Dam Busters : The Race to Smash the Dams, 1943, Paperback Book

Dam Busters : The Race to Smash the Dams, 1943 Paperback

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


The night of May 16th, 1943. Nineteen specially adapted Lancaster bombers take off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, each with a huge 9,000lb cylindrical bomb strapped underneath it.

Their mission: to destroy three dams deep within the German heartland, which provide the lifeblood to the industries supplying the Third Reich's war machine.

From the outset it was an almost impossible task, a suicide mission: to fly low and at night in formation over many miles of enemy-occupied territory at the very limit of the Lancasters' capacity, and drop a new weapon that had never been tried operationally before from a precise height of just sixty feet from the water at some of the most heavily defended targets in Germany. More than that, the entire operation had to be put together in less than ten weeks.

When visionary aviation engineer Barnes Wallis' concept of the bouncing bomb was green lighted, he hadn't even drawn up his plans for the weapon that was to smash the dams.

What followed was an incredible race against time, which, despite numerous setbacks and against huge odds, became one of the most successful and game-changing bombing raids of all time.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: European history
  • ISBN: 9780552163415

Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.

Review by

A brilliantly narrated & written book about Operation CHASTISE, which is both approachable & paced extremely well. It almost reads like a thriller, yet we know its a true story. Excellent & authoritative. Exhaustive research really shows, particularly from the human angle. The British come out well here, from Bomber Command & the senior officers to Gibson & his officers to the individual airmen, as well as Barnes Wallis himself. The issue of how effective the raids were in inhibiting & affecting the German war machine in a vital point in the war, is addressed & more comprehensively discussed than other historians. Wholeheartedly recommended.

Also by James Holland   |  View all