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OT: The Dambusters; seventy years have passed...


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#1 Gary Davies

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 17:04

16/17 May 1943 ... the night of the Dambusters raid. In respectful memory of the brave aircrew - those who survived and the 53 who did not - and the people on the ground, including some 1,300 Ukrainian workers who became victims of the raid.

Perhaps not the strategic success it was intended to be, but still, after 60 years it remains a quite staggering feat of airmanship, navigation and bravery.

Posted Image
The picture, only declassified in 1962, shows the mine and
aspects of the hydraulically driven mechanism which spun
it at 500rpm prior to release.

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#2 DOHC

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 17:06

Interesting pic, Vanwall. Where is it sourced from?

#3 Gary Davies

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 17:17

Well I've seen it in a few places, and it would, naturally, have originated from MoD, but this one came from Lancaster - the story of a famous bomber - Harleyford.

The caption in the book says that the special Lancasters were dubbed "The Steamrollers of Scampton" for obvoius reasons but presumably only on the station.

Anyone seeing the 1954 movie could be excused for assuming the mines were spherical.

#4 WGD706

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 17:55

I understand the idea of the spotlights did NOT come from Gibson watching theater spotlights converging on a line of chorus girls, but from a civilian named Lockspeiser working for the Director of Scientific Research.
After The Battle has a good book out called 'The Dams Raid Through The lens' by Helmuth Euler.
Warren

#5 Bumblyari

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 17:58

The original plan was apparently to use a Ford V8 to spin the bomb up to speed, then I guess someone saw sense and decided to use a hydraulic motor fed from the undercarriage system.

#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 20:00

Hmmm... lots of detail there the film didn't go into.

Including the number who didn't return...

#7 doc540

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 20:44

And they lost some of their absolute best crews in the effort.

RIP brave souls.

#8 dolomite

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 22:05

Originally posted by Vanwall
The caption in the book says that the special Lancasters were dubbed "The Steamrollers of Scampton" for obvoius reasons but presumably only on the station.

I've seen a copy of Flight magazine from 1962 which published the previously secret details of the Upkeep bomb. 'The Steamrollers of Scampton' was the headline of the magazine story.

#9 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 22:22

I remember Revell releasing a 1/72 scale model of the Dambuster Lanc in 1973. Airfix do an even better one now - as well as a B1 Special (the B1 Special was the version designed to carry the 22,000 lb Grand Slam bomb).

#10 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 02:52

So this was moved from the paddock club to the nostalgia forum. Where's the Nostalgia Paddock Club :lol:

#11 FrankB

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 08:27

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Hmmm... lots of detail there the film didn't go into.

Including the number who didn't return...


I seem to remember a scene right at the end of the film where Wallis is talking to Gibson about the 56 crew that were missing... just before Gibson said that he 'had got some letters to write'.

#12 BorderReiver

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 08:56

They also missed out another dam in the movie, I'm sorry can't remember its name, that was attacked in the raid. It was apparently too sensitive to be declasified at the time, but I remember seeing it in a documentary.

#13 Gary Davies

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 11:05

BorderReiver, the fourth dam to which you refer was the Enneppe. This dam was to be attacked by the third wave, five aircraft led by Flt. Sgt. Townsend, under the control of 5 Group HQ, not Gibson.

Townsend was in fact detailed to attack the Enneppe and dropped his mine accurately but to no effect. Two other members of the third wave were ordered to attack the Sorpe (which the second wave had failed to breach), two others were lost without launching an attack and the final member of the third wave was ordered to attack the Lister dam but was shot down over Germany without having launched an attack.

Originally, five Ruhr dams were "on the list", the Moehne, Eder, Sorpe, Lister and Schwelme.

#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 11:19

When, at the beginning of the thread (which I assume you did indeed post in TNF, not the Paddock Club?) you mentioned it not being a strategic success, what did you mean?

My understanding was that breaching these dams would shut down a lot of industry in the Ruhr Valley, industry that was supporting the Swastika-bedecked armies, navy and air force.

