A Landmark Oral History
One of the most daring missions of WWII, told by those who were there, now in paperback
On the night of 16–17 May 1943, nineteen Lancaster bombers from 617 Squadron headed for Germany. Their mission, for which they had been trained under a cloak of absolute secrecy, was to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley and in doing so cripple the Nazi industrial war effort. It was to become one of the most famous raids of WWII.
For the first time, acclaimed oral historian Max Arthur has gathered together the voices of the ‘Dambusters’, including Guy Gibson, commander of the mission and Barnes Wallis, who developed the iconic Bouncing Bomb. These voices tell of the hard training and sheer bravery that went into this legendary mission. We also hear from the German civilians who suffered the attack, who speak of the devastation that was wrought in their lives. This was a raid like no other, and in this extraordinary collection Max Arthur has created an enduring record of a unique event in British military history.
“What a story. And I do not believe that it has ever been better told”
Stephen Fry, from the foreword
“Not only can Arthur make people talk; he also doesn't flinch from what he hears”
“A gripping tale capturing the exhilaration of the expedition, while contrasting the sense of loss of 56 men of Bomber Command. A thrilling read for anyone with a nose for a good true tale”
News of the World
“May well rival his seminal Forgotten Voices of The Great War ... hard to put down ... His precis of the complex story of how the scientist Barnes Wallis overcame all the obstacles to breaching the Dams, in which British bureaucracy proved as daunting as German efficiency, is a masterpiece of concise storytelling”