This book uncovers elements of hidden history crucial to the success of 617 Squadron’s attack on the German Dams in May 1943. It has been produced for the Royal Air Force Museum and is EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE from the Museum shops. It has been written by Robert Owen, the Official Historian of the No. 617 Squadron Aircrew Association, and Richard Morris, author of acclaimed biographies of Wing Commanders Guy Gibson VC and Leonard Cheshire VC. The foreword is by New Zealander, Les Munro, the sole remaining pilot to have taken part in the epic operation.
Seemingly well-documented aspects of the raid come under new scrutiny. Among them are the origins of the spotlight altimeter used to determine the height of 60ft that was critical for the release of the weapon. There is also new evidence about the development of the range-finding bomb-sight and the loading of the weapon on to the aircraft.
Vivid insights into Barnes Wallis, who invented and designed the famous ‘bouncing bomb’ that breached the dam walls, are offered by his daughter, Mary Stopes-Roe, who recalls wartime family life. Appearing for the first time in print, extracts from letters written by Wallis to his wife during the taxing period of the weapon's development, illustrate his warmth and sense of humour.
Original research also reveals that there were plans to use the bouncing bomb for other purposes – attacking canals and viaducts – and that in 1944, another series of dam-busting operations was planned to assist the Allied offensive in Italy. Despite these aspirations, the weapon was never used again, and as this work describes, surviving stocks were dumped in the Atlantic shortly after the war. Paperback.
A reprint of a rare original from the Royal A ... More ›