Now, if 1300 Ukranian slaves died, there must have been a swag of German deaths too... and if there was an equivalent number, then that's an awful lot of manpower gone. Along with them, no doubt, there were factories damaged, infrastructure ruined and power supplies cut.

Surely the damage done was great enough to rate this as a 'strategic success'... especially when it ranks alongside some bloody battles on other fronts where perhaps a thousand men died to advance the front line a mile or two?

#15 D-Type

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 11:52

Ray,
As I understand it, the key dam in the Ruhr water supply and hydro-electric power networks was the Sorpe dam. As it was not breached the 100% wisdom of hindsight says the raid was not a TOTAL strategic success.
As it was an earthfill dam it was inherently more resistant to bomb damage, hence the prioritisation of the Mohne and Eder dams. Ironically, Barnes Wallis's original concept, the "earthquake" bomb that was later developed into the Tallboy and Grand Slam would probably have been effective against earthfill dams.

Vanwall,
Great stuff even if it is totally OT.
Weren't the original prototypes spherical or egg-shaped? Possibly the smaller version, which the navy started to develop for attacking ships with Mosquitos but abandoned, was spherical?

What always impresses me about the Dambusters story, in addition to the loss of life, is the short time it took to develop the mine once the go ahead was given and the youth of all the crews - Gibson was a Group Captain and he was only 24.

#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 11:57

Above all else, I think you have to feel for the slaves...

I met a woman once, not too many years ago, and in the course of the conversation she explained that she was a Pole or a Czech or something. She told me that she and her sister were made to work in an aircraft factory during the war... it was in Berlin.

"We worked at night, when it was dangerous with the air raids," she told me. "The Germans worked in the daytime when it was safe."

#17 dolomite

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 12:21

Originally posted by D-Type

Weren't the original prototypes spherical or egg-shaped? Possibly the smaller version, which the navy started to develop for attacking ships with Mosquitos but abandoned, was spherical?

The original design had a spherical wooden shell fixed around the outside of the cylindrical mine. When these were test dropped from aircraft major problems were experienced with the wooden shell disintegrating when it hit the water. Eventually it was discovered that the cylinder on its own worked just as well and so this was the configuration that was used on the actual raid.

#18 ray b

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 13:41

history chanel had a show on the raid
very long odds for all bomber crews
no matter what mission
day, [USA] or night [brits]
but even worse for the low level night specials
like this mission

but they realy won the war
by knocking out german war production
with older open unpressurerized planes
like the B-17 a 30's teck bomber
too bad they were not given the more modern
B-29 type craft that were only used againts japan
those heros deserved the best we could have given them

#19 Gary Davies

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 14:11

Originally posted by Ray Bell
When ... you mentioned it not being a strategic success, what did you mean?


Ray, not seeking to be picky, the words were carefully chosen:"Perhaps not the strategic success it was intended to be."

The greater objective was to cause severe and long term disruption to industrial output in the Ruhr and there were several good reasons why this was important. The Russians were pressing for a second front and a high profile blow such as was envisaged was always going to stem their invective for a while at least. Bomber Command raids against Ruhr targets were proving to be horrendously costly - between March and June 1943, 872 aircraft and close to 60,000 aircrew were lost in Ruhr raids alone and a further 2,126 heavy bombers were severely damaged or crash-landed in England (The Lost Command - Alistair Revie). Morale in Bomber Command was beginning to be very seriously affected.

Shutting down the greater part of Ruhr industry for a long time was going to help the Allied battle for air supremacy and have great potential benefits for ground fighting when the second front was opened.

The raid was undoubtedly successful. Armament production all but stopped for two weeks, steel production fell by an average of 8% for several months, electricity supply was most severely disrupted for the rest of the year.

125 factories were either damaged or destroyed, 25 bridges were washed away and 6,500 cattle and pigs lost. (The Dam Busters - Brickhill)

30,000 workers were taken from military projects to work on rebuilding the breached dams and there was a tremendous morale boost throughout occupied Europe.

