The story of the legendary Squadron 617 of the Royal Air Force and why it came to be known a the “Dambusters”

Posted by admin on August 21, 2014 at 1:37 pm. Filed under: Uncategorized

 
The RAF has a rich history of brave acts, especially if you talk about the events of World War 1 and World War 2. It was an era that re-defined how wars were fought as technologically supreme machinery entered the battlefield and strategic warfare was taken to new heights of secrecy and execution.

 

From that era of secrecy comes a legend of WWII which has multitude of missions and acts of valor attached to it. It’s a legend commonly known as “Dambusters”, but to the RAF, it is known as Squadron 617.
 
Inception: On the 21st of March 1943, a squadron was formed at RAF scampton in utter secrecy.
 
Team: The squadron comprised of personnel from Royal Canadian Air force, Royal Australian Air force and Royal New Zealand Air force
 
Mission: the squadron was initially formed with the specific task of attacking three major dams (Mohne, Eder and Sorpe) that supplied water and power to the Ruhr industrial region in Germany.
 
Operation Chastise, Strategic Importance & Execution:
 
The mission was code named: “Operation Chastise”. The squadron’s chosen motto was “Après moi le Deluge” (“After me, the Flood”). The Ruhr valley had been identified as an important strategic place by the RAF, especially its dams.
 
· Challenge: Initially, it was planned to drop a 10 ton bomb from an altitude of 40,000 ft to blow up the dams, but there wasn’t a bomber available at that time that could fly at such a high altitude with such a heavy load. A much smaller explosive could do the trick, but German dams were protected by torpedo nets.
 
· The Ingenious Bouncing Bomb: Barnes Wallis, assistant chief designer at Vickers, designed a drum shaped bomb spinning backwards at over 500 rpm. If the bomb could be dropped at sufficiently low altitude at the correct speed, it would bounce over the surface of water such that it can easily skip the torpedo nets and explode against the dam wall.
 
· Assignment: For the execution of this bombing, squadron X (which later came to be known as 617 RAF) was selected under the leadership of Wing Commander Guy Gibson.
 
· The Aircraft: The aircrafts used were modified by B Mark III Special. They were especially modified to carry heavy payload and much of the internal armour by removing the upper gun turret. The bomb bay doors were modified and the bomb itself was hung in part below the fuselage. Before dropping the bomb, it was spun by an auxiliary motor.
 
· D-day: The squadron was divided into three groups. Formation No. 1 was composed of nine aircrafts in three groups, whereas Formation No. 2 had five aircrafts. Formation No. 3 was a mobile reserve. It was on the 16th May 1943 when the 2 formations entered German airspace. Bombers flew low at about 100 ft (30 m) altitude to avoid radar detection. Formation No 1, led by Gibson, successfully attacked Mohne dam precisely with only 1 aircraft down. The tricky topography of the surrounding hills and dense fog of Eder dam made the approach difficult, taking six runs before taking a break. The Sorpe dam was the one least likely to be breached as it was a huge earthen dam, unlike the two concrete-and-steel gravity dams that were attacked successfully. Due to the difficult topography of the dam, the bomb couldn’t make a right angle attack on the wall, damaging only a section of the crest.
 
Post Mission Effects:
Following the Dams Raid 617, the squadron was kept together as a specialist unit and came to be known as Dam busters. Of the survivors, 34 were decorated at Buckingham Palace on 22 June, with Gibson awarded the Victoria Cross. To this day, the attack and the handful of people who took part hold a special significance in RAF history.

 

RAF Museum is ‘Jolly Marvelous’ at Night

Posted by admin on July 2, 2014 at 9:10 am. Filed under: News

 

A recent sold out event saw London-based duo Public Service Broadcasting play three exclusive gigs at London’s RAF Museum as part of the Museums at Night 2014 Festival. Playing their War Room E.P. in its entirety, the band took the stage in a secret location within the museum as part of a series of nights that were labelled ‘jolly marvelous’ in a review by the Independent.

 

Museums at Night

 

Museums at night is a national festival that takes place annually in May, which encourages visitors to see museums, galleries and heritage sites in a whole new light (or a whole new twilight, being that these museums are opening their doors at night). Museums across the country put on a range of special events to better promote English heritage and culture.

 

Museums at Night ambassador Lauren Laverne said: “We all know British culture is rich and diverse. But how exciting to experience this in a new way – at night-time, when lights go down and our imaginations are in charge!

