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Dambusters

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On the night of 16/17th May 1943, a specially formed squadron (617) conducted a daring and audacious strategic raid on German dams serving the industrial Ruhr valley.

Codenamed Operation Chastise the raid involved flying nineteen specially modified Avro Lancaster bombers at low level across hostile territory to deliver their payloads of unique bouncing bombs that in theory, skipped across the dam waters, and would explode at a set depth to create such force as to breech the dams.

The Dambusters as they became famously known afterwards, breeched two of the target dams, the Möhne and Eder, losing ten of the nineteen crews that set off, to defensive gun fire and ground collisions. The raid provided a massive morale boost for the British people and Wing Commander Guy Gibson, who was later awarded a VC for gallantry, became a national hero.

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