But the fact remains that Ruhr production reached a new record level in 1943 taken overall and in that sense, the Germans' renowned ability to recover and improvise took the edge off the raid.

Edit ... D-type thanks for your words. Actually, we do aviation here now and then :)

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#20 Garagiste

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 14:37

I had thought the bombs were spherical, until I saw one - another good reason to visit the Brooklands museum (assuming there's anybody here that hasn't already been). :)

#21 FrankB

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 14:52

Originally posted by Vanwall

Bomber Command raids against Ruhr targets were proving to be horrendously costly - between March and June 1943, 872 aircraft and close to 60,000 aircrew were lost in Ruhr raids alone and a further 2,126 heavy bombers were severely damaged or crash-landed in England (The Lost Command - Alistair Revie)...

...But the fact remains that Ruhr production reached a new record level in 1943 taken overall and in that sense, the Germans' renowned ability to recover and improvise took the edge off the raid.


Fascinating reading Vanwall, but I have a couple of small points. Firstly the casualty figures of around 900 aircraft and 60 000 crew don't add up? Even if you take in the severely damaged and crash landed numbers as total losses, it still gives 60 000 aircrew in 3 000 aircraft.

As for the strategic effects of the raids, outputs from the area were undoubtedly slowed for a while, and the Germans managed to overcome many of the problems in a very short time. It can only be speculation, but I wonder what the production in 1943 would have been if the raid had been completely unsuccessful?

Although the effects of the attacks can be measured in terms of the damage done to industry, both directly and indirectly through labour having to be re-deployed, what cannot be readily measured is the propaganda value that the Allies gained. Do you think that the raids were planned possibly with this propaganda value as a greater priority than any miltary objective?

#22 Gary Davies

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 16:53

Originally posted by FrankB
...I have a couple of small points. Firstly the casualty figures of around 900 aircraft and 60 000 crew don't add up?


Oh good gracious I must have the jitters!. One too many noughts! 6,000! :blush: :|

Originally posted by FrankB
Although the effects of the attacks can be measured in terms of the damage done to industry, both directly and indirectly through labour having to be re-deployed, what cannot be readily measured is the propaganda value that the Allies gained. Do you think that the raids were planned possibly with this propaganda value as a greater priority than any miltary objective?



The British Cabinet discussed attacks on the Ruhr dams as early as 1938 so there was undoubtedly a strategic genesis of some sort to this type of mission. Most historians, however, tend to the view that propaganda was the greater motivator for the dams raid. Anthony Verrier in The Bomber Offensive says: "Even the attacks on the Moehne and Eder dams, rightly described as one of the greatest feats of precision flying, was more of a propaganda than a strategic success."

Within Allied ranks, a great battle had been raging for some time over the question of "selective vs. area bombing". Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris of Bomber Command, having noted the very poor accuracy of bombing per se, became the chief, and sometimes almost sole, supporter of area bombing which he saw as having both strategic and propaganda advantages. Ranged against this view was not only the US 8th Air Force, led by Gen. Eaker but many high ranking RAF and British political figures and it was from this political will that sprung the incentive to develop an airborne weapon with the ability to inflict devastating damage to selected targets. Harris was never convinced and was not a supporter of the dams raid, although he did not oppose it.

Churchill, whilst strongly supporting Harris's area bombing approach in the early years of the war on the basis that it at least took the fight to the enemy, was a source of encouragement for the British population and the people of Europe, and evidence of vigour for Capitol Hill to contemplate, came to the view by early 1943 that his chief of Bomber Command's way was not going to subdue the Germans or clear the skies of German aircraft and the ground of German field guns and tanks in time for the second front. German military production figures made that much obvious.

That Barnes Wallis was finally given official support, after facing bureaucratic indifference for a long time, suggests to me that the dams raid was seen as a test for the concept of highly strategic, knockout bombing. Harris contemptuously saw this as "panacea" bombing.