 

“Museums at Night weekend is a fantastic opportunity for museums and galleries to get together to put on events that allow us to celebrate our heritage in new and exciting ways – perhaps discovering a cultural gem on our doorstep that we didn’t even know existed.”

 

Night at the Museum

 

At London’s RAF Museum, alongside Public Service Broadcasting’s epic electro rock sets, there were three full nights of 40s, 50s and 60s themed entertainment including traditional games, a silent disco, a hotly contested paper aeroplane competition, live cabaret acts and even a chance for guests to help knit a plane in a recreation of a 40s living room. The main surprise of the festival though was a DJ set from the fantastic DJ Yoda who, like Public Service Broadcasting performed in front of stunning visuals and WWII propaganda films broadcast on vintage TV screens (alongside some very modern projectors). All of this under the watchful eye of an RAF Lancaster Bomber.

 

According to Jamie Merrill of the Independent, “with stage lighting frantically darting across the room like spotlight beams hunting the Luftwaffe and a collection of Spitfire fighters on display, there probably isn’t a better place in the world for electro-rock duo Public Service Broadcasting to play a special set than the RAF Museum in north London.”

 

With the festival over for another year, the excitement for next year’s night time foray has already begun. In the meantime, however, the RAF museums in Hendon and Cosford will be open to the public by day, remaining a quiet wonderland of history by night. For those who want to learn more about the RAF, these museums are the perfect places to uncover the history of the Air Force and to see special exhibitions and memorabilia from past wars.

 

Whilst it may come truly alive at night, the museum offers something for everyone by day too, and for those who want to learn more about the RAF from the comfort of their own home, our exhaustive range of RAF memorabilia, aviation gifts and informative books will ensure that everyone can get to enjoy the RAF experience, no matter where they are.

 

 

 

Memorial goes up for RAF heroes who never made it to war

Posted by admin on April 22, 2014 at 9:42 am. Filed under: News

The RAF played a vital role in World War II. Without the brave efforts of its personnel, the outcome may have been very different for Britain and its allies. It’s no surprise then that the country has been keen to honour its service personnel who entered battle.

However, there were some RAF heroes who never made it to war. For example, the entire crew of a Vickers Mark 10 Wellington bomber crashed on a training exercise over England. No one on board survived the incident. This month, a special memorial honouring these fallen individuals was unveiled. The monument is the culmination of a squadron leader’s three-decade quest to honour his uncle, Jim Lyon, who was in the plane that crashed.

Tragic

One man who bore witness to the tragic event was Peter Cannon, the Daily Telegraph reports. In 1944 at the age of ten, he heard a plane passing over his house, which was only a few miles from RAF Westcott. Something about the sound of aircraft made the youngster look out of his window. It was then that he saw the plane was in difficulty.

Commenting on his experience, he said: “I remember this very peculiar noise. It was an aeroplane, but one that sounded in a lot of trouble.”

The bomber had been struck on its starboard side by a Mark III Stirling bomber, which was returning from France after completing its first mission. The impact had severely damaged the bomber and it was unable to stay airborne. It quickly fell to the ground. About this, Mr Cannon said: “It was only a matter of moments, then there was this terrific bang and a great fire went up into the sky.”

Although he didn’t know it at the time, one of the men onboard was his neighbour and hero Jim Lyon. He had lived next door with his pregnant wife.

Like celebrities

He added: “I used to watch him [Jim Lyon] cycling back from Westcott to his house. I can picture him now. The pilots were like celebrities to us. That night, he must have known he was going in the direction of where his wife lived and steered the plane away. I felt so sorry for the poor woman expecting the baby. Then, all I heard was that she had moved away.”

Flying officer Lyon was one of 37,000 Australian airmen who volunteered after Britain appealed for help from its allies. He had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for completing a full operational tour. Only 27 men of 100 in Bomber Command managed the feat. Assuming the worst was behind him, he was posted to RAF Westcott as a pilot instructor.

However, he was to become one of 7,847 officers and aircrew killed during training accidents over the course of the war.

Memorial

On March 15th, a memorial was erected at the former air base honouring the men who died the night flying officer Lyon lost his life. For the late airman’s nephew Bruce Blanche, this marked the culmination of a lifetime of research.

Now 68, he never met his uncle, but he became interested in him as a youngster after seeing a picture of him on his aunt’s mantelpiece.

