Warfare in News
Posted on Friday 22nd March
To help you find out more about Operation Chastise as it was known, Pen and Sword Books have a selection of titles which deal with all aspects of the raid. As a general introduction to the story, you could consider the Dambusters bookazine.
For an indepth overview of the Operation, from planning through the aftermath, Dambusters - The Forging of a Legend is a comprehensive description of the raid and also gives us a complete record of what 617 Squadron did during the rest of the war.
Another title which gives a good narrative of the raid, with eye witness accounts from both the Allied and the German camps, is Alan W Cooper's The Men Who Breached the Dams.
If you are interested in original photography from 617 Squadron throughout
the war, take a look at Chris Ward and Andy Lee's Images of War book, which has rare photographs of 617 Dambuster Squadron At War. This is also available as a DVD slideshow.
Being such an iconic raid, there has inevitably been an enormous amount of analysis and theory published about the attack. Seventy years on, Alan Cooper delves through this material, focusing on first hand accounts, to bring us a timely reappraisal: The Dam Buster Raid.
Whilst historians can always play their part in describing events, nothing provides a greater insight than first hand accounts. Colin Higgs and Bruce Vigar have produced a book based on interviews with veterans: Voices in Flight: The Dambusters Squadron.
With extensive support from the families of the individuals involved there are two great biographies of those who took part in the raid: Firstly Melvin Young, The Dambuster Who Cracked the Dam (coming soon in paperback). Secondly, Breaking the Dams looks at the raid through the eyes of David
Maltby and his crew, in a volume compiled by his nephew.
Guy Gibson was the legendary leader of 617 squadron at the time of the Dambuster raid. He would later be awarded a VC for his role and enjoyed a celebrity status. Guy Gibson: Dambuster gives us a fascinating insight into his life and sheds new light on the controversial circumstances surrounding his premature death.
Whilst the raid destroyed two dams, created floods which destroyed many factories and killed hundreds of workers, its greatest success was probably in terms of morale. However the 617 Squadron suffered significant losses during the raid which are detailed in the excellent Dambuster Crash Sites.
The Dam Buster Raid(Hardback - 216 pages)
by Alan Cooper
Seventy years ago, 133 airmen of 617 Squadron, later known as the Dambusters, set out to destroy the Ruhr Dams in Germany. This one operation amongst many carried out by Bomber Command has become one of the most well known in the whole history of WWII. Indeed, a very successful film was made about it which became a classic, etching the dramatic events of the Dambuster raids in the minds of young and old alike.… Read more...
Of further interest...
The Men Who Breached the DamsThu 9th May
Alan W Cooper looks back on the night of the attack on the Ruhr Valley Dams by 617 'Dambuster' Squadron on 16/17 May 1943. Read article...
Dambuster Crash Sites - The Men Who Didn't Come HomeFri 17th May
Chris Ward and Andreas Wachtel describe the crash sites of some of the men who took part in the Dambuster Raid and did not return. Read article...
Dambuster - George 'Johnny' JohnsonThu 9th May
Authors Colin Higgs and Bruce Vigar present the story of Pilot Officer George Johnson's experience of the Dambuster Raid, in his own words. Read article...
Dambuster Guy Gibson VC DSO DFCWed 16th May
Extract from Dambuster: The Life of Guy Gibson VC DSO DFC by Susan Ottaway and reproduced by permission of Pen and Sword Books Ltd. Read article...