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Dambuster Crash Sites: 617 Squadron in Holland and Germany (Aviation Heritage Trail) Paperback – 19 Jul 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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  • Dambuster Crash Sites: 617 Squadron in Holland and Germany (Aviation Heritage Trail)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Aviation; Reprint edition (19 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844155684
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844155682
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 453,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The price paid by 617 Squadron for their famous busting of the Eder, Mohne and Sorpe dams was a high one. Many of the returning crews did not make it home. This minutely researched guide to the sites where the aircraft came down in Germany and the Netherlands is illustrated with then and now photographs. --Naval and Military Press

About the Author

Chris Ward has been writing about RAF Bomber Command in WW11 since the mid nineties. He began with his highly successful Bomber Command Squadron Profile series of spiral-bound publications. It was during this period that Andreas Wachtel contacted Chris for information for a book he was writing, and the two became the closest of friends, to the extent that they regard each other as family. When Chris began working on his first major work, Dambusters, The Definitive History, which was published by Red Kite in 2003, Andreas took on the initial research in Germany and Holland. In this way Chris and Andreas made available to others the Dams raid crash sites of Maudslay and Barlow, which had never previously been identified, and they also publicised the scene of Astell's crash, which is maintained by a local historian. Through this research Chris was able to correct long-held misconceptions about the circumstances of the crashes. Chris was the first to research in depth the events of the Dortmund-Ems Canal disaster, which took place four months after the dams. He and Andreas discovered the crash sites of Holden, Allsebrook, Wilson and Divall, which had never previously been identified, let alone documented and surveyed. In 2013 a number of historians in the German town of Nordhorn released a book about the air war as experienced by the local community of Bentheim on Germany's border with Holland. The inspiration for this book, which is a massive tome involving hundreds of hours of work, was Chris's account of Holden's crash on the farm of the Hood family, which resulted not only in the deaths of the eight-man Lancaster crew, including four members of Guy Gibson's Dams crew, but also Frau Hood. 70 years to the day after this tragedy, on Sunday 15th September 2013, Chris and Andreas were guests of honour at a civic reception in Nordhorn to release the book. There was also a ceremony at the crash site beside the Hood farmyard, attended by the whole local Hood family, local dignitaries, the authors of the book and many interested spectators. Another Chris Ward first was his enquiry into the events on the German side during the final attack by 617 and 9 Squadrons on the Tirpitz in a Norwegian fjord in November 1944. Kurt Schulze, who was a pilot on the nearby fighter airfield at Bardufoss at the time, sent Chris a copy of the transcripts of the German Courts Martial, which took place six weeks after the loss of Tirpitz to apportion blame. Chris translated them, and devoted an entire chapter in his original book and the P&S update to the reasons behind the German failure to intercept the approaching Lancaster force. Chris has since worked on a series of books for P&S detailing the histories of the bomber groups. Those on 3, 4, 5 and 6 Groups have just been joined by his latest, 1 Group. He is currently working on an updated series of Bomber Command Squadron Profiles, which P&S have undertaken to publish in hardback.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A well researched and informative book; it tends to help end the, possibly somewhat morose, interest in where most of those who did not return met their fate. It leaves me with the impression that there was insufficient research and data on the location and routes of power lines, as several crews met their fate this way. Possibly a result of how quickly the training for the raid had to be but nevertheless a fundamental requirement of low flying at night in enemy territory? The only very slight criticism/observation that I would make is that as the book covers 617 squadron in general, not just the dams raid, it has the glaring omission of Guy Gibson's crash site at Rheydt, in Holland.
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Format: Paperback
Having a keen interest in WWII avaition i was very keen to read this book and go to as many sites as possible.The stories about the pilots and crews is covered in some detail.It also gives the reader an idea of which sites are more worth visiting than others,a lot in Germany won't have memorials.Finding the crash site of Astell was very rewarding because it does have a memorial and its in Germany,however the nearby museum also mentioned in the guide is only open on the weekend,so my Tuesday visit ended in disappointment.The guide also takes you to the Dormund Emms canal,617's next mission after the dams which resulted in many aircraft being lost.
The main problem i had was the genral directions,they are only given from one direction,not many places are given road names so trying to find places with satnav was much harder than it needed to be,the Les knight site in Holland had completly the wrong road name,i spent hours up and down that road !So my advice would be do some location research first.
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Format: Paperback
This book intrigued me as part of my (increasing) library of Dambuster material, and is the work of an author who clearly retains the respectful enthusiasm for the topic. I was not disappointed.

Understandably, much of the material to date discusses the tactical and human endeavour involved [or even the canine sacrifice too!] and the subsequent post-raid acknowledgement.

This account however, provides an enthusiast with the account of those who did not return and with the road directions prompts a journey to the dams returning via these sites. See you on the road!
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Although I have been to 2 Dams raid crash sites, this book gives detailed and accurate information of various Dams raid crash sites such as Hopgood, Ottley, Astell, Maudslay and many others. If your thinking of taking a trip to Europe to look for WW2 bomber crash sites then this book is indeed very helpful.
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A vital piece of kit for anyone wishing to visit the crash sites of the Dambuster Lancasters of 617 Squadron, Royal Air Force, in World War Two.
I have visited the sites and found this book, invaluable.
The book also covers later exploits of the squadron.
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