 

 

Medals of RAF hero go under the hammer

Posted by admin on April 11, 2014 at 9:46 am. Filed under: News

RAF memorabilia tends to get plenty of interest, and these days it’s easier than ever to get your hands on fantastic badges, clothes, books and more. Meanwhile, you might like to keep your eyes and ears open in case more unusual purchasing opportunities present themselves.

Recently, an impressive collection of medals that used to belong to a real RAF hero went on sale at auction in London, the Daily Mail reports.

One of Britain’s greatest air aces

According to the publication, Group Captain Billy Drake was one of the country’s “greatest air aces”. He shot down a total of 25 planes during World War II and was involved in the Battle of Britain, Normandy landings and the North African campaign. He died aged 93 in August 2011.

The pilot was duly rewarded for his skill and bravery, receiving no fewer than ten medals. Before the auction took place on March 12th, it was expected that these items could fetch up to £40,000.

The medals included his Distinguished Service Order and Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar, as well as an American Distinguished Flying Cross that was awarded to him after he led fighter escorts for US bomber squadrons.

Modest

As well as being brave, Captain Drake was modest. He once described himself and his colleagues in the RAF as “just playboys who wanted to fly planes”.

After retiring from the force in July 1963, he became a lecturer and teacher at the RAF Fighter Leaders’ School. Following this, he spent 20 years in Portugal. The sun and relaxation he enjoyed over there was no doubt a far cry from the adrenaline-fuelled years he spent at the controls of his planes.

A quick synopsis

It’s impossible to fully convey the magnificence of Captain Drake’s full career in the RAF. However, highlights include his first victory, which occurred in the spring of 1940 when his formation of Hurricanes successfully attacked a squadron of Messerschmitt 109 fighters. Soon after this, he downed three Dornier bombers. In another incident, he spotted three Dorniers after being told to return to base. He attacked the planes and downed one. However, he came under fire and had to bail as his aircraft burst into flames.

By the autumn of 1942, he had transferred to North Africa, where he managed to destroy a further 17 aircraft. He was then promoted to Wing Commander and took over a Spitfire wing in Malta in June 1943, where he was tasked with providing protection to US bombers attacking Sicily.

Later in the war, he was in charge of Typhoons that were involved in attacks on V-1 rocket sites in France.

Given the impressive and unusual nature of Captain Drake’s career during World War II, it is not surprising that his medals have received so much interest.

Don’t worry

Don’t worry if you missed out on this chance to stock up on RAF memorabilia though. There are plenty more items available for you to choose from and it is easy to place your order online.

 

 

RAF Appoints Most Senior Female in British Armed Forces

Posted by admin on September 9, 2013 at 9:28 am. Filed under: Aviation gifts

The RAF has proved itself to be at the forefront of modern Britain once again, with the news that it has appointed Elaine West to the rank of air vice-marshal. This is the most senior position ever held by a regular serving female in the UK armed forces. Equivalent to the rank of an Army major general, or a rear admiral in the Royal Navy, the new air vice-marshal will be the director of projects and programme delivery at the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond commented that the appointment of Elaine West proves that there is no ‘glass ceiling’ in the British Armed Forces for serving female officers.

There are one-star ranked females within both the Army and the Royal Navy, but the RAF is the first service to appoint a female into a senior two-star role. Responsible for taking the lead on multi-million pound infrastructure projects that are designed to support military training, the air vice-marshal will also oversee the removal of army units from bases in Germany. AVM West spoke of her appointment, mentioning she took on her new role with ‘enormous pride’ and said:

“I am privileged to have served in the RAF and to have enjoyed so many challenging roles over the years. To now be the first female military two-star is a truly unexpected bonus. I know so many inspirational women across all three services who continue to make a substantial contribution to operations and our armed forces more widely. This is a terrific opportunity and one that I’m looking forward to immensely.”

The news has gone done extremely well here at the RAF Museum, with many guests expressing delight at the appointment. Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford said her promotion was “thoroughly well deserved” and added that:

“The vast majority of roles in the armed forces are open to women and I would encourage everyone, regardless of gender, to take full advantage of the opportunities available to them within the military.”

