The ultimate account of the long-forgotten operations of RAF 617 Squadron, World War II's famous Dambusters
The ultimate account of the long-forgotten operations of RAF 617 Squadron, World War II's famous Dambusters The Dambusters were the go-to forces for dangerous precision attacks: They bombed Hitler’s prize battleship, Tirpitz, as well as rocket sites, weapon strongholds, and the dams at the heart of the industrial Ruhr; they targeted enemy leaders including Hitler and Mussolini; and they created a false fleet on D-Day, which fooled the Germans. But they also suffered brutal losses, with 75 percent of 617 Squadron killed in action by the end of the war. In this awe-inspiring book, John Nichol, himself a former RAF flight lieutenant, retraces the path of 617 Squadron’s most dangerous sorties, the ones largely lost to history. Including personal stories of the surviving Dambusters, Return of the Dambusters is a tense, poignant story of courage by men who braved death in the name of freedom.
After the Flood
Author: John Nichol
Publisher: William Collins
After the famous dams raid, thousands of equally daring missions were flown in WWII by 617 Squadron. Find out about them here, from former RAF Tornado Navigator and Gulf War veteran John Nichol. The role RAF 617 Squadron in the destruction of the dams at the heart of the industrial Ruhr has been celebrated in book, magazine and film for more than seventy years. On the 17th May 1943, 133 airmen set out in 19 Lancasters to destroy the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe dams. 56 of them did not return. Despite these catastrophic losses, the raid became an enormous propaganda triumph. The survivors were feted as heroes and became celebrities of their time. They had been brought together for one specific task -- so what happened next? Of the 77 men who made it home from that raid, 32 would lose their lives later in the war and only 45 survived to see the victory for which they fought. Few are aware of the extent of the Dambuster squadron's operations after the Dams Raid. They became the "go to" squadron for specialist precision attacks, dropping the largest bombs ever built on battleships, railway bridges, secret weapon establishments, rockets sites and U-boat construction pens. They were involved in attempts on the lives of enemy leaders, both Hitler and Mussolini, created a 'false fleet' on D-day which fooled the Germans, and knocked out a German super gun which would have rained 600 shells an hour on London. In After The Flood, John Nichol retraces the path of 617 Squadron's most dangerous sorties as their reputation called them into action again and again.
Author: Robert Owen, Steve Darlow, Sean Feast, Arthur Thorning
Publisher: Fighting High Limited
On the night of 16/17 May 1943 a select group of young RAF Bomber Command airmen carried out one of the most audacious and daring low level raids of the Second World War. Nineteen aircrews of No.617 Squadron, flying modified Avro Lancasters, each armed with a 'bouncing bomb', were detailed to attack specific dams, viewed as essential to Germany's war effort. Two were indeed breached in an extraordinary display of skill and courage, but at a cost of eight Lancasters lost. Of the 56 airmen flying these aircraft, 53 were killed and 3 were captured. In Dam Busters: Failed to Return Fighting High Publishing brings together notable Bomber Command historians to recount the lives of some of the Dam Busters who were lost that fateful night. Drawing upon family archives, official documents, wartime memoirs and letters, flying logbooks, and relative and witness recollections, and illustrated throughout with color and black and white photographs and documents, the authors piece together the extraordinary, gripping, yet ultimately tragic stories of these select young men.
Author: Alan Cooper
Publisher: Pen and Sword
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. The book covers every facet of this enthralling episode.??It also works as a poignant tribute to the 53 men who were killed on the operation, as well as the men who returned from the operation but were later killed on further sorties with 617 and other squadrons. Cooper brings together various narrative threads, focussing on stories recorded in document form and acquired on a first-hand basis to give a real insight into the daily operations of the squadron.
The Complete Dambusters
Author: Charles Foster
Publisher: The History Press
On 16 May 1943, nineteen Lancaster aircraft from the RAF’s 617 Squadron set off to attack the great dams in the industrial heart of Germany. Flying at a height of 60ft, they dropped a series of bombs which bounced across the water and destroyed two of their targets, thereby creating a legend. The one-off operation combined an audacious method of attack, technically brilliant flying and visually spectacular results. But while the story of Operation Chastise is well known, most of the 133 ‘Dambusters’ who took part in the Dams Raid have until now been just names on a list. They came from all parts of the UK and the Commonwealth and beyond, and each of them was someone’s son or brother, someone’s husband or father. This is the first book to present their individual stories and celebrate their skill, heroism and, for many, sacrifice.
Author: Tim Bouquet
The inside story of today's Dambusters, 617 Squadron RAF, at war in Afghanistan. In May 1943, 617 Squadron RAF executed one of the most daring operations in military history as bombers mounted a raid against hydro-electric dams in Germany. 617 Squadron became a Second World War legend. Nearly 70 years later, in April 2011, a new generation of elite flyers, now flying supersonic Tornado GR4 bombers, was deployed to Afghanistan - their mission: to provide close air support to troops on the ground. Tim Bouquet was given unprecedented access to 617's pre-deployment training and blistering tour in Afghanistan. From dramatic air strikes to the life-and-death search for IEDs and low-flying shows of force designed to drive insurgents from civilian cover, he tracked every mission - and the skill, resilience, banter and exceptional airmanship that saw 617 through.
