At about 10pm BST today, the Dambusters blog registered its millionth hit. I can’t be sure exactly who was the visitor who took us over the magic figure, but it seems likely to have been someone from the UK who ended up on our front page having followed a Google search. By an amazing coincidence, this event occurred nine years to the day since the first ever post, which was published at 8.35 am on 7 May 2008.
Checking back through the daily statistics (which through the wonders of WordPress are still available to me) I see that I got just 4 hits on that first day. But within nine days, I had got to a total of 163 which, I recall, I was pretty chuffed with at the time. The fact that this occurred on 16 May 2008, the 65th anniversary of the Dams Raid, probably explains the upwards bump.
So why are people still so interested in the Dams Raid, even though most of the people who now access the blog have no first-hand memory of the war? I think the reason may be because although the raid itself is the stuff of legend, it also represents a bigger story: that of the ‘greatest generation’ who fought tyranny, came through the years of austerity which followed, and built a better society in which all could flourish. There have been many sharp turns and setbacks since, some still on-going, but no one would argue that the world is in a better place than it was in 1939.
The fascination with the Dambusters themselves is because the Dams Raid combined so many different things which contributed to the war effort – a revolutionary new weapon, supreme airmanship skills and raw courage in pressing home an attack under fire. The fact that it was then immortalised in what is now regarded as one of the best ever British war films just adds to its mystique.
So if you are one of the people who contributed to our million hits – either as a regular visitor or just someone who fetched up here after a random search – many thanks for being here for the ride. It’s been a privilege to serve you all this time, and I hope to carry on doing so for the foreseeable future. Per ardua ad astra!
[I should add a word of thanks to WordPress, who have provided the blogging software and the hosting since 2008. This is all for free, except for the ongoing cost of registering and using a .com domain name. In my opinion, they provide by far the easiest to use blogging software, and a huge range of off-the-shelf designs. And I have no connection at all with the company!]
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Well done Charles for honouring those young men as you have and keeping their memory alive.
Well done Charles!
Your website is a fantastic piece of work which is a marvellous way of keeping alive the memory of the brave chaps who flew the mission – and the technical types who made it all possible- all these years later. And your book on the subject regarding your uncle and his crew’s involvement in the raid is a work of art too! Bravo.
Thank you, Charles, for all your hard work on the blog over the years and ensuring that we do not forget those boys of Bomber Command and 617 in particular.
A massive contribution to the memory of 617 Squadron The Dambusters , well done Charles and well done all the people who have visited and contributed over the years .
Many congratulations Charles. You have built a and run a fabulous website. Your hard work is certainly being acknowledged and is so thoroughly deserved. Well done!! We will remember them.
Thanks for all your hard work, it’s been a great read. Well done reaching over 1,000,000 hits. I still get a buzz everyone l watch the film
Congratulations on reaching a million Charles. An amazing achievement, which demonstrates the interest which persists in the Dambusters. Keep up the good work.
Well done Charles, on behalf of the Petwood blog
Well done on hitting the big ‘Mill’ Charles, your blog is without doubt the best source of information available on the net regarding this event and more importantly the invaluable insight to each crew member that’s on offer……………you’ve clearly followed in your uncles footsteps and done an outstanding job my friend,……………congratulations & long may it continue