Having served in 18 different roles on bases across the world, AVM West is well placed to take over her challenging new role. The commitment to excellence in the RAF has always been high, and it is refreshing to see that Britain is still leading the world when it comes to appointing officers of exceptional qualities. Guests at the museum are often extremely knowledgeable about the history of the RAF, and this appointment simply marks the start of another great chapter within the force.

Sales of Royal Air Force badges have gone up in recent days, and metal pin badges are also a popular way of showing support for our world class air force. Every great organisation recognises the value of protecting both its history and its future – that’s why the museum exists to help support the good name of the RAF.

We would like to congratulate AVM West on her appointment, as the RAF once again proves that it flies at the forefront of the military.

 

Suitcases full of RAF memories found in Shropshire

Posted by admin on August 21, 2013 at 10:20 am. Filed under: Aviation gifts

The discovery of RAF memorabilia always gets collectors talking, particularly if it’s of a rare or personal nature. Well, the latest find is both – two vintage holdalls full of RAF memories have been uncovered in Shropshire, shedding light on the personal lives of RAF pilots for a fascinating insight into life during the war.

An unusual find

The suitcases were discovered in the grounds of Buntingsdale Hall in the small town of Market Drayton. They’re both identical cases yet the contents of each belong to two very different people, and during very different time periods too – one seems to be the property of Leading Aircraftwoman Margaret Laura Jervis, who was a pilot in the 1940s, whilst the other belongs to William George Ewen Mackintosh, a warrant officer who served during the 70s. Items found in the cases include aviation badges, maps, flying permits, service books and personal keepsakes including letters, diaries, postcards, pictures and even a piece of paper signed by Gordon Banks, former goalkeeper for England and Stoke.

It can’t be denied that these are unusual finds, particularly with the relationship between the owners being unclear, but what’s even more unusual is how they were discovered. They were found in a bunker situated on the estate and no-one has reported them missing, and it’s rare to uncover such unusual finds in such a haphazard way. That’s led Constable Mick Sturland, the officer looking after the cases, to surmise that they were either stolen and dumped or were thrown out by mistake. It’s a truly fascinating collection of items and is a unique slice of history, and that means the Constable is keen to reunite the cases with their rightful owner.

A piece of history

The finds are likely to be very personal to the modern-day owners, which is why the Constable wants to do everything he can to reunite them. The collections were very well-kept which indicates they weren’t supposed to be dumped, and given the amount of history and the personal nature of the items they could hold huge sentimental value. But, if the owners can’t be traced the cases will be donated to the RAF Museum in Cosford, giving more people the chance to get an insight into the lives of two former pilots.

If you’re just as interested in the history of the RAF and those who served in it, you might be developing a collection of memorabilia of your own. You might find it difficult to uncover such a haul in everyday life but that doesn’t mean you can’t add to your collection in a different way – why not take a look around? We’re committed to bringing you the best and most authentic RAF and aviation products around, covering everything from RAF medals and badges to clothing and diecast models, letting you add to your collection without needing to uncover such rare items. Take a look around to see what you can find and you could soon have your very own slice of RAF history.

 

New RAF Duxford Exhibition Launched

Posted by admin on June 14, 2013 at 11:07 am. Filed under: Aviation gifts

This spring, a new exhibition which has taken two decades to put together charts the story of an RAF airbase, from where pilots fought battles all over the world.

Historic Duxford follows the Cambridgeshire airbase between 1918 and 1961, and tells the tales of those who lived and worked here during the Cold War and the Second World War.

Regalia worn by Battle of Britain legend Douglas Bader is among the exhibits, along with interviews. Bader flew from Duxford during the Second World War, and was one of the RAF’s deadliest fighters.

The head of interpretation and collections at Duxford Steve Woolford said: “For the first time ever, we are giving those who visit the base an insight into the very heart of this historic site, and telling Duxford’s story.

“We are showing why Duxford has such historic importance, and give visitors the chance to view it through fresh eyes.

“We’re focusing on the personal stories of those who were based here, supported by the personal items which help to tell those stories.”

The exhibition includes video and audio interviews, looks at the different jobs done at the airbase, and how people lived and what they did there during their free time.

The exhibition is the first permanent one at Imperial War Museum Duxford since AirSpace was opened six years ago, telling the story of British aviation.

More to See at the Royal Air Force Museum

Of course, Duxford isn’t the only place you can go to hear about British aviation and its proud heritage.

