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Dambusters: Operation Chastise - Bombing Nazi Dams

Dambusters: Operation Chastise - Bombing Nazi Dams.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.

The Dambusters 75 years on: How marbles inspired the Second World War's most daring bombing raid
eroism of 617 Squadron and ingenuity of Barnes Wallis remembered on anniversary of one of Britain’s greatest wartime triumphs.

Dambusters hero's logbook shows his understated record of the RAF's daring bouncing bombs raid
The previously-unseen logbook kept by a Dambusters hero which documents the famous wartime raid has sold for nearly £9,000. Flight Sergeant Leonard Sumpter was a bomb aimer on the mission to destroy a series of German dams using Barnes Wallis' ingenious 'bouncing bomb'. His logbook, that has been owned by his family, dates from October 1941 to September 1945 and charts Operation Chastise - the official name for the Dams raid - on May 16, 1943.

Last Dambuster pilot Les Munro passes away
More than 600 people packed the Classic Flyers Aviation Museum in Tauranga for the funeral of war hero and last Dambuster pilot John Leslie "Les" Munro, who died aged 96. Munro's war-time exploits, including the 1943 raid on dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley, are known to the world, but today more was learned of the man himself, whose grandkids called simply "pop". The grandchildren were always impressed at how tech-savvy he was, having mastered email and Facebook, considering he grew up poor near Gisborne, riding a horse to school with no electricity or hot water.

Dambusters collection sells for £75,000 at Northamptonshire auction house
The original bomb sight used in the Dambusters raids during the Second World War sold for auction for £41,500. Bomb aimer John Fort used the sight to deliver the decisive ‘bouncing bomb` that breached the Mohne Dam in May 1943. It featured in a collection of memorabilia that sold at auction at J P Humbert Auctioneers in Towcester for a total of £75,000. Some of the actual marbles that Dr Barnes Wallis used to design his bouncing bomb realised £27,200. Humberts also sold the map light and parallelogram used by Vivian Nicholson, the flight navigator for £2,700 and £2,650 respectively.

John Phillips from the Dambusters squadron who helped to sink the feared Nazi battleship Tirpitz dies at 90
A hero pilot from the Dambusters squadron who helped to sink the feared Nazi battleship Tirpitz during the Second World War has died at the age of 90. John `Des` Phillips joined legendary 617 Squadron as a 20-year-old in 1944, a year after the raids on dams in Germany which made it famous. He took part in later RAF attacks on U-boat pens, Nazi rocket sites in the Pas de Calais, and the Berchtesgaden mountain retreat of Adolf Hitler. But his claim to fame was the part he played in three raids on the Tirpitz, the sister ship to the Bismarck.

George Johnson, the last Dambuster, meets modern day airmen from squadron he helped immortalised 69 years ago
He is the last surviving British veteran from the Dambusters' most audacious bombing raid of the Second World War. But George "Johnny" Johnson, 90, looks as sprightly as ever as he poses for pictures with modern day bomber pilot Tom Hill nearly 69 years on from the extraordinary raid. The war veteran turned out at the launch of the Dambusters 2012 Motorcycle Ride in support of today`s RAF heroes.

Confession reveals: Dambusters legend Guy Gibson was killed by British airman who mistook him for German
One of the British WWII heroes was killed by friendly fire, according to a posthumous confession by the man who pulled the trigger. Guy Gibson, who won a VC for leading the Dam Busters' 'bouncing bomb' raids, died when his plane crashed mysteriously while returning from a mission 16 months later. It was thought that Wing Commander Gibson crashed after running out of fuel or flying too low. But now a researcher for a new film of the RAF raids on the Ruhr Valley in 1943 has unearthed a taped confession made by Lancaster gunner Sergeant Bernard McCormack who says he shot down Wing Cdr Gibson's Mosquito fighter-bomber.

Dam Busters petrol tanker owned by Wiltshire museum for sale
A petrol tanker used by the 617 Dam Buster squadron in the Second World War is to be sold at auction. The AEC 1943 Bowser - reported to be one of only two of its kind in existence - has been on show at the Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum in Calne, Wiltshire for the past 20 years. Built in January 1943, the machine was sent to the 617 Squadron at RAF Scampton where it served with Bomber Command until 1949.

Two-hour documentary film: Dambusters: Building the Bouncing Bomb
"Dambusters: Building the Bouncing Bomb" - a documentary film about the bouncing bomb - includes a little WWII background, a biography of the inventor (British engineer Barnes Wallis), graphics explaining the engineering, footage from The Dam Busters and some CGI demonstrations of what happens if the bomb goes wrong... and Hugh Hunt, a Cambridge professor of engineering with a plan to recreate the 1943 attack on the Möhne dam on a smaller scale.

