1 December 2013
No detail is too trivial for the enthusiast. The facts of the inspiration and technical excellence involved at all levels of this raid speak for themselves. The ultimate sacrifice made by almost half of the crews however was a shocking price to pay for the small dent it made in the German war machine. The success of the mission enabled Wallis's ideas to be taken seriously and the subsequent involvement of 617 Squadron in delivering his Tallboys and Grand Slams was even more vital strategically but in, terms of morale boosting, Operation Chastise is unsurpassed.
Should be compulsory reading for people who denigrate the achievements of Bomber Command.
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on 11 November 2011
I have read lots of Ospreys, but this is the first of the Raid series that I have seen. I enjoyed the 'small' scale of the events - it may be famous, but it is still a single mission by a single squadron. As usual with Osprey a nice debunking of myths. Given that I had seen the film that oversold the raid and articles that dismissed it, this is a good balance.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 September 2013
The one problem with buying Kindle books is that you can easily forget to check the length. This is too short.

The author glosses over the development of the weapon used in the raids. He does, however, go into great detail about the raid itself. For once the maps and illustrations have transferred well to the Kindle including highly detailed maps of the attack approach to all three damns (although the second and third have been swapped round, each heading the wrong chapter!)

There is a lot of myth busting here. Not just the familiar "It didn't do as much damage as they hoped". Much of the propaganda story and the hype of the film is undermined, as are several other books which seem to have relied too much on the government's propaganda versions at the time.

All of the main characters are introduced with sufficient detail for the reader to engage with them, but also sufficient economy to avoid the mini-biographies clogging up the text.

The style is fluid and an easy read.

I just wish the author had spent as much time on the development of the bombs and the delivery systems as he did on the initial concept and the raid itself. That would have been more interesting, and resulted in a volume of the length that I was expecting!
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on 29 June 2013
good book recomend to all friends especially those who like me were mermbers of wartime aircrew''
Though I was never a member of 617, brought back memories
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on 23 January 2013
A very informative and interesting account of the famous raid. Some fascinating detail and revelations that are missing from some accounts. Recommended.
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on 27 March 2014
Delivery swift and accurate. Easy selection options . Would recommend ordering via Amazon as it is easy and simple to use
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on 29 September 2014
Despite the book missing a few technical details, generally I enjoyed reading this book, if a little short.
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