A Landmark Oral History
ONE OF THE MOST DARING MISSIONS OF WWII, TOLD BY THOSE WHO WERE THERE, NOW IN PAPERBACK
On the night of 16–17 May 1943, nineteen Lancaster bombers from the specially formed 617 Squadron took off from Scampton airbase. Their mission, for which they had been trained under a cloak of absolute secrecy, was to destroy the dams of Germany's Ruhr Valley and in doing so cripple the Nazi industrial war effort. It was to become one of the most famous raids of the Second World War.
For the first time, acclaimed oral historian Max Arthur has gathered together the voices of the ‘Dambusters’. These include Guy Gibson, commander of the mission, Barnes Wallis, the scientist who developed the iconic Bouncing Bomb, and the ground and air crews of 617 Squadron. These voices tell of the hard training, technical ingenuity and sheer bravery that went into every aspect of this legendary mission. We also hear from the German civilians who suffered the attack, who speak of the devastation that was wrought in their lives.
This was a raid like no other, and in this extraordinary collection Max Arthur has created an enduring record of a unique event in British military history.
“May well rival his seminal Forgotten Voices of The Great War ... hard to put down ... His precis of the complex story of how the scientist Barnes Wallis overcame all the obstacles to breaching the Dams, in which British bureaucracy proved as daunting as German efficiency, is a masterpiece of concise storytelling”
“What a story. And I do not believe that it has ever been better told”
Stephen Fry, from the foreword
“Not only can Arthur make people talk; he also doesn't flinch from what he hears”
“A gripping tale capturing the exhilaration of the expedition, while contrasting the sense of loss of 56 men of Bomber Command. A thrilling read for anyone with a nose for a good true tale”
News of the World