Dambusters Operation Chastise 1943 by Doug Dildy

By Doug Dildy

В мае 1943 года специально созданная эскадрильи королевских ВВС Великобритании ночью атаковала с немецкую ГЭС в долине Рура, жизненно важную для нацистской военной индустрии.

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7km) south of the turn point, Gibson banked left to correct, flying across the turn point before banking back hard to the right to head east again, apparently slinging Martin's 'P-for-Popsie' from his left wing as he did so. Near Rees the three leading Lancasters, now all flying individually, received their first hostile welcome: tracer shot into the night sky from flak positions along the riverbanks. 303 machine-gun rounds until the Luftwaffe guns were left far behind. Further concentrations of enemy AA guns - belonging to Flak-Regiment 46 ('F/akgruppe Dorsten'), with four heavy and two light battalions - were encountered in the BucholtBorken area norrhwest of Dorsten and again near Diilmen.

At 0049 David Maltby also made a textbook attack: on a course of 330° aimed at the centre of the dam and at an airspeed of 223mph (359km/hr). The bomb-aimer, Pit Off John Fort, released the Upkeep at the prescribed range. But even as Maltby's Upkeep bounded towards the aim point, he saw the hoped-for result beginning to happen right before his eyes: 'The crown of the wall was already crumbling ... [there was] a tremendous amount of debris on top'. However, the full effect was not yet evident. At 0050 his wireless operator, Sgt A.

All this meant 617 Sqn would have to provide its own diversionary effort. It was planned for the main and diversionary forces to cross the enemy coast simultaneously at widely separated points - the main force over the Scheidt Estuary, the diversionary force over the Durch Frisian Islands. The plan was that the two forces would arrive at their targets at midnight (midnight being the assigned time over target or 'TOT'). The diversionary force would have to depart Scampton first due to the longer distance to the coast and to the force's target.

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