So I take the benign view; there was genuine strategic logic in the intention of the planners, no doubt with a weather eye to the potential for favourable propaganda. And when the raid was seen to achieve its initial military objective, at least in part, propaganda was milked for all it was worth and why not!

In the end, whatever well intentioned objectives were intended, the dams raid must go down in history primarily as a brilliant feat of technical ingenuity and human skill and bravery.

Verrier again: "... the dams raid must be recorded as a tragic example of how idea and execution require the element of operational feasibility to form a strategic whole. What is so especially tragic about the raid was that it plays little part in the evolution of techniques for relatively accurate attacks on specially selected targets".

#23 TODave2

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 17:39

Paul Brickhill's book is very much a product of the time, written in a style that today seems terribly 'I say old boy', very much like his The Great Escape book.

However, it does give a pretty good account of the raid, and more interestingly, the raids 617 carried out afterwards.

There's another book out at the moment, has anyone read it? Here's the info:


THE DAMBUSTERS
John Sweetman, David Coward, Gary Johnston

Hardback

List price: £15.00

The Dambusters' mission is of enduring fascination and appeal. The breaching of the dams in Germany's industrial heartland was to have a pivotal effect - a triumph for Allied thinking and courage, it convinced Roosevelt to commit to the invasion of Italy and the countdown to the D-Day landings. Sixty years on, this book recounts one of World War II's most remarkable episodes. It describes how the ingenuity and persistence of a scientific maverick, Barnes Wallis, meant that the idea of the backwards-spinning bouncing bomb came about and how the pilots overcame the odds to pull off one of the most astonishing military successes in history. Accompanying a major television series, the book uses contemporary re-enactments to show just what an astonishing feat the mission was. Illustrated throughout, the volume captures the brilliance of the scientists and the bravery of the crews, as well as the enormous impact their success had on the outcome of the war.


#24 TODave2

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 17:41

Oh, I just read the review myself - what's the major television series? Is that the recent one where they took 8 modern day RAF people and put them in a simulator to see if they could re-do the raid? Or the one on C5 a few months back that had some cracking computer special effects...?

#25 WGD706

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 17:54

Of the 19 aircraft and 133 airmen sent out on Operation Chastise, 8 Lancasters failed to return with the loss of 53 crew and three more were taken prisoner. The men of 617 were regarded as the best of the best by Bomber Command and initially there was some argument in military circles that they had been thrown away on a high profile but ultimately wasteful operation.

F/Sgt Townsend was diverted to the Ennerpe Dam and was lucky to stay on track after flying through intense flak some 16 minutes after crossing the enemy coast. It was later discovered that owing to navigational errors he actually attacked the Bever Dam, which looked similar, and then he flew home via the Mohne Dam for a final recce.
Dawn began to break while Townsend was still over Germany, and by the time he crossed the Dutch coast, enemy flak gunners could see him well enough to bounce their shells off the sea surface in an attempt to shoot him down.
He flew his Lanc about the sky as if it were a Spitfire but he did not come away unscathed and had to feather one of the engines before crossing the English coast.


This was taken out of 'Flypast',May 2003.

#26 Don Capps

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 18:22

Aviation is an OT for which I have a great tolerance. Having said that, the Bill Sweetman book is excellent although I wish I knew where my copy was at the moment. My brother is an avid WW2 aviation sort -- he helps put on a WW2 fly-in every year -- and hopefully still has it.....

Flying bombers over Europe during the day or night was one of those occupations I would have easily tried to avoid if at all possible. Not until well into the waning months of 1944 did all that many US B-17 and B-24 pilots begin to fly their allotted missions and rotate back into the training base or for Pacific B-29 assignments.

The attrition among the bomber crews -- US and British Commonwealth -- was staggering viewed from today and quite frightening at the time according to most of the aircrew I have met over the years. By the way, NCO pilots are a breed that many have forgotten about. We had a neighbor when we lived at Ft Monroe who was one of the last US Army NCO pilots, finally being converted to a Warrant Officer. I can still remember watching him buzz the house or use the water tank in the back yard for hovering practice.

