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617 Squadron - After The Dams

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617 Squadron - After The Dams

Old 28th May 2014, 07:55
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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John,

I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for highlighting it to us - I would have missed it otherwise because we only tend to try to see UK TV here in the south of France if there's something on we know about.

Ta!
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Old 28th May 2014, 20:47
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John

I enjoyed it very much so well done even though I was brought up on the book and still read it's every nook and crevice. Heroes all (and didn't the survivors still look young) so it's always good to be reminded of their very special braveness.

Mrs Sweep stayed up until 10.30 to watch it which is unprecedented, so all credit to you (and the crew).


The Sweep
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Old 28th May 2014, 21:05
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Over on Arrse, there is a comment that there are two graves for Nigger at Scampton; one outside the hangar, the other (alleged real one) being on the other side of the airfield. During the whole of my time at Scampton, I was only ever aware of the grave outside the hangar. Can anyone throw some light on whether or not there is, in fact, a second grave?
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Old 28th May 2014, 22:17
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I always understood that the Groundcrew dealt with Nigger, and buried him behind the Hangar. I think I once had the honour of visiting his resting place, though never posted to Scampton. I've just watched the programme again and wonder at the sacrifice these blokes, and the rest of Bomber Command, put up with. I doubt I would last long in facing the constant push for more ops that they did. I'm grateful that John Nichol informed us of the programme, I'm sure it made many of us aware of the activities of this very famous squadron.

Smudge
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Old 28th May 2014, 22:29
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Originally Posted by smujsmith
I always understood that the Groundcrew dealt with Nigger,
Quite possibly.
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Old 29th May 2014, 06:04
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There was a myth at Scampton that the dog's name had been changed to Nigger to allow the release of Paul Brickhill's book and the film.


The dogs real name was C**t.


Hat, coat.......
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Old 29th May 2014, 06:34
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Originally Posted by The Oberon View Post
There was a myth at Scampton that the dog's name had been changed to Nigger to allow the release of Paul Brickhill's book and the film.


The dogs real name was C**t.


Hat, coat.......
Name gets around. I recall the names of 3 'saved from the pot' Vietnamese dogs named Downdammit, Yardcrap and C**t. Not sure if he(?) was related though
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Old 29th May 2014, 07:48
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Splendid programme, thanks for the 'heads up'. I wish I had recorded it.......will have to wait for the repeat!

Having recently read the 'Dambusters Raid' by John Sweetman it was good to have some more information on 617 squadron to fill in gaps in the jig-saw.

Well done JN and all concerned.
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Old 29th May 2014, 08:17
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Well I enjoyed it. At least it wasn't presented by some z list half-wit with no insight or knowledge of the material.
The supergun was a new one on me. That would've been quite the game changer.
Funny that we get the same comments about lack of accuracy and detail every time a documentary is discussed here.
Doesn't seem hard to appreciate that both have to be slave to the need to produce an hour long programme with enough nice footage and pace to keep your average mop interested and make money.



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Old 29th May 2014, 08:39
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Well done John and all concerned. Available until 23:59 30 Sep 2014 at following link.

What The Dambusters Did Next | What The Dambusters Did Next | Channel 5
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Old 29th May 2014, 09:01
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Repeat

I wish I had recorded it.......will have to wait for the repeat!
Not long to wait. It's repeated on Saturday 31/05/2014 at 17:45 BST on CH5.
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Old 29th May 2014, 10:51
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I was on 617 when it reformed in '58 and quite naturally the
dams raid' was a popular topic. Pictures before and after the raid were everywhere to be seen.
When the Queen Mum paid a visit to present Colours to the Sqdn
a very large mock-up of the Mohne dam was constructed in the hangar. A model Lancaster then came flying over, suspended on wire, there was a very small explosion, and the dam collapsed. As an aside, prior to the QM'S visit the protocol chaps were most anxious about the small explosion, apparently there is a strict limit to how large an explosion can be in the vicinity of Royalty.
I've mentioned this before but on a trip to Nellis in '59 we were hailed as the 'dambuster boys' by the Las Vegas press. Everyone was rather embarrassed.

two graves for Nigger at Scampton; one outside the hangar,
I'm pretty certain Nigger's grave was on the left as one came out the side door of the hangar, on the airfield side.
It was said that crews often peed on the grave for good luck!
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Old 29th May 2014, 11:51
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I had the great privilege to know a member of one of the successful Bielefeld Viaduct Raid crews. I was able to take him to both the viaduct and Moehne Dam on a visit to Germany in the 70's, same spec of grit seemed to hit him at both locations. It was moving to see tears in his eyes. RIP Bill.

