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Dambusters last night

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Dambusters last night

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Old 18th May 2018, 10:48
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Dambusters last night

Anyone see the special from the Royal Albert Hall?

The Family Harry got the staff to bring round the coach & 4 and we headed to our nearest moving picture house to watch

The Royal Albert Hall part was OK with one or two interesting bits - tho if Dan Snow mentioned his TV Channel or the DVD one more time I think I'd have left

The movie, cleaned up, and on a big screen was terrific........ far better than I remembered and light years ahead of the flickering TV screen versions

One of the younger Harry's observed how amazing it was to see an action film which had NO secondary luvv interest and no shots of "good germans" or even "bad germans". And not even a single shot of worthy, but oppressed and defiant, Dutch Burghers looking up from their daily tasks to watch Our Boys shoot by at 10 ft. And the movie buffs spent the whole trip home pointing out where it had influenced every future film involving aerial combat. A great evening out!!

The place was pretty full - tho Lady Harry thought they'd missed a trick by not having a collection afterwards at each cinema
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Old 18th May 2018, 11:31
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Originally Posted by Heathrow Harry View Post
One of the younger Harry's observed how amazing it was to see an action film which had NO secondary luvv interest.....
I watched it on TV late afternoon / early evening and thought the same. No fictional secondary BS love story so often injected into factual films in more recent years was refreshing.
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Old 18th May 2018, 11:38
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Only got to see the TV version yesterday, but something got me thinking...
What was 617 Sqn's official crest and motto before the raid on the dams? Did they have one at all?
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Old 18th May 2018, 11:43
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Originally Posted by Lomon View Post
Only got to see the TV version yesterday, but something got me thinking...
What was 617 Sqn's official crest and motto before the raid on the dams? Did they have one at all?
I thought it was formed on 21 March 1943 for the raid on the dams aka Operation Chastise.
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Old 18th May 2018, 12:01
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Yes, it was formed specifically for the job.

I enjoyed it in the local fleapit last night, though they could have not bothered with Dan Snow's ego trip. And the big screen showing of the film was wonderful. BTW, did anyone else notice the Canberra in the background of one of the airfield shots?
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Old 18th May 2018, 12:01
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I went to the linked show at the Odeon Lincoln, it was a birthday present from my grandsons, what surprised me was there was not as many people as I expected, I think the screening was less than half full, my wife and I enjoyed the evening in the comfy seats.

With regard the film;
The lead in with regards Guy Gibson's dog and its name, apparently whilst doing the 4k restoration of the original film they had considered changing the name, but decided for historical accuracy they would leave it, though added warnings about racist terms and bad language: unless I missed it, the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa did not feature in the film, and I thought that was where the 617 Squadron crews were moved to: in some shots thought the bomb looked more like a wheel & tyre shape, rather that 45 gallon drum shape: finally I noted the two Lancaster's that escorted the one that was doing the bomb run, to try and attract the AA fire, appeared to have flashing wing tips as if they had guns in them, unless they were flashing wing tips lights to attract the gun aimers.

Have to say though that none of this spoilt the enjoyment of the evening/film, and wife said I was just being picky anyway.
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Old 18th May 2018, 12:12
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When the film was made some aspects of the weapon Upkeep were still secret therefore the shape was altered in the film. The Mosquito that is in the film is dropping Highball, the naval version, which was more spherical. This was never used operationally. Gibson and one other aircraft did put their navigation lights on during the run in of a third to draw the AA fire. The Petwood hotel is not in the film.
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Old 18th May 2018, 12:18
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Lady Harry thought they'd missed a trick by not having a collection afterwards at each cinema
Back in the early sixties the film was shown for a whole week at the Stockton Odeon. Leading Cadet Blacksheep was one of the ATC 1261 (Thornaby) Squadron cadets on duty with collection boxes. I saw the film 19 times and we collected a record sum for the local RAFA Branch.

Later, at RAF Northolt I was privileged to discuss the film with Joe Kmiecik who flew one of the Lancasters in the film. He said they flew the dams in daylight and the cameras were 'stopped down' so that the result looked like night time. At 150 feet they were also a lot higher than the actual 617 Sqn raiders. He said he had no idea how they did it in the dark at 60 feet.
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Old 18th May 2018, 12:52
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Originally Posted by Lomon View Post
Only got to see the TV version yesterday, but something got me thinking...
What was 617 Sqn's official crest and motto before the raid on the dams? Did they have one at all?

iirc it was planned as a one off squadron fora single operation

it was only afterwards the govt decided it was good PR to keep them and even later they became a home for precision bombing. Given the casualties on the dams raid plus many were at the end of their tour it was almost a new squadron aircrew-wise anyway.....
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Old 18th May 2018, 14:04
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One of the decorated Sqn Ldr pilots flying on 267 Sqn in Malaya in the late 1950's, Mac Hamilton, flew with 617 Sqn during the period when it was dropping tall boys, including one of the attacks on the Tirpitz. He retired after a 2 year tour in Malaya and entered the world of advertising, I think.

However according to this post was still AEF flying in the late 1960's/1970's.

617 Squadron - After The Dams
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Old 18th May 2018, 14:14
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Originally Posted by Exrigger View Post
I went to the linked show at the Odeon Lincoln, it was a birthday present from my grandsons, what surprised me was there was not as many people as I expected, I think the screening was less than half full, my wife and I enjoyed the evening in the comfy seats.