#27 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 21:42

In 1993, Channel 4 showed an excellent documentary about the development of the "Upkeep" bouncing bombs. Also covered were the smaller versions developed for use from Mosquitos (but never used operationally) and some of the American tests. One dramatic piece of footage showed a Boston dropping its bomb from too low an altitude, the resultant water splash totally removing the entire tail assembly,with tragic consequences for the crew. The Germans also tried a tiny rocket propelled (they would, would'nt they) version of the bouncing bomb. Again, extrordinary test footage of a FW-190 droppiung one over the Baltic was shown.

#28 TODave2

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 21:58

Doesn't Guy Gibson also give an account in his book 'Enemy Coast Ahead'...?

#29 Vitesse2

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 23:00

Originally posted by Don Capps
... rotate back into the training base or for Pacific B-19 assignments.


Just a typo, I'm sure Don. B-29? :)

#30 Don Capps

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 00:50

Originally posted by Vitesse2


Just a typo, I'm sure Don. B-29? :)


Ooops... :blush: I meant B-29 assignments of course....

#31 dbw

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 05:36

perhaps more damage could have been inflicted if they just dropped a bunch of ford flathead v-8's on them.....[sorry,couldn't resist..no disrespect ment]

#32 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 07:04

There was a B-19 of course, the Douglas B-19. It was a long range bomber (nose wheel equipped) but never entered service. If it had, it's doubtful if the B-29 would have even been contemplated.

#33 Doug Nye

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 08:26

One of my earliest aviation memories as a kid is of seeing a flight of gleaming silver B29s overflying my home during their brief RAF service when they were known here as the Washington. With the sad news of the impending end of Concorde operation, by the way, we were discussing the other day the contemporary excitement about "breaking the sound barrier". Forget all this PC crap about environmental damage, and only exceeding Mach 1 over the ocean. I'm sure I recall the commentator at early 1950s Farnborough Air Shows getting excited about "Look away over the Black Sheds end of the airfield ladies and gentlemen - Here comes Neville Duke, he's going faster than the speed of sound!!!" - and "BAH-BOOM-BOOM" - Lord, our teeth would rattle. Magic. I was entranced. It's that kind of thing which has caused all my trouble since...

And another digression - Don mentions the wartime European Theatre mortality amongst bomber crews. Jaguar chief tester and sometime works driver Norman Dewis is small, and he is one of the VERY few surviving wartime air gunners to have seen service in the RAF's twin-engined Bristol Blenheim. When introduced, this all-metal monoplane with retractable undercarriage was feted as the bomber which can outrun any fighter. Well by 1939-40 it could not. It proved immensely vulnerable and any Blenheim crewman who survived a tour of operations really was leading a charmed life. Norman's was more charmed than most - as his postwar Jaguar career proved (XJ13 upending at MIRA etc). Remarkable bloke.

DCN

#34 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 08:28

Originally posted by Eric McLoughlin
There was a B-19 of course, the Douglas B-19. It was a long range bomber (nose wheel equipped) but never entered service. If it had, it's doubtful if the B-29 would have even been contemplated.


Why is that, Eric?

I know that the US aircraft development during WW2 was tremendous, as they'd been languishing in a nether world of peace and non-involvement so firmly entrenched that the forces enrolled a civilian to do some spying all around the world in a famous incomplete flight (or so I understand...).

But what was there about the B19 that would have prevented the B29 from going ahead? And why didn't it go ahead (if you have any real idea about the reasons, that is)?

Originally laughingly posted by dbw
perhaps more damage could have been inflicted if they just dropped a bunch of ford flathead v-8's on them.....


Even Chevy sixes might have done the job, but please spare the Buick Centurys!

