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617 Squadron - After The Dams

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617 Squadron - After The Dams

Old 31st May 2014, 15:26
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helpful stacker

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?

Do keep up! See #26.
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Old 31st May 2014, 15:45
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Documentary repeat Saturday 31 May 1745 C5

Original picture on beforehand.








Pleased to see the 'N word' is not being overdubbed during the film screening, for the sake of historical accuracy
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Old 31st May 2014, 15:51
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goudie wrote:

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.
That's where it was when I was stationed at Scampton. Mrs 4ma has a surviving uncle who was one of 617's groundcrew during the war so we are going to try to see if he can re-call the grave's precise location.
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Old 31st May 2014, 17:17
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Originally Posted by The Helpful Stacker
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?
No.

Perhaps in the past, and that because they shouted the loudest, as did (do) their association.

Having spoken to one of the 617 Sqn rear gunners on the raid many years ago, he saw the ship turn over before the other sqn even arrived on target. But that's just one word. There have been a couple of seemingly well researched documentaries on recently showing the effect of each bomb and from that there can be no doubt which sqns bombs did the real damage.
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Old 31st May 2014, 20:52
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Was there ever any operational planning carried out proposing a return to the dams using Grandslams and Tallboys? Given 617's accuracy the Sorpe in particular would have been an ideal target
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Old 31st May 2014, 22:48
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Two dams were attacked with Tallboys in 1944, The Sorpe by 9 Sqn in October, 4 direct hits including one dead center of the road at the middle of the crest. Didn't even come close to breaking it (Tallboy had a much smaller charge than Upkeep) and the Urft Dam in the December where both 617 and 9 Sqn attacked the dam (though most of the aircraft didn't bomb due to bad weather). One direct hit on the crest which took out a large chunk, but well above the water line, so no breech. Tallboy and Grandslam were not designed to penetrate large amounts of concrete and in almost all occasions where the bomb did hit a hardened target, it exploded within the concrete before entering the space under the protection causing limited damage to the area directly under the point of the detonation (If the bomb didn't break up first or only partly detonate, which happen on more than a few occasions). Most of the major structural damage was done by near misses undermining the structure attacked, which is exactly what Barnes Wallis had designed the weapon to do.

V3 would have been a game changer had it actually worked!!! The weapon had two major problems, firstly the secondary charges along the barrel had a tendency to pre-detonate before the shell past them (thus retarding the shell instead of accelerating it) and secondly due to the smooth bore nature of the barrel, the shell (which was fin stabilized) didn't spin and tended to topple in flight. The longest range they got in trials was around 60NM, which was a shorter range than Paris gun of 1918. Most of the damage to the V3 site was done by a Tallboy going down one of the gun shafts, exploding and exposing an underground water course which then flooded the lower levels and drowned a lot of Germans and forced labour who were sheltering down there.

Last edited by MAINJAFAD; 1st Jun 2014 at 13:20.
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Old 1st Jun 2014, 07:56
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I've run out of wee...
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Old 1st Jun 2014, 10:28
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I have just read 'Johnny' Johnson's book The Last British Dambuster.
He dropped one of the Upkeep bombs on the Sorpe dam. He said they were only told how to attack it the morning of the day. He had no bomb sight for it so they lined up an engine as they flew along the dam.
mmitch.
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Old 1st Jun 2014, 12:46
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Originally Posted by Leon
I've run out of wee...
Furosemide 40mg daily should do the trick
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Old 1st Jun 2014, 14:07
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Not quite there yet, Coff!
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Old 1st Jun 2014, 19:06
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Haven't run through the comments but just to say I watched it last night and thoroughly enjoyed it John. A great programme.

Even as an air defender (ducking for cover) I have to take my hat off to those guys and what they did. True heroism.
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Old 22nd Oct 2014, 12:45
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If anyone missed it, this doco is running on National Geographic this week - now titled "Dambusters' Secret Missions"
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Old 22nd Oct 2014, 13:47
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Now there is a coincidence, just thinking of you and JP yesterday
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Old 25th Oct 2014, 19:25
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This clip from Pathe shows the raid on the Panzership Lutzow at Swinemunde, Poland (starts at 0.59). It's by 617 Squadron and dated 16th April 1945:


Winged War - British Pathé

A five-ton bomb achieved a near-miss and opened up 30 m of Lützow's side and she assumed a 56 degree list to starboard. Two 1.000 lb bombs which hit the forward and aft 28 cm magazines failed to explode. The ship was finished but one main turret was repaired and used against the Russians until the shells ran out. She was then scuttled and remained on the river until 1947 when the Russians managed to refloat the ship and towed it to Gdansk Bay where it was sunk.


Alan Cooper followed up his book on 617 Dambusters with 'Beyond the Dams to the Tirpitz':


Beyond the Dams to the Tirpitz: Amazon.co.uk: Alan W. Cooper: Books Beyond the Dams to the Tirpitz: Amazon.co.uk: Alan W. Cooper: Books
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Old 5th Nov 2014, 14:28
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RAAF "Dam Busters" in Iraq

1 Sqn, RAAF, Super Hornets, are busting ISIL dams!
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