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SIMON CRAGG02/12/2020 23:41:23
684 forum posts
5 photos

I might have missed it, but the bomb was also given a "spinning" motion before release. Never going to be a perfect programme, but with young Dan fronting it, was always going to be good.

Martin Harris - Moderator02/12/2020 23:58:52
9795 forum posts
264 photos

You missed it. Agreed it wasn't bad though and I didn't know about Guy Gibson's incident on the day of the failed test.

There was a clip of a "Lancaster" dropping a test bomb, that looked very similar to a Mosquito but it didn't really detract from the overall interest.

Edited By Martin Harris on 03/12/2020 00:03:23

Simon Chaddock03/12/2020 01:33:29
5852 forum posts
3104 photos


Mosquitos did drop the smaller "Highball" 950 lb bouncing bomb. A Mossie could carry 2. Intended as an anti shipping device, e g Tirpitz moored in a fiord surrounded by anti torpedo nets. Developed at the same time as "Upkeep". Never used operationally.

Colin Leighfield03/12/2020 08:07:31
6086 forum posts
2557 photos

Many of us must have read Gibson’s classic book “Enemy Coast Ahead” in years gone by. Last year it was re-published in association with the RAF Museum. James Holland has written a new foreword which adds personal information about Gibson up to the fatal Mosquito mission only 16 months after the dams raid, also extended picture captions by Robert Owen. I can’t recommend it too highly and if it is possible to increase the huge respect that we have for Gibson and his men, then reading this again and adding to it Max Hastings recent work “Chastise”, do exactly that. I also mentioned before the book “M for Mother”, which was the Lancaster flown by Gibson’s number two John Vere “Hoppy” Hopgood. It was written by Jenny Elmes, his niece and it really adds to the sense of personal tragedy in the heroic sacrifice of the young men who died on that night. Particularly the first-hand knowledge of what was happening inside that Lancaster from the two survivors in those last few minutes is amplified by an interview with the German anti-aircraft gunner on one of the two dam-towers who brought the Hopwood plane down. Your heart goes into your mouth.
Dan Snow has clearly used Hastings’ book as the inspiration for this so far excellent series and the interviews with Hastings that it features add authenticity to it. It’s the best informed programme on the dams raid to date, reading the books adds so much more.

Former Member03/12/2020 11:01:40
1018 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Martin McIntosh03/12/2020 22:22:29
3703 forum posts
1294 photos

With the last episode just watched I was very impressed with the treatment of the raid, far outclassing anything previously aired.

I was rather young when the film came out and it left a lasting impression on me. I then discovered that my father had a paperback copy of Paul Brickhill`s book in which the dams raid only took up about the first quarter, the rest concerning the Tallboy, Grand Slam, mechanical computerised bomb sights and of course the sinking of the Tirpitz. I read it at least three times and recently managed to get another copy which is out on loan.

The film makers and author had to guess at many details such as the actual shape of the mines because due to the secrecy act the true information was not released until 1993.

Former Member03/12/2020 23:18:03
1018 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Stuart Quinn-Harvie 104/12/2020 00:26:06
126 forum posts
88 photos

Frankly, if you want to tell it "Like it is" the dog's name is as nothing compared to the outright obfuscations, distortions and straight up untruths in the original film. If it's going to make your blood boil to change the dog's name but it's perfectly all right to credit Gibson with thinking up the idea of the spotlights, you might want to have a think about what's important.

As anyone who has read Gibson's memoir knows, he was no "Hail Fellow Well met" as portrayed by the film: he was a warrior, a bloody good one and one determined to persue that calling.  The bombs were still top secret when it was made, and so are incorrect and as has been pointed out there are other distortions. These are distortions of MOMENT, of IMPORT. It MATTERS who came up with one of the ideas that made the raid possible. It MATTERS that a determination to approach the war as something that must be prosecuted determinedly and without care for the niceties of life, not treated like a good old Jolly. It doesn't matter whether someone changes the name of the dog as long as that changed name is still used as a codeword.





Edited By Stuart Quinn-Harvie 1 on 04/12/2020 00:28:19

Edited By Stuart Quinn-Harvie 1 on 04/12/2020 00:29:53

Toni Reynaud04/12/2020 06:24:05
459 forum posts
88 photos

We parked our motorhome a mile or so from the Mohne Dam a few years ago. We cycled around and across the dam and I was intrigued to find that there is a Dambusters Museum near the southern end of the dam. Time heals a lot, when those on the receiving end of that event allow such a place to be established.

leccyflyer04/12/2020 07:44:53
1752 forum posts
349 photos

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Max Hastings and will get his book for what I am sure was a great read, based on the reviews here. I think that the one thing that the programme glossed over somewhat is that, in terms of achieving what was intended, namely closing down the Ruhr, the ultimate results of the raid fell far short of that.

