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Dam Busters Raid - Was it worth it?

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Dam Busters Raid - Was it worth it?


Postby forrado » May 18th, 2018, 6:21 pm

Couldn’t get to sleep last night so laid there trying to find something of interest to listen to on my smartphone’s BBC Radio iPlayer app. Back tracking through the previous week’s programme schedule of Radio 4 Extra came across this piece of World War II history that caught my eye ...

First broadcast January 2003 … Reel Histories – Dam Busters
The most famous bombing mission in history was an operational success, but did the bouncing bomb do anything to shorten the Second World War? Decades on from 617 Squadron's raid on the Ruhr dams, historians still disagree over the real effects of one of the RAF's finest hours.

Available to listen again at …

Duration 30 minutes … Available for the next 29 days till 02:00 hours Saturday, 16th June

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Re: Dam Busters Raid - Was it worth it?


Postby todthedog » May 19th, 2018, 2:49 pm

More a propaganda victory rather than having much real tactical effect on the outcome of the war, bought at a high cost in pilots lives. At that time in the war even blessed with hindsight it is difficult to judge. The diversion of resources to make repairs meant that they were unavailable elsewhere and undoubtedly influential worldwide.

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Re: Dam Busters Raid - Was it worth it?


Postby gryffron » May 19th, 2018, 4:14 pm

ap8889 wrote:What's not to like?
Mission accomplished, dams breached, Nazis foiled.

That's not going to win a war if the victory cost more than it achieved. ;)

However, in this case:
2 dams and numerous factories destroyed. Took the Germans six months to complete repairs.
Pretty certain it did not take us 6 months to replace 8 Lancs and 56 aircrew.
(Lancaster production in 1943 averaged about 40/week ... _month.htm)
Ok, there was some extra training, research and bomb production for this specific raid. But it still can't come close to what it cost the Germans.

So in the terms of the WW2 strategic bombing campaign. Yes, that is a huge success.

Did it shorten the war? Well, only in so much as EVERY successful action and skirmish shortened the war - a tiny bit.


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Re: Dam Busters Raid - Was it worth it?


Postby Snorvey » May 19th, 2018, 8:46 pm

More 617 Dambusters stuff on at 9pm on More4 telling the story of the impossible task of bombing the German battleship Tirpitz hidden in a Norwegian fjord.

From memory, I think it's about half an hour in when the actual bombing footage begins and the Tirpitz opens up with everything its got at the lumbering Lancasters. Men with great big huge balls. On both sides

Oh, and after 34 failed missions, they still thought it was worth another attack.

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