CHASTISE: The Dambusters Story 1943


CHASTISE: The Dambusters Story 1943

MAX HASTINGS    Book Number: 88764    Product format: Hardback

The classic Dambusters story, featuring the heroism of Guy Gibson and the legendary 617 Squadron, fascinated acclaimed historian Max Hastings from an early age, but Hastings now feels that 75 years later we should also remember the large number of civilians who perished in the resulting floods, many of them slave labourers under the murderous Nazi regime. Hastings takes us back to 1942 when Americans thought that Britain was not trying hard enough to win the war and a big operation was needed to restore confidence in the British leadership. Air staff and researchers had been saying for some time that Germany's water supply was vulnerable, and the Germans had themselves considered bombing British reservoirs in the Sheffield area. Barnes Wallis's scheme of bouncing a bomb across the water to destroy a German dam took shape gradually. In March 1943 a bewildered Gibson, who had recently received his second DSO, was summoned to meet Bomber Harris's second-in-command who asked him to undertake a secret mission. Hastings describes some of the men who were handpicked for the operation, such as the serious-minded Etonian Henry Maudslay or John Hopgood, the piano-playing trainee solicitor identified by Gibson as the best pilot on the squadron. Hoppy's plane was destroyed by tracer fire in the raid, but he kept it in the air long enough for three crew to bale out, while Maudslay was shot down on the return journey. Opinions still differ as to the strategic importance of Operation Chastise. Hastings assesses it in terms of the whole Allied bombing effort, and concludes with a remembrance of the hundreds of female forced labourers who died in the flood. 364pp, photos, chronology.
Published price: £25
Bibliophile price: £9.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9780008280529
Browse this category: War & Militaria

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