One small segment of the programme featuring Hastings mentioned that and correctly identified that further raids on the repair works might have ultimately yielded those results. Such raids on the repairs need not have been using the Upkeep bombs, or methods, since high altitude "precision" bombing may have been effective.

The nonsense about the dog's name crops up every single time the film is mentioned. You could set your calendar by it.

Colin Leighfield04/12/2020 08:26:06
6086 forum posts
2557 photos

In a programme like this there’s bound to be some “glossing-over” because of time restrictions but at least the failure to follow up is brought out for the first time publicly. Hastings’ book covers it at length and it reveals how Harris’s flaws were probably the key factor in failing to recognise the strategic importance of sustaining the pressure on the Möhne by conventional follow-up raids to suppress the re-construction.
I don’t think we can blame Dan for not bringing in the dog’s name, he wouldn’t have been allowed to. However Hastings doesn’t flinch from it in the book and sets it in the context of the time. He also makes clear how massive the damage really was, the Germans called it the “Möhne Katastrophe” for good reason. If the RAF had disrupted or prevented the re-construction then the sustained consequences on German industry would have been far greater.
The deep feelings aroused in my by the sheer courage and sacrifices of these young men remain with me. Of the 77 that came back only 48 survived the war, including the 3 who were POWs. This is a profound story in so many ways, it rightfully lingers on.

Peter Miller04/12/2020 08:32:19
11771 forum posts
1416 photos
10 articles

Talking of the bomb causing damage if the aircraft was too low. How many of you have seen the film of the American twin engined bomber where the bomb bounced and took the entire tail of the aircraft?

J D 804/12/2020 08:48:32
1765 forum posts
88 photos

At my local airfield, Withybush Pembrokeshire there is on display outside the caff a Mosquito dropped Highball [ inert ] that was recovered from a field next to an old railway tunnel [ disused even in the 40's ] that was the target for experimental use of the weapon to see if the Highball could be delivered down the tunnel.

Some must have gone down the tunnel as there are impressive chunks out of the brickwork.

Martin, I recon the true shape of the mine came much sooner as my plastic kit Revell Dambuster had the right shape and was made in the 60's

Plus 1 on Paul Brickhill's book, a great read.

Seen that film of an American aircraft dropping a bouncing bomb to low,  A Martin Marauder I think.

Edited By J D 8 on 04/12/2020 08:52:58

Maurice Dyer04/12/2020 09:08:42
173 forum posts

Stood next to one of the dummy bombs at East Kirkby when I went riding in Just Jane.

What an immense undertaking, and what heroes of Britain's Greatest Generation. It always makes me smile when I hear people today saying they are so stressed out because their mobile/facebook/ account has froze or their internet keeps freezing........!

Real men. Thank you.


GrumpyGnome04/12/2020 09:10:17
686 forum posts
165 photos

I thought it was excellent. Not perfect, but close.

Anyone know what Dan S was in ? I think it was a Diamond Aircraft design but cannot find one that looks the same...


Former Member04/12/2020 09:10:27
1018 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Colin Carpenter04/12/2020 09:52:21
665 forum posts
36 photos

Either a DA 42 or 62. Not sure which.

John Lee04/12/2020 09:54:11
857 forum posts
109 photos
Posted by GrumpyGnome on 04/12/2020 09:10:17:

I thought it was excellent. Not perfect, but close.

Anyone know what Dan S was in ? I think it was a Diamond Aircraft design but cannot find one that looks the same...


I think it was a Diamond DA42 M-NG operated by DEA Aviation Ltd who are based at Gamston Airfield.

GrumpyGnome04/12/2020 10:27:55
686 forum posts
165 photos

Cheers John,

an interesting shape!


maurice northcott04/12/2020 11:04:23
109 forum posts
63 photos
Posted by J D 8 on 04/12/2020 08:48:32:

Seen that film of an American aircraft dropping a bouncing bomb to low, A Martin Marauder I think.


Close JD, it was an A-26 not a B-26. Douglas A-26 Invader. Happened in the US with I think a US copy of a Highball weapon.....

Edited By maurice northcott on 04/12/2020 11:07:34

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