By John Nichol
In After The Flood, John Nichol retraces the trail of 617 Squadron’s most threatening sorties as their recognition referred to as them into motion back and again.
On the seventeenth may perhaps 1943, 133 airmen set out in 19 Lancasters to smash the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe dams. fifty six of them didn't go back. regardless of those catastrophic losses, the raid grew to become a huge propaganda triumph. The survivors have been feted as heroes and have become celebrities in their time.
They were introduced jointly for one particular activity – so what occurred subsequent? Of the seventy seven males who made it domestic from that raid, 32 could lose their lives later within the struggle and in basic terms forty five survived to determine the victory for which they fought.
Few are conscious of the level of the Dambuster squadron’s operations after the Dams Raid. They grew to become the ‘go to’ squadron for expert precision assaults, losing the most important bombs ever outfitted on battleships, railway bridges, mystery weapon institutions, rockets websites and U-boat development pens. They have been considering makes an attempt at the lives of enemy leaders, either Hitler and Mussolini, created a ‘false fleet’ on D-day which fooled the Germans, and knocked out a German large gun which might have rained six hundred shells an hour on London.
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Extra resources for After the Flood: What the Dambusters Did Next
200 Is. 200 1s ro o m (") m "- I < m r C r r 'B' Flight of No 249 Sqn pose for a photograph in early July 1942. Third from left is highly regarded Sqn Ldr 'Laddie' Lucas and fourth from left ten-kill ace Sgt Paul Brennan. Fourth from the right is Fit Sgt Bob Middlemiss, and holding the bomb is leading Malta ace Sgt George Beurling. Lucas and Brennan left the island shortly after this photograph was taken by flight commander Fit Lt Norman Lee (via Patrick Lee) 57 Spitfire VC MK-N of No 126 Sqn was camouflaged in a very dark uppersurface colour thought to be Dark Mediterranean Blue, with Sky Blue undersides.
No Spitfires were lost. Raid five was intercepred halfway to Malra ar 1530 hI's, eighrJu88sand 57 BF 109s being countered by eight Spirflres from No 1435 Sqn, wirh Sqn LdrTony Lovell in rhe lead (in AR470/Q-v). 200 I' by his un iI) and a J u 88 probable. FI t Sgr Ron Stevenson (in EP209/B-v) Failed to rerurn, however. 200 I) and 13 probables and dam:lged at a cost of seven Spitfires desuoyed, three pilots killed and one ,eriously wounded - six fighters had also been damaged. These figures repre,ellled lhe highest number of claims made in a single day by the deFenders during the elllire siege.
Sporadic raiding cominued, but not wirh rhe inrensity of earlier in rhe month. agLe, code-named Operation Insect. Again, 32 Spirflre VBs trops were sent, bur one crashed soon :lFler rake-ofF and a second was damaged on the deck of the carrier. The remaining 30 made ir safely to Malta. Yet anorher furure ace in rhe Form of Pit OFf William 'Wally' Walton flew in with rhese air'craFr and was sem ro No 1435 FIt. This unir had acrually r'eformed as a Day Fighter Flight at Luqa on rhe very day Walron reached Malra.