The Royal Air Force museum has two sites, at Colindale, North London, and Cosford, in Shropshire in the West Midlands. Both are free to enter, and the exhibits complement each other, with each site offering a unique visitor experience.

Aircraft, engines and missiles sit alongside photos, medals and uniforms, photographs and extensive education and research facilities. Our approach is to tell the RAF’s story in a way which is as imaginative and innovative as possible, to make the story we are telling stimulating and relevant, while respecting the Air Force’s long tradition.

Our aim is to share the history of those who shaped the world of aviation, from the wartime heroes to the thousands of ordinary servicemen and women whose contribution to the UK’s air force has helped create our world.

Shop for Air Force Gifts

Our museum shops are an important part of what we offer at the Royal Air Force museums, and these retail outlets are on offer at both our London and Cosford sites.

Browse our great range of gifts and mementoes, whether you’re buying for yourself or someone special in your life who has a special connection to the RAF.

Whether you’re after model aeroplanes or RAF badges, DVDs or leather flying jackets, we can help. For younger visitors, we have a number of items that are pocket-money friendly.

Can’t get to Colindale or Cosford? No problem – shop online with us. Sign up online as well and keep up to date with latest products and discounts via our newsletter.

 

Raising the last surviving Dornier 17

Posted by admin on June 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm. Filed under: Uncategorized

 

The Royal Air Force Museum, along with diving engineers Seatech, are attempting to raise what is thought to be the last surviving Dornier 17 Bomber from the Goodwin Sands in the English Channel. It is a massive project which has been partly funded by the museum, partly by a £345,000 National Heritage Memorial Fund grant and partly by public donations.

 

Background

 

The Dornier 17 Bomber, nicknamed the ‘Flying Pencil’ because of its distinct appearance, was one of the cornerstones of Germany’s Luftwaffe air force during World War II. Not a single Dornier was thought to have survived the war, but a survey for the RAF Museum two years ago revealed the wreck of a plane lying on its back on the Goodwin Sands. Divers confirmed it to be that of a Dornier 17 and with the wreckage almost completely intact.

 

The plane is believed to be aircraft call-sign 5K-AR, shot down on 26th August 1940 during the Battle of Britain. Damaged by RAF Boulton-Paul Defiant fighters, the pilot flew the plane out over the channel as it rapidly lost height and power. However, it is thought that when he tried to ditch the plane, one of the wings clipped the water, causing it to spin onto its back and eventually sink 50ft to the bottom. Extensive sonar scans have been carried out revealing the main undercarriage tyres remain inflated and the propellers show damage inflicted during the incident.

 

The Raising

 

A huge amount of intensive research and organisation has gone in to prepare for the raising of the Dornier. Seatech initially developed a frame-like structure that would be built underwater around the plane in order to lift it from the sea bed. However, due to poor weather conditions, with high winds a particular problem, the salvage team were required to return to port on several occasions. Due to these problems, the method by which the plane would be raised up has had to be revised. The new method is much more delicate and involved attaching lifting equipment to the strongest sections of the plane’s frame.

 

Once out of the water, the plane will be laid onto a support barge and transported to Ramsgate Harbour where it will be dismantled for travel to the RAF Museum’s Conservation Centre at Cosford. It will then be carefully placed into two purpose-built hydration tunnels where it will be sprayed with water to gently wash away the salts and chemicals in the paintwork and metal. This stage of the conservation process could take as long as two to three years, although the plane will be on view to the public the whole time.

 

We are all incredibly excited about the prospect of seeing the only Dornier still in existence, and although the raising of the plane has been temporarily halted due to weather conditions, all being well (fingers crossed) the Dornier should be raised this week.

 

Here at the RAF Museum Gift Shop, we have a number of pieces of Dornier memorabilia including diecast planes, metal pin badges, keyrings and more. Search the site to view the extensive array of products we have available or contact us for more information.

 

How the RAF Museum Gift Shop Can Help You To Flesh Out Your Collection of Diecast Model Planes

Posted by admin on May 15, 2013 at 11:04 am. Filed under: Aviation gifts

For some, diecast aviation is simply a hobby; for others however, it is much more – it is a passion. Indeed, looking high and low for specific diecast planes to add to their ever-growing collection is something which passionate collectors absolutely love.

If you can appreciate this then you may well be a collector, or at least a very keen enthusiast, yourself.

