Flypast celebrates Dambusters

To mark the 70th anniversary of the 1943 Dambusters raid on Germany, a Lancaster bomber has flown over Derwent reservoir, where the 617 Squadron practiced.

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70 years since Dambusters raid marked with a flypast

A RAF flypast has taken place in Derbyshire today to mark the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters operation in Germany.

A Lancaster bomber was flown over the Derwent reservoir, where the 617 Squadron tested the "bouncing bomb" used in their mission.

It was accompanied by two Tornado GR4s used by the current squadron.

  1. Meridian

The Dambusters: Testing the bouncing bomb

70-years-ago today more than a hundred men flew on a mission that became known by their nickname - The Dambusters. 19 Lancaster bombers set out from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire to attack a series of dams in Germany's industrial heartland with a newly-invented bouncing bomb.

Two of the main dams were badly damaged but despite that success eight of the aircraft were shot down and more than 50 crew killed. The bomb itself had been tested amid great secrecy in the New Forest in Hampshire and off the coast of Kent and Dorset.

In the first of three pieces, our Correspondent Derek Johnson takes a look at how this extraordinary device came into being and at the man whose genius dreamed it into being.

He speaks to Mary Stopes-Roe, the Daughter of Barnes Wallis and Bob Payne and Ant Larkins, who saw the bouncing bomb tests.


App enables would-be pilots to take Dambusters role

A phone app enables would-be pilots to play a video game simulation of the 1943 Dambuster raid on three German dams.

Former pilot Bruce Steel developed the iPhone and iPad app, using his experience of CGI visual effects, to create a 3D simulation of the famous WWII mission.

A screenshot of The Dambusters app Credit: Hyperspace Limited

Steel told the Telegraph: "The first version of the game was so accurate that nobody could play it.

"The challenges faced by these men were so great that I had to simplify the gameplay so that people could actually play it."

  1. Meridian

Dambusters: Memories

On the evening of May 16th 1943, nineteen Lancasters attacked the great dams of Western Germany with a revolutionary new ''bouncing'' bomb. The crew became known as The Dambusters.

Two men from the South watched the tests in 1942 and 1943. Bob Payne lived at Chesil Beach in Dorset, where the early prototypes were put through their paces.

Ant Larkins saw some of the later tests at Reculver on the Kent coast, where the old church towers acted as marker posts for the pilots.

The man behind the Dambusters 'bouncing bomb'

Sir Barnes Wallis, was the engineer who designed the "bouncing bomb" that destroyed German dams in 1943 in the daring Dambusters raid.

The operation in the Ruhr valley during the Second World War, is believed to have claimed at least 1,300 lives, and 56 of the 133 man crew that flew the mission did not return.

The inventor of the "bouncing bomb", Sir Barnes Wallis. Credit: RAF/MOD

In an interview with BBC Radio 2, Sir Barnes daughter said her father was driven to create the bouncing bomb by a sense of patriotism and belief in the importance of the "British family of nations".

Mary Stopes-Roe said: "He was not a man of war and that is often not, I think, properly understood.

"He was a man of peace but if you have to defend something you have to defend it and that's it, you do your duty."

Dambusters veteran recalls famous 1943 raid

The only British surviving airman who took part in the 1943 Dambusters raid, George "Johnny" Johnson, has spoken to ITV News about his memories of the operation.

Mr Johnson - who was awarded a host of medals including the Distinguished Flying Medal - was a bomb-aimer whose mission was to target Germany's Sorpe Dam.

Despite his squadron's failure to breach the dam, he said there was a sense of achievement that they had damaged it.

He also described how, as they set course for home and flew over the Mohne Dam, what they saw boosted morale: "It was just like an inland sea. There was water everywhere".

"The defences by this time were non-existent...we had at least the satisfaction of seeing the damage that had been done. For that we were quite grateful."

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