Medals, logbooks and archive of the test pilot who made the first live drop of the bouncing bomb up for auction
On May 13, 1943 Squadron Leader Maurice Longbottom - who piloted 90 different planes in his career - marked in his logbook the first live drop of the bouncing bomb "Upkeep" - only 3 days before the Dambuster raid over the Ruhr dams.

Documentary film: The Dambusters declassified
617 Squadron - The Dambusters - flew their Lancaster Bombers on the WWII raids on the Ruhr dams from RAF Scampton near Lincoln. The bouncing bombs took down two of the three dams. A new documentary film, presented by the actor, pilot and aviation enthusiast Martin Shaw reveals the new information about the technical details of the bomb and recreates what it was like as an experience for the men involved. It's also revealed that the Nazis captured one of the bombs and made their own version, and that Guy Gibson, the first Commanding Officer, had an extra marital affair with a local girl.

Britain planned to kill Benito Mussolini at his headquarters with a raid by the RAF's Dambusters squadron
Air Marshal Arthur "Bomber" Harris suggested using the 617 Squadron to fly over Rome at "roof-top level" and bomb Il Duce's headquarters to kill him, files in the National Archives at Kew reveal. The operation had the approval of Anthony Eden, who wrote to Winston Churchill on 13 July 1943: "Harris has asked permission to try to bomb Mussolini in his office in Rome and his residence simultaneously in case the Duce is late that morning." Mussolini's HQs, the Palazzo Venezia, and his private residence Villa Torlonia were both "unmistakeable". But within 2 weeks Mussolini was expelled by the Grand Council of Fascism.

Bomber Harris: Dambuster raids waste of men and aircraft, achieved nothing
Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris, the head of Bomber Command, privately believed the Dambuster air raids on Nazi dams were a waste of men and aircraft. It has gone down in military history as the most daring RAF feats of World War II. With its heroism and technical ingenuity, the Dambusters Raid became a symbol of Britain's fight against Third Reich. In Winston Churchill's words, the destruction of 2 dams in May 1943 brought "unparalleled devastation" to Nazi Germany's industrial heartland. But research in the archives of the Harris papers, in the RAF Museum at Hendon, has uncovered that he thought the assault on German dams was a waste of men and aircraft.

Dambuster George Johnson tells his World War II story
George Johnson relived his days as a member of the Dambusters squadron at a WWII charity evening. He discussed the RAF mission to bomb Nazi Germany's dams in 1943 using the bouncing bomb designed for the task by Barnes Wallis. "It is a good old nostalgia trip for me and I enjoy it. People come up with interesting questions." A highly secret task, Operation Chastise set out to ruin 3 dams (the Mohne, the Eder and the Sorpe) in the Ruhr Valley and so damage a vital source of power to Third Reich's industrial heartland. "We did not know until right before what we had been training for. Barnes Wallis actually cried in the briefing after the operation..."

Dambusters: A Landmark Oral History by Max Arthur   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The legendary Dambusters bouncing bomb raid was one of the most daring missions of the Second World War - and arguably the most famous air operation of all time. Recently a new book by military historian Max Arthur has hit the shelves. Dambusters: A Landmark Oral History is a collection of first-hand accounts from the time and interviews of the surviving airmen to reveal an insight into what life was like for the members of 617 Squadron. Arthur, who served with the RAF, has created a powerful story of the personality clashes, hopes, fears and regrets surrounding the clever bombing attack.

Basildon Market stall criticized for selling replica guns and Nazi memorabilia
A market stall has been criticized for selling deactivated guns, daggers, knives, bayonets and German militaria, including swastikas and medals. Angela Smith is crusading against the sale of dangerous knives: "I think most of us find knives and guns being sold so openly, very distasteful. I also have a real problem with replica or deactivated guns." The trader defended his stall: "I'm not breaking any laws. I sell to collectors, not yobs. The knives I sell are not the sort of knives people get stabbed with. Why would you pay 100 for a knife to stab someone and then throw it away? You'd go to Woolworths instead and buy one for 2.99."

Larry Curtis - Our dad the secret Dambusters hero
Larry Curtis flew with the Dambusters and was granted two Distringuished Flying Crosses. But his family never realized the extent of his missions, some of the most crucial in WWII, until he died. It was then that RAF historians and war veterans revealed to them their father's true heroism. He joined the famous No 617 Squadron in July 1943, as one of the replacements for the men lost on the Dambusters Operation Chastise raid on Nazi Germany's Ruhr Valley. He joined the crew of Mickey Martin (later Air Marshal Sir Mick Martin) - called "the greatest bomber pilot of the war". Larry's crew attacked precision targets, like the V-1 flying bomb sites.

