Seventy five years ago today: The Dams Raid

The men who took part in the Dams Raid. (Compilation picture © Dambusters Blog)

Today is the 75th anniversary of the day Operation Chastise took place, the official title given to the Dams Raid. One hundred and thirty three men in 19 Lancasters from 617 Squadron, each loaded with a (literally) revolutionary new weapon, climbed into the sky above RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire and set off towards Germany, skimming the treetops of the ground below them.

They would attack the Mohne, Eder, Sorpe and Ennepe Dams, breaching the first two and causing massive flood damage to the lands below them. Almost 1500 troops and civilians were killed by the raid, and 53 men from the eight aircraft which were shot down or crashed also died.

You can read the full story of all the 133 men who took part in the Dams Raid in my new book The Complete Dambusters, published by the History Press, out now in shops or available from online retailers.

For more information on how and where to buy the book, see the publisher’s web page here.

3 thoughts on “Seventy five years ago today: The Dams Raid

  1. Paul White May 16, 2018 / 4:01 pm

    Thank you Charles for a wonderful blog.

    I received my new copy of “The men who took part in the Dams Raid” about an hour ago, so perfect timing…..just like the boys 75 years ago!!

    My thoughts and prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude will be with those “133” throughout the day, tonight and tomorrow.

    Tomorrow evening I will be in the Odeon cinema in Bath watching (with goosebumps!!)the live broadcast from the RAH. Can’t wait!!

    Many thanks

    Kind regards


    Paul White
    Westend Farm
    SN14 8JH
    0789 442 9811

  2. Mike Farrier May 16, 2018 / 4:56 pm

    I’m loving your new book Charles! Thoroughly readable with hosts of unseen photos mixed in too. And what better couple of days to read it all in…16th/17th May! A fantastic homage to those brave boys.

  3. Koos van Menen May 18, 2018 / 4:43 pm

    Hi, just bought your latest book (ebook) a few minutes ago.
    I’m a Dambuster fan since I read the book from Paul Brickhill way back in the fiftyth.
    Since 2013 a fly yearly the raid in my flightsimulator, so I did yesterday.
    Although not comparable with the real thing 75 years ago, it gives some feeling about the intensity of the raid. About 6 hours flying.

    I just discovered your blog today and I think it is great. Collected the route info of AJ-J and made a flightplan according to the info.

    So now I have 2 questions.
    Which runway was used for take off on the raid. brickhill described that the lancs went to the south part of the airfield and came low over the northern fences ( page 58 in the dutch translation). I think this means they used the runway 05. But I couldn’t find a second source to verify this. Do you have any info about this?

    In regard to the AJ-J route info, especially the fixes over the North Sea. Is there any place I can find the coördinates of those fixes. The route over Europe I have plotted according the the wordly description.

    I will appreciate it very much if you will take the time to answer me.

    Thanks in advance.

    Best regards,
    Koos van Menen

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