With regard the film;
The lead in with regards Guy Gibson's dog and its name, apparently whilst doing the 4k restoration of the original film they had considered changing the name, but decided for historical accuracy they would leave it, though added warnings about racist terms and bad language: unless I missed it, the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa did not feature in the film, and I thought that was where the 617 Squadron crews were moved to: in some shots thought the bomb looked more like a wheel & tyre shape, rather that 45 gallon drum shape: finally I noted the two Lancaster's that escorted the one that was doing the bomb run, to try and attract the AA fire, appeared to have flashing wing tips as if they had guns in them, unless they were flashing wing tips lights to attract the gun aimers.

Have to say though that none of this spoilt the enjoyment of the evening/film, and wife said I was just being picky anyway.
Re: Petwood Hotel.

I don't believe 617 were located at Woodhall until 1944, although every reference to this in the village is understandably very vague - what with their tourist trade being based largely around "The Home of the Dambuster's" lore that has sprung up since.
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Old 18th May 2018, 14:40
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Correct. It was during Leonard Cheshire's time when the Sqn moved to Woodhall Spa, where 97 Sqn was based.

Sqn Ldr Les Munro D.S.O., D.F.C., describes it some 4 minutes into reel 5 of this IWM Oral History recorded in New Zealand

(incidentally the reason L.M. left the service and flying in 1945 was because he suffered an eye injury)

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80032296

Last edited by roving; 18th May 2018 at 16:13. Reason: syntax
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Old 18th May 2018, 15:04
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My younger daughter and granddaughter were at the RAH and enjoyed it enormously. Apparently will be experimenting with marbles, catapults and a long table this weekend.
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Old 18th May 2018, 15:12
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Originally Posted by camelspyyder View Post
Re: Petwood Hotel.

I don't believe 617 were located at Woodhall until 1944, although every reference to this in the village is understandably very vague - what with their tourist trade being based largely around "The Home of the Dambuster's" lore that has sprung up since.
You learn something new everyday here, I had made some assumptions from staying at the Petwood over the years, and I know what you mean about being vague, some links:

https://www.petwood.co.uk/about/history

07. Petwood Hotel ? Woodhall Spa Community Website

Woodhall Spa Airfield History - BCAR.org.uk
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Old 18th May 2018, 15:28
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In the Film, the enemy coast crossing is Anglesey in North Wales with its 2 distinctive Lighthouses on Llanddwyn Island, Newborough, situated in the south corner of the Island. The Wikipedia article says the coastal shots were taken on the East Coast, not so.
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Old 18th May 2018, 16:49
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OMS Attended the local showing last night as I had almost forgotten some of the words. I first watched this film in 55 aged 9, and then again at numerous irregular intervals over the years.

A good night out, even if Dan Snow's blatant pushing of 'his' history to channel got a bit tedious. However, I was delighted to see and hear that the meejah had failed to rewrite history in their own image for once. In the preamble, we were reminded several times that there was racist dialog. Well, I guess if you choose to look at the film with today's apologist glasses on, you could "be offended". For me it was just the name of a bloody dog....Perhaps there should also have been a statement saying that no dogs, Latvian slave workers, nuns or innocent civilians were harmed in the making of the film?

Talking to Senior Management after the event, I reminisced that when I joined up, in 62, most of the orficer corps spoke like like those in the film... 😉Pleased to say she enjoyed it as well.😁

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Old 18th May 2018, 18:17
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Originally Posted by Lomon View Post
Only got to see the TV version yesterday, but something got me thinking...
What was 617 Sqn's official crest and motto before the raid on the dams? Did they have one at all?
The crest was devised post raid.
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Old 18th May 2018, 19:03
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Hi Blacksheep. Nice to hear you knew Joe "Come here chick", as he taught us to pronounce it. Quite a character.

Watching the film last night, I'm not convinced it was at 150 ft. Either way, still scary. The producers did an excellent job I thought. left the film alone as regards shots and dialogues, but they must have virtually cleaned it up frame-by-frame. So clear, and a big screen to boot.

As regards the name. It wasn't racist, even at that time. It was the name of a much-loved black Lab. Anyone reading any racial hatred into that is sick.
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Old 18th May 2018, 19:27
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It must be 50 years since I saw the film on the big screen, having seen it many times since on TV. I'm not sure the '4k' restoration made much difference on the cinema screen last night other than to emphasise how much better special effects are today; the castle above the Eder, for example, was wobbling a fair amount, something I've never noticed watching the film on TV. And the Canberra at Hemswell was easier to spot last night in my local Odeon, as was the 'black canine ghost' in the final scene.

Restored or not, it's still one of the best war films ever made, and never fails to make me well up at certain points.
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Old 18th May 2018, 19:37
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I took Wig Wag junior, aged thirteen, to see the film. At the end he took my breath away by remarking "Dad,for the first time in my life I feel proud to be British!" He then asked "Can you switch of the BBC in future, maybe play some music instead?"

Sure, Dan Snow's plugs for his history TV were slightly irritating but the BBC would have never have created a production like this. As for the dog I was amused by Snow's lengthy explanation followed by the audience applause when he said the film would be shown uncut.

What did make me shudder was the colour footage of Wg Cdr Gibson as he looked incredibly young. He would have passed muster in a school uniform.

The film was just wonderful. I'll buy the DVD and show it to the rest of the Wig Wags at Christmas.

P.S. slight family connection as Wig Wag senior, long since passed, saw the Wellington trials off the south coast . . .
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