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Dambusters Raid

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Martin Harris15/06/2019 21:06:25
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Posted by thomas oliver 1 on 13/06/2019 20:35:57:

Not much seems to be recorded about the history of 617 Sq. after the Dams raid.

Although it probably wouldn't be considered a heavyweight historical record, my copy of Paul Brickhill's The Dam Busters (Pan Books paperback) devotes about 150 of its 250 odd pages to 617's post Chastise operations

Martin McIntosh17/06/2019 21:04:26
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Martin H, you beat me to it. This is a fascinating book and, as you say, devotes most of the text to what they did after the dams raid. Obviously a lot of it is guessed at since this did not become declassified until 1993 (50 years after). Lots about a new type of bomb sight which could not be named at the time but I would think that it was the Sperry bomb sight computer to enable accurate dropping of the Tallboys and Grand Slams.

I visited the Mohne and Eder dams in 1975 when I went to Switzerland to spectate at the F3A world champs, spending the next week in Germany. You could just about make out where the repairs were made. They are a major tourist attraction. I do not speak German but the captions to the photos of Guy Gibson there were obviously none too complimentary.

Jon, I have lent my copy of Paul Brickhill`s `The Dambusters` to Sid in our club but if you ask I am sure that he would let you have it.

J D 817/06/2019 22:04:46
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The bombsite use by 617 squadron was similar but more sophisticated than the Sperry. It was called the SABS, Stabilizing Automatic Bomb Site. It took in information supplied from most of the crew to the bomb aimer.

Only 617 operated it as it took a lot of practice and skill to get results. Another problem was the aircraft had to have a ten mile straight and level run to the target, not nice when someone is shooting at you.

With allied local air superiority, to get all aircraft over the target in as short a time as possible 617 would circle the target like Indians around a waggon train and at a given signal all head for the target. Aircraft would fly at different levels and a slight time delay so as not to collide and hopefully not drop bombs on one another.

Martin McIntosh17/06/2019 22:46:38
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I mistakenly thought that SABS meant Sperry Automatic Bomb Sight. When I was a kid (still am at heart) you could buy all sorts of things like these as war surplus. Full of motors and gears.

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