Good programme John, shame that the producers, as previously commented upon, didn't quite get all their facts correct. I have kept the recording of this and also a previous programme re the Tirpitz raid shown recently on C4
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Old 31st May 2014, 10:26
  #54 (permalink)  
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Thanks for the comments (good and bad) guys – always appreciated.

I did wonder how to respond to the ‘nay-sayers’ – indeed I had a bet with the Executive Producer (a life-long supporter of the military and the RAF in particular – look up his CV) about exactly how long it would take the PPRuNe ‘experts’ to point out their perception of the ‘errors’. Needless to say, I’m now a tenner better off. So thanks for that!

I can only say that those of you who claim to know this curious land of TV and dismiss the efforts of ‘producers’ couldn’t be more wrong – the team who made this documentary went above and beyond the call of duty to get it right. They were immersed in this story in a way they have not been on previous documentaries.

That said, I’m the first to admit that none of us are perfect (apart from some ‘hair-splitters’ who inhabit this interweb).

Still, to answer a few points – we did bring in ‘real experts’ (and not those from the pub!) who know the 617 Sqn story inside out. One, Rob Owen, the official 617 historian, has dedicated his life to the facts and went through the programme with a fine-tooth comb. (Thanks again Rob – we would have been lost without you!).

He pointed out the use of the BII footage (acknowledged on screen!) and the reversal of the photo. Again – these were not ‘mistakes’ but calculated production decisions involving cost/editorial/visual/available factors.

Without wanting to press this point too far – the BBMF Lanc is not 617, nor is Just Jane, nor was some other footage & audio on the ground and in the air. But that’s not the point! – It is about bringing available resources together to engagingly tell a story of heroism, sacrifice and service - and by God that story was well told!

To those who say we didn’t cover certain ops – very true. Harumph away, but it would have been impossible to do so and we chose the ones that could be best illustrated on screen.

There is no point in me addressing every single perceived ‘error’ line by line – there are some who will never be happy unless attempting to prove their own expertise ahead of others.

But I’ll say this – I’ve been in contact with a number veterans and their families since broadcast – they could not have been more generous in their praise for the programme and gratitude for highlighting the bravery and expertise of 617 Sqn.

Interestingly, not one of those men who went to war on our behalf so many years ago mentioned the reversal of an old photo. Funny that.
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Old 31st May 2014, 11:07
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Working away got back last night and watched the programme along with a few others, well done all
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Old 31st May 2014, 11:35
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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John,
I lurk a lot and very rarely take the time to post but, having been involved in a documentary a few years back, I know just how much of a struggle the "TV effect" can be when you're trying to get things right. Suffice to say I thought you guys did a brilliant job with the documentary and managed to bring some tales of daring do to the sofa world of today very successfully. Good job, and please pass on all the congratulations you see here to the guys who made it. I know some of the researchers and runners work very hard on programmes like this for very little reward. BZ to all of them.
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Old 31st May 2014, 11:37
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Throughly enjoyed the program, watched it this morning whilst tussling with jetlag (I must be getting old).

At the risk of reigniting somewhat dampened flames though, isn't it a slightly more senior squadron that is generally accepted as having ultimately sunk the Tirpitz?
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Old 31st May 2014, 13:07
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Without wanting to press this point too far the BBMF Lanc is not 617, nor is Just Jane, nor was some other footage & audio on the ground and in the air.
Oh dear, JN, BBMF Lanc is painted up as KC-A "Thumper MkIII" which was a 617 Sqn Lanc after the dams raid. Thumper flew on Op TAXABLE and the TIRPITZ raid. It doesn't get any better than that for your chosen material!!!

RAF BBMF - Lancaster Thumper Mk III

Whilst she may not be original 617, PA474 is painted to represent 617 for the time being.

LJ

PS. Top tip: Do your research with your mates in the pub rather than let some interns in a media company do it!
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Old 31st May 2014, 13:33
  #59 (permalink)  
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as I say .......(hair-splitting, nit-pickers unite!) - the BBMF Lanc is not a 617 Sqn Lanc. I know all too well what it is 'painted' as now - we had John Bell in the doco who has been photographed with this reproduction of the "Thumper" Lanc he flew in.

Thanks also for the 'top tip' LJ - (good to see you still find it necessary to take a pop at, & try to diminish the work of young, enthusiastic, production staff doing a great job - were you a QWI by any chance?!) but as I have no idea who you are, I'll have to pass on the undoubted joy of sharing a pint with you.

Still.....we can all continue with this now tiresome weeing contest. Or simply acknowledge that the doco did a great service in honouring our veterans.

Thanks again to those of you who offered such positive feedback. I'll pass it on.
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Old 31st May 2014, 15:19
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John

tiresome weeing contest
I could see that phrase being re-used on a number of other threads on this board.... It seems to be in the nature of Prune these days
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