Service honours WWII Dambusters in the county where the bombs were tested
A special service marking 65 years since the World War II Dambusters mission has been staged in the county where the bouncing bombs, designed by Barnes Wallis, were tested. Wallis used Nant-y-Gro dam in the Elan Valley in Powys for tests in 1942. There are calls for a replica bouncing bomb to boost more visitors to the area. The Dambusters, part of the RAF's 617 squadron, took off on 16 May, 1943. 19 aircraft set out to destroy the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams in Nazi Germany's industrial heartland, the Ruhr valley. Only 11 came back from the low-level mission in which they flew at 45m from England before descending for the bombing run to foil German radar.

Inside the cockpit of the oldest surviving Lancaster bomber
Operation Chastise was a very daring air raid: The RAF's elite 617 Squadron, the Dambusters, piloted 19 Lancaster bombers into Third Reich and put down two Ruhr valley dams with "bouncing bombs". The oldest surviving Lancaster, S-Sugar, is now on display at RAF Hendon. She flew in 137 WWII raids, more than any other aircraft. "The Lancaster is an iconic plane and this one is particularly important. It's the oldest, and has the greatest operational history," said Richard Simpson. Powered by 4 Merlin 1,280hp engines she had a top speed of 287mph, carried a crew of 7 and could drop up to 22,000lb of bombs.

World War II Dambusters remembered 65 years on - Lancaster fly-past
A service and fly-past will be held to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the World War II Dambusters mission. A Lancaster bomber will fly 3 times over Derwent Reservoir in Derbyshire, which was used by the original pilots to train before of the raid. In 1943, the RAF's 617 Squadron took off to destroy 3 dams in Nazi Germany's Ruhr valley. They managed to breach 2. A Spitfire, a Hurricane, two Tornadoes and a Dakota transport plane will join the fly-past. Squadron Leader Les Munro, the last living pilot from the mission (codenamed Operation Chastise) will be a guest of honour.

Dambuster raids to be remembered at the Yorkshire Air Museum
The 65th anniversary of the Dambuster raids will be marked at the Yorkshire Air Museum. The Elvington museum is getting ready as it prepares for Battlegroup North and Military Wheels & Wings Show. Meanwhile, the Yorkshire Military Vehicle Trust has 200 historic vehicles reserved for the show, making it the biggest gathering in the North of England. The line-up of vehicles will even include battle tanks, along with half-tracks and a wide variety of trucks and Jeeps. Re-enactment groups will also be in attendance, in addition to the museum's the East Yorkshire Regiment Living History Group.

Fearless Flight Lieut­enant Freddie Watts dies
Flight Lieut­enant Freddie Watts won the praise of Sir Winston Churchill for one of the most heroic flying feats of World War II. Living up to the highest standards of legendary Dambusters Squadron, he scored a direct hit on the battleship Tirpitz. The mission sent the warship bristling with armaments to the bottom of the sea. Flt Lieut Watts was one of the last living members of the 617 Dambusters Squadron, which was immortalised after destroying 2 dams on Germany’s Ruhr with "bouncing bombs" in May 1943. A year later, the RAF had made several attempts to sink the Tirpitz before 617 Squadron was called in and ordered to finish the task.

Ulster microlight crews re-trace route of World War II Ruhr raid
An Ulster flying squad is taking a trip back in time for an airborne taste of one of the RAF's most legendary WWII missions. Those magnificent men in their flying machines, members of the Ulster Flying Club, are on course to retrace part of the journey made by the daredevil RAF heroes The Dambusters during World War II. Two intrepid teams from the microlight section of the Ards Aerodrome-based club set out on a 2,000-mile round-trip to the heart of the Ruhr. On May 16/17, 1943, 19 modified Lancaster bombers dropped bouncing bombs at the dams, which were vital for Nazi Germany's wartime steel industry.

Ripping open the heart of Hitler's Third Reich - Flooding the Ruhr
On May 16, 1943 16 Lancaster bombers thundered down an runway on a mission that would shake Germany to its core and buoy Britain's war-battered spirits. Within nine hours the squadron had suffered catastrophic losses, with 8 aircrafts down and 53 men dead. But the raid - regarded by many as the most daring of any mounted during WW2 - was an success. It had ripped open the very heart of Hitler's Third Reich, flooding the Ruhr and Eder valleys and crippling canal networks, railways, steelworks and the national grid. The squadron's motto was "apres moi le deluge" - "after me, the flood." To millions it became known as The Dambusters.