Author: John Nichol, Tony Rennell
Night after night they stifled their fears and flew through flak and packs of enemy fighters to drop the bombs that would demolish the Third Reich. The airmen of the United States 8th Army Air ForceAmerican and British Bomber Command were among the greatest heroes of the Second World War, defying Hitler in the darkest early days of the war and taking the battle to the German homeland when no one else would. Toward the end of the conflict, too, they continued to sacrifice their lives to shatter an enemy sworn never to surrender. Blasted out of the sky in an instant or bailing out from burning aircraft to drop helplessly into hostile hands, they would die in their tens of thousands to ensure the enemy's defeat. Especially vulnerable were the "tail-end Charlies"---for the Americans, which meant two things: the gunners who flew countless missions in a plexiglass bubble at the back of the bomber, and the last bomber in the formation who ended up flying through the most hell, and for the British, the rear-gunners who flew operations in a Plexiglas bubble at the back of the bomber. Following their groundbreaking revelations about the ordeals suffered by Allied prisoners of war in their bestselling book, The Last Escape, John Nichol and Tony Rennell tell the astonishing and deeply moving story of the controversial last battles in the skies of Germany through the eyes of the forgotten heroes who fought them. "This is the best account that has been written of the heroic American and British bomber crews . . . the best of its kind." ---George McGovern "Rivaling the best of Stephen Ambrose's work, Tail-End Charlies gives a breathtakingly intimate look at the lives, loves, and deaths of the brave airmen of the greatest generation. This fascinating book is as valuable for its stories of joyous life on the ground as it is for its sobering tales of death in the air. You see the whole picture of the war here from the eyes of the strong young men who fought it." ---Walter J. Boyne, bestselling author of Beyond the Wild Blue "Adds new dimensions to the saga of the air war in Europe. The eyewitness accounts, reported within the context of the battle against Nazi Germany, provide a sense of the ordeals, the terror, the gore, and the heroism of ordinary men thrust into the savagery of aerial combat." ---Gerald Astor, author of The Mighty Eighth
Operation Chastise, the audacious RAF bombing raid that struck at the heart of industrial Germany on the 17th May 1943, brought catastrophic damage to the three dams that served the Ruhr Valley. Water and electricity supplies were disrupted in a key area of the manufacture of Germany's war munitions, and the consequences were disastrous. The German war effort was set back substantially, the Allies celebrated, and Dr. Barnes Wallis became a national hero as the designer of the famed 'bouncing bomb' that inflicted such damage. Considered from an Allied perspective, the Dambuster Raid was a triumphant success, not only of British engineering but also of pilot endeavor. View it from the German perspective however, and an entirely new story emerges. That is precisely what we have here. In this image-heavy publication, Helmuth Euler explores all facets of the operation in fascinating detail, offering a host of illuminating insights into this much-studied event of twentieth century history.
From best-selling author of Tail-End Charlie and Tornado Down comes this powerful and deeply moving account of Bomber Command’s 1944 Nuremberg Raid – the RAF’s bloodiest night of the Second World War
Filming The Dam Busters
Author: Jonathan Falconer, Richard Todd
Publisher: Sutton Pub Limited
The daring raid on the great dams of western Germany by Lancaster bombers of 617 Squadron in May 1943 is probably one of the best known and most widely told stories of the Second World War. In 1955 the raid was immortalized on film by director Michael Anderson in The Dam Busters, starring Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd. It became Britain's top grossing film of 1955 and in the half-century that has followed, thanks to its almost annual airing on the small screen, it has become a film classic. It is also a firm favorite with aviation enthusiasts due in no small measure to the breathtaking flying sequences featuring the Avro Lancaster. Tucked away in the Pinewood Studios archives are hundreds of rarely seen 'still' photographs from the making of the film. Including everything from storyboarding to location shots, and from the stars and personalities to the aircraft themselves, it is estimated that only about 10 per cent of these high quality pictures have ever been published before. In this book they are supplemented by stunning and previously unpublished air-to-air photographs, taken by the aircrews who flew the Lancasters on camera. Drawing on eyewitness accounts and interviews with film unit and flying personnel, Filming the Dam Busters evokes the optimistic outlook of the new postwar Elizabethan Age, when British cinema had a force and reach not equalled before or since.
The Dambusters Raid
Author: John Sweetman
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
A comprehensive account of the most audacious bombing raid of the Second World War. Operation Chastise - the Dambusters Raid, as it became known - undertaken by 19 Lancasters of 617 Squadron on the night of 16 May 1943, was the most audacious bombing raid of the Second World War. For the loss of 11 aircraft, the Mohne and Eder dams in Germany's industrial heartland were breached, and a famous if controversial victory won. John Sweetman's book is the most comprehensive account of this legendary mission, from the development of Barnes Wallis' 'bouncing bomb' (in reality a revolving depth-charge) to every moment of the raid itself, under the charismatic command of Guy Gibson, VC. It recalls a time of commitment, perseverance and sheer dogged determination in the face of dangerous and improbable odds.
Author: Max Arthur
Publisher: Random House
On the night of 16-17 May 1943, nineteen Lancaster bombers from 617 Squadron headed for Germany. Their mission, for which they had been trained under a cloak of absolute secrecy, was to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley and in doing so cripple the Nazi industrial war effort. It was to become one of the most famous raids of WW2. For the first time, acclaimed oral historian Max Arthur has gathered together the voices of the 'Dambusters', including Guy Gibson, commander of the mission and Barnes Wallis, who developed the iconic Bouncing Bomb. These voices tell of the hard training and sheer bravery that went into this legendary mission. We also hear from the German civilians who suffered the attack, who speak of the devastation that was wrought in their lives. This was a raid like no other, and in this extraordinary collection Max Arthur has created an enduring record of a unique event in British military history.
Author: John Nichol, John Peters
Publisher: Penguin UK
RAF Flight lieutenants John Peters and John Nichol were shot down over enemy territory on their first airbourne mission of the Gulf War. Their capture in the desert, half a mile from their blazing Tornado bomber, began a nightmare seven-week ordeal of torture and interrogation which brought both men close to death. In Tornado Down, John Peters and John Nichol tell the incredible story of their part in the war against Saddam Hussien's regime. It is a brave and shocking and totally honest story: a story about war and its effects on the hearts and minds of men.