#35 Gary Davies

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 13:17

Originally posted by Doug Nye
... When introduced, this all-metal monoplane with retractable undercarriage was feted as the bomber which can outrun any fighter. Well by 1939-40 it could not. It proved immensely vulnerable and any Blenheim crewman who survived a tour of operations really was leading a charmed life.


"The bomber will always get through"- Stanley Baldwin, House of Commons, 1932 ... :(

#36 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 13:24

Originally posted by Doug Nye
... Bristol Blenheim. When introduced, this all-metal monoplane with retractable undercarriage was feted as the bomber which can outrun any fighter. Well by 1939-40 it could not. It proved immensely vulnerable and any Blenheim crewman who survived a tour of operations really was leading a charmed life.

DCN


... exceeded only by anyone who survived the Fairey Battle two-seat fighter. Looked like a Hurricane from a distance, but flew like a brick .....

#37 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 13:27

From memory - no time to check - I think the B-19 was built to the same spec as the B-17, which turned out better and was chosen by the USAAF.

#38 Gary Davies

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 13:52

Originally posted by Ray Bell
But what was there about the B19 that would have prevented the B29 from going ahead? And why didn't it go ahead (if you have any real idea about the reasons, that is)?


Ray, US heavy bombers are not my long suit but a bit of Googling reveals some eye popping contrasts, if nothing else and methinks the answer lies in here somewhere:-

Douglas XB-19
Wingspan - 212 ft
Weight max. - 162,000 lb
Speed - Max. - 209 mph. Cruising - 186 mph.

Boeing B-29
Wingspan - 141.2 ft
Weight max. - 74,505 lb
Speed - Max. - 357 mph. Cruising - 290 mph.

The site I obtained this data from <http://www.military..../b19/b19_en.htm> said: "The huge XB-19 long-range bomber was a too demanding concept for the technology of its time. It was underpowered and too vulnerable. Only one was built."

#39 Doug Nye

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 17:30

Originally posted by Vitesse2
... exceeded only by anyone who survived the Fairey Battle two-seat fighter. Looked like a Hurricane from a distance, but flew like a brick .....


Appreciate exactly what you mean but 'two seat light day bomber' - not fighter...no way, as you rightly point out...

DCN

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#40 BorderReiver

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 18:43

I'm in quite a good position to talk about the Fairey Battle. My Great-Uncle flew them in 1939 - Early 1940 when they were withdrawn from service. They became known as the Sky-Coffins among their crews.

My Uncle took part in the raids on the Sedan Pontoon Bridges where 71 Battles flew out and only 31 returned. My uncle returned with both his rear gunner and radio operator dead and a shattered right arm after a BF-109 pumped cannon shells into the cockpit.

It's amazing to think that in 1936 when the Battle was introduced it was cutting edge stuff, what a difference three years makes. My Uncle transferred to a Hurricane squadron straight away as soon as he returned to service. He was then later repatriated to the Eastern Front on the ground of his Russian heritage (his mother's side and he was fluent) as a Liason officer where he flew the MiG-3 and later the famed Yak-3. He finished the war with 28 confirmed kills a DFC and bizarrely the Order of the Red Banner.

He was killed trying to Jump from a De Havilland Venom in 1952.

As an interesting post script, when we moved south to Manchester our new house (and the one I'm sitting in right now) is in sight of the Fairey Engineering Works where the Battle's and Barracuda's were produced. This factory was the target for several Luftwaffe raids in the War and now the local golf course benefits from the bomb craters using them as Water Hazards.

Funny old world.

With all due respect to Vitesse2 I think the aircraft your referring to which looked like the Hurricane was not the Battle but the Boulton-Paul Defiant. The similarity certainly confused rookie Luftwaffe pilots who used to dive on the tail of the "Hurricane" only to be met by Four 303 Machine guns fired from the rear turret. Unfortunately, once the Germans learned of this they attacke the Defiant from ahead or below and cut them to bits.

#41 BorderReiver

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 21:13

http://www.blackstar...words=Dambuster

A good place to purchase some footage of the raids and the like.

