The Dam Busters ~ World War II

Growing up in the generation subsequent to World War II meant that there were a LOT of movies related to that war on movie screens for at least three decades of my life.

I watched the Guns of Navarone be destroyed over and over.  German submarines sank Allied shipping and American forces eventually returned the favor to Axis shipping, especially in the Pacific.  At least that was the storyline in the movies.

The Eagle’s Next fell, General Doolittle’s raid on Japan was a success with expendable bombers and crews.  Some soldiers were tough.  John Wayne proved it as he swapped uniforms, units of service, battle grounds and rank with amazing ease.

One move from the genera that captured my imagination was “The Dam Busters”.  I hadn’t heard of the RAF 617th Squadron, a unit that was specially trained to drop bombs to destroy dams in the European theater.  

The bombers made their bombing runs as low as possible to drop their round water skipping bomb so they would explode upon impact with the wall of the dam.

The dam failure destroyed any hydroelectric production from that facility, flooded any structures down stream and denied any summer irrigation water if it was needed down stream.  Eventually, the 617th was involved in all types of precision bombing from bridges to submarine yards.

I still don’t know what the real dam busting bombs looked like, but I certainly remember the big medicine ball looking bombs in the movie.  Well done 617th.  Well done.  You helped end the war and the related massive loss of life and property.


Copyright (c) Lee Drew 2012-09-01 08:00:00
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