Sorry - but this is over the top. It's 'clap-trap' and crowd pleasing but it misses the point.
It was the people who designed the engine. It was the people who built the engine. It was the people who flew the aircraft. It was the people who maintained the engine on the ground.
A fine engine .. although my father always reminded us that it was a Merlin that nearly killed them on 2nd Jan 1945 when it failed on take off. A Mosquito that has 716 gallons of fuel and a full armament load and one engine on fire, is not the place to be!
They survived because a farmer and two of his men pulled them from the wreck, at significant danger to their own lives. Later, the three men were given the BEM.
In this article, the author (that is getting lots of free publicity) says: "It was, of course, the Merlin that powered the planes of the Dambusters Raid in May 1943, the greatest single RAF exploit of the war and one that symbolised Britain's heroic fightback against Germany."
It has long been established that the dams raid was more psychological in it's impact than much else. Trying to identify the 'greatest single' anything is usually futile. In a war it all counts and the men who operated alone and in the thousand bomber raids (with their night fighter support) and long, lonely patrols over the North Atlantic, also made single, great efforts every time they took off. Yes, the dams WAS a vital raid but, please, let it go.
Yes, the Merlin was a remarkable engine but I think the BBC (and other British media types) should not be using phrases like, "... the Rolls-Royce Merlin, may have been the difference between freedom and tyranny." (my emphasis) It was then and my German friend thinks we are stupid to still trumpet this - whilst our country slides down the economic table. It belittles us to live in the past but Britain just can't seem to stop it.
Lastly, for the BBC to publicise this now - when so many more people are looking at their main website?
For the record, my father lost his parents to a V2 and lost much more in his 106 operations over enemy territory in night fighters and was decorated DFC ** so he had some reasons for hating the Germans - but he didn't. To his dying day, he disliked the tup thumping (such as this article) and I write this post with him in my heart.
'It has long been established that the dams raid was more psychological in it's impact than much else.' Actually, it's long been established that this debunking is the real rubbish. Do keep up, there's a good fellow.
Fair shout if it had been in combat service for the duration of the war. It was certainly a good, powerful and well designed engine, just arrived 2 years after the Merlin had been the combat workhorse of Fighter Command and was moving in to cover nearly all the needs of BC too.
Last edited by Harley Quinn; 10th Aug 2012 at 09:38.
It has long been established that the dams raid was more psychological in it's impact than much else. Even if that were true (which it isn't), it's an outcome whose importance shouldn't be underestimated.
How successful was the raid?
Severe flooding occurred where the Möhne Dam was breached. 1,200 people were killed including nearly 600 forced labourers from Eastern Europe who were housed in a labour camp near Neheim. Six small electricity works were damaged and rail lines passing through the Möhne Valley were disrupted. But industrial production was not affected in the long-term. When the Eder Dam broke, there were similar results. Kassel, an important arms producing town, was reached by the floodwater, but little actual damage was done. Had the Sorpe Dam been breached, then the damage would have been much greater. The potential for a major disaster was recognised by Albert Speer who commented that:
"Ruhr production would have suffered the heaviest possible blow."
In the short and long term, the damage done by 617 squadron was repaired quite quickly. But the most important impact of the raid was that 20,000 men working on the Atlantic Wall had been moved to the Ruhr to carry out repairs to the damaged and breached dams. This work was completed before the rains of the autumn appeared.
The impact of the Dams raid (I've read all the books) was greater on the British and the Americans. It certainly helped the Americans to see that we could do smart things. But, in all that I have read, the damage was not as great as hoped and was repaired more quickly.
All strength to the men and women who made this happen, from Wallis all the way to the last WAAF driver and admin clerk. Those who died did a remarkable thing. It had to be done.
The war was made by humans and won by humans. The world is a better place for the winning of it. Ther Merlin was a fabulous invention.
Now we are in the 21st century and we should remember these things quietly and not broadcast to the rest of the world that we have lost the peace.
In 1970 in Primary School rural NSW, my teacher would daily recite his war experiences from New Guinea and North Africa. Single-handedly he killed Japs and Krauts in the thousands, so I always thought he was The Man that saved the free world.
His name was Norman Gilchrist - yet history seems to have forgotten him?
I once read that' although there were multiple locations where Merlin engines were assembled, there was only one machine capable of turning out the crankshafts for them, and ironically it was of German manufacture.
Location: On the Rump of Pendle Hill Lancashire UK
I used to own a Merlin and a Griffon( or two) and being from a warlike family and having rels in the 617 SQdn I decide to mount these two in my office, being a northerner and really not being a pusscat I never gave it a thought untill my German Customers came to see me.. to talk over business.
Do people in German never collect MB600's and display them, for these two people were absolutely amazed and asked my secretary many questions whilst waiting for me, because I was in transport they thought the engines were Rolls Royce Truck engines, only upon hearing the names of the Engine, did they suddenly want to sort out the business of the transport and get back to Manchester Airport , to which I said that used to train parachutists for the Army, they quickly told me they were not born then , so thats it, thats why the Jerries never seem to discuss the 1939 to 1945 era.
Good that..! it never happened to that generation of Germans, Zo' ve do not discuss anything like Zat!
There is a Rolls Royce car dealership at Great Easton on the road between Great Dunmow and Thaxted and in pride of place in front of the cars is a very highly cleaned and polished Merlin,its been there for many years. Colin