Does anyone think a remake of the film would be fantastic.

Incidentally Nort West Tonight just did a feature on the bouncing bomb tests in Derbyshire, only caught the end of the article, but fascinating nonetheless.

#42 BorderReiver

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 21:59

Sorry to correct people again, especially after the very anal Boulton-Paul fact (see 2 posts ago) but I've just been re reading this. The criticism of the Blenheim isn't entirely justified, true it was a death trap in a strike role, but it proved to be a very effective night fighter, as was it's successor the beaufort.

God I am a bore aren't I?

#43 BorderReiver

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 23:13

60 years ago this very moment. . . . .

Enemy Coast ahead.

#44 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 23:33

You could be right BR, my aircraft references are not to hand and I may be confusing the two, but both the Battle and the Defiant looked pretty much like a Hurricane from a distance!
Defiant:
Posted Image
Battle:
Posted Image

And I was going to post something about the Blenheim's night fighter role - IIRC it was the aircraft used by John "Cats Eyes" Cunningham in the early period of airborne radar or H2S.

#45 BorderReiver

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 23:36

Speaking of night fighters, the Defiant also made an excellent one when it was converted.

#46 TODave2

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Posted 17 May 2003 - 00:01

Originally posted by BorderReiver
Does anyone think a remake of the film would be fantastic.


Yes! I have the original on DVD and everytime I watch the slightly dodgy explosion effects I always think 'Boy, they could do a fantastic version of this nowadays'. Even the recent C5 documentary (as I said before) had some cracking computer generated effects and that's on a TV budget (and a Channel 5 TV budget at that! :D )


The original film suffers from only having three Lancs to play with and the dodgy water effects (and the obviously now dated 'Stiff upper lip, chaps' style). Apart from that, it's pretty darn good in terms of story telling (and the dam models are excellent even today). Imagine what they could do today, especially with the added info we now know about the raid.

If only...

#47 FrankB

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Posted 17 May 2003 - 09:07

Not sure which of the three current Dambuster threads this should be in, but...

I have just heard that at 2:45 this afternoon the Battle of Britain Flight (Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane) followed by a Tornado (of 617 Sqn?) are doing a flypast at Eyebrook Reservoir where some of the training flights were done before the raid. Eyebrook is about 5 miles NW of Corby, near the village of Stoke Dry. I know this doesn't leave much time, but perhaps some Brits are close enough to make it in time... I'm leaving now!

#48 Vitesse2

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Posted 17 May 2003 - 12:12

Perhaps they could go on to Rockingham and do a few practice runs at the banking ..... :lol:

#49 BorderReiver

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Posted 17 May 2003 - 14:23

We need to decide on an official Air Combat thread, maybe merge all of the dam busters ones together. What dya say Don Capps?

#50 D-Type

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Posted 17 May 2003 - 20:55

Originally posted by TODave2
Doesn't Guy Gibson also give an account in his book 'Enemy Coast Ahead'...?

Yes he does. As the book was written in wartime many details were still secret. from memory I think it didn't even mention that they were bouncing bombs.
Then we have Paul Brickhill's The Dambusters . This was written in the 1950's and is the one that I, and probably most of my generation, read as a schoolboy. It gives some detail of the development of the bomb and goes on to recount the exploits of 617 squadron after the dams raid including development of the "Tallboy" and "Grand Slam" bombs that were so effective against the Tirpitz and the squadron's second VC awarded to leonard Cheshire.
Today I went to the library and took out John Sweetman's "The Dambusters Raid" which I have read before. I think this is the book that Don referred to. Originally published in 1982 by Janes as "The Dams Raid: Epic or Myth" with a second edition in 1990, it is the result of meticulous research of both Allied and German records. Well worth a read.
I have not read The Dambusters , by John Sweetman, David Coward, Gary Johnston mentioned by TODave2. Given that John Sweetman was a co-author I would think it is accurate.