If this is indeed the case then you will surely have embraced the many benefits which the onset of the Digital Age has brought forth. Certainly, the wide availability of the Internet and the ease with which it can be accessed now makes it possible for diecast collectors, enthusiasts and hobbyists like yourself to find and purchase models far more conveniently than ever before.

These days, you no longer need to spend ages phoning stockists or chasing up leads given to you by helpful model shop owners. You don’t even need to schedule ‘coincidental’ weekends away with your partner to places which may just happen to be near a particular model shop that you’ve heard  has the exact diecast model aircraft you’ve been after for so long!

No, all you need to do these days is log on to the Internet, type in a search query and ‘bingo’ – information about the diecast model you’re after (and maybe even a picture if you’re lucky) pops up within a matter of moments. There are scores of different diecast model airplanes out there in cyberspace just waiting for aeronautics enthusiasts like you to add to their collections. Indeed, it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for classic planes such as Spitfires and Hurricanes or more modern planes like Tornados and Hawks, there are resources available online which enable you to find them, peruse them and order them without you even having to leave the comfort of your favourite armchair.

Naturally, we here at the Royal Air Force Museum Gift Shop should be one of your very first ports of call whenever you go online looking for model aircraft to add to your collection. The reason for this is that our extensive collection includes everything from Spitfires and Lancasters to Concordes and Eurofighters so you can be sure you’ll have a good chance of finding ‘the one’ whenever you look through our offerings. We even stock limited edition models, so even if you’re struggling to find a particular diecast model, you can always check to see if we have it in stock.

And of course, all of our models are available to peruse, order and purchase online!

So, if you’re a passionate collector who already has dozens of models or simply a fledgling enthusiast who is keen to flesh out your modest collection just that little bit more, make sure you come and visit us – either online or in person – here at the RAF Museum Gift Shop.

You’ll soon be glad you did!

 

Commemorating One of the Greatest Operations in RAF History

Posted by admin on April 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm. Filed under: Aviation gifts

This year marks the 70th anniversary of one of the most ambitious, daring and successful operations in the RAF’s history – the so-called ‘Dambusters’ raid on Nazi Germany in 1943.

Below is an account of how this now legendary event was reported by the BBC:

‘An audacious RAF bombing raid into the industrial heartland of Germany last night has wrecked three dams serving the Ruhr valley. The attack disrupted water and electricity supplies in a key area for the manufacture of Germany’s war munitions.

The Secretary of State for Air, Sir Archibald Sinclair, called the raid “a trenchant blow for victory”.

The mission, known as Operation Chastise, has been planned for months. The crews were specially selected for the job, and have been training in absolute secrecy. The bombs themselves were invented specifically for the task by the aircraft engineer Dr Barnes Wallis, the designer of the Wellington bomber. They were barrel-shaped, and used the principle of a “ducks and drakes” stone bouncing on the water to bypass the defences around the dams. The Lancaster bombers flown by 617 Squadron were extensively modified, and the crews trained to fly at less than 100ft (30.48m) above the water, the height required to drop the bombs successfully.

The mission began yesterday evening, under the command of Wing Commander Guy Gibson. The targets were three huge water barrage dams – two on the rivers Möhne and Sorpe, and a third on the River Eder. The Möhne and Sorpe dams control about 70% of the water supplied to the Ruhr basin, and were built to prevent water shortages during the summer. Wing Commander Gibson led the attack on the Möhne dam personally.

A flight lieutenant who watched what happened at the Möhne dam described the scene:

“The wing commander’s load was placed just right and a spout of water went up 300 feet (91.44m) into the air,” he said. “A second Lancaster attacked with equal accuracy, and there was still no sign of a breach. “Then I went in and we caused a huge explosion up against the dam. It was not until another load had been dropped that the dam at last broke. “I saw the first jet very clear in the moonlight. I should say that the breach was about 50 yards (45.72m) wide.”

The Eder dam – the largest in Europe – was also breached in two places. Reconnaissance flights showed flood waters sweeping through the Ruhr valley, damaging factories, houses and power stations. The power station at the Möhne dam has been swept away, rivers are in full flood, and railway and road bridges have disappeared.’

To help commemorate this landmark anniversary, we here at the Royal Air Force Museum Gift Shop are offering a number of Dambuster-themed items – from fabric badges and calendars to DVDs and RAF clothing – to help celebrate the skill, bravery and audacity of the men who made the raid possible.

To find out more simply browse our pages further.

 

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