Operation Chastise - Wikipedia
An example of bravery and ingenuity, Operation Chastise was audacious in every The RAF are live tweeting the raid as it happened today. The daring Dambusters raid of World War II, in which RAF pilots famously used a To date, nobody has examined the engineering complexity of the Before that could happen, however, the group had to negotiate several. Barris calls Dam Busters raid a turning point in WWII date launch of Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid Against Perhaps the most daring bombing attack happened after weeks of Nearly half of the 30 Canadians who flew from England that night, did not survive this hi-risk mission.
The group opted to set their bombs spinning before take off. To keep them turning, Hunt, who worked closely with his PhD student, Hilary Costello, designed a shield, rather like the windscreen on a vintage sports car.
This was custom-designed to deflect air around one side of the device. The movement of the air kept the bomb spinning so effectively that it was still turning at 1, RPM when it was dropped.
Dambusters: Triumph and tragedy after the dams
The shield was developed and optimised with the aid of the Wind Tunnel in the aerodynamics laboratory in Cambridge, primarily with a view to spoiling the aerodynamic lift due to spin Magnus effect so that there was no risk of the bomb rising up and hitting the plane on release. During these tests, the team found that a cut-down version of the shield helped significantly to keep the bomb spinning during flight Even then their problems were not over. During the first drop in Canada, the bombs were tangled up on release and the mission looked to be a failure.
There were a lot of glum faces. Calculations indicated that attacks with large bombs could be effective but required a degree of accuracy which RAF Bomber Command had been unable to attain when attacking a well defended target.
A one-off surprise attack might succeed but the RAF lacked a weapon suitable to the task. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. January Learn how and when to remove this template message Using two spotlights to adjust altitude, a modified Lancaster dropped a backspun drum-bomb which skipped over torpedo nets protecting the dam.
After impact, the bomb spun down to the dam's base and exploded. The mission grew out of a concept for a bomb designed by Barnes Wallis, assistant chief designer at Vickers. At first, Wallis wanted to drop a 10 long ton 22, lb No bomber aircraft was capable of flying at such an altitude or of carrying such a heavy bomb.
Barris calls Dam Busters raid a turning point in WWII • Ted Barris
A much smaller explosive charge would suffice, if it exploded against the dam wall under the water but German reservoir dams were protected by heavy torpedo nets to prevent delivery of an explosive warhead through water.
Wallis then devised a pound bomb in the shape of a cylinder, equivalent to a very large depth charge armed with a hydrostatic fuse, but designed to be given backward spin of rpm. The residual backspin would submerge the bomb, running it down the side of the dam toward its base. The first trials were at Chesil Beach in Januarywhich demonstrated that a bomb of sufficient size could be carried by an Avro Lancasterrather than waiting for a larger bomber such as the Windsor to come into service.
Sir Arthur Harrishead of Bomber Command, after a briefing by Linnell also opposed the allocation of his bombers. Portal saw the film of the Chesil Beach trials and was convinced. With eight weeks to go, the larger Upkeep bomb that was needed for the mission and the modifications to the Lancasters had yet to be designed.
Hour by hour: how the Dambusters raid unfolded - Telegraph
It was initially called Squadron X, as the speed of its formation outstripped the RAF process for naming squadrons. Led by year-old Wing Commander Guy Gibsona veteran of more than bombing and night-fighter missions, twenty-one bomber crews were selected from 5 Group squadrons. The loss of hydroelectric power was important but the loss of water to industry, cities and canals would have greater effect and there was potential for devastating flooding if the dams broke.
The dimensions of the bomb and its unusual shape meant that the bomb-bay doors had to be removed and the bomb hung partly below the fuselage. It was mounted on two crutches and before dropping it was spun up to speed by an auxiliary motor. Intensive night-time and low-altitude flight training began. There were also technical problems to solve, the first one being to determine when the aircraft was at optimum distance from its target.
A special targeting device with two prongs, making the same angle as the two towers at the correct distance from the dam, showed when to release the bomb. The BBC documentary Dambusters Declassified stated that the pronged device was not used, owing to problems related to vibration, and that other methods were employed, including a length of string tied in a loop and pulled back centrally to a fixed point in the manner of a catapult.
The second problem was determining the aircraft's altitude, as the barometric altimeters then in use lacked sufficient accuracy.
Some of the men knew that this would be their last ever mission, and gave instructions for their affairs to be put in order. Cloaked in secrecy as ever, they flew out under complete radio silence. The 19 planes, carrying a total of airmen, took different routes to trick the Germans into thinking the raid was bigger than it was.
Theirs was the longest route. The Lancasters headed out across the North Sea toward the Dutch coast, but the winds were higher than expected and they began to stray off course.
Hour by hour: how the Dambusters raid unfolded
In the bad weather Byers strayed off course over the heavily defended island of Texel. The Lancaster was shot down by enemy fire.
All of the men were killed. The other crews carried on. There were no survivors. The crews flew beneath power cables, along roads and below the level of the surrounding trees to avoid enemy defences, but as they were blown off course they hit obstacles.
His formation - or 'vic' - crossed the coast at the ominously named island of Overflakee, but flying fast and low they took the Germans by surprise, crossing the heavily defended island unscathed.
The second formation, ten minutes behind, climbed higher to use their radio aids and discovered the unforecast wind, but the German radars picked them up and they opened fire.
Munro was forced abort as his Lancaster was badly damaged when it was hit by flak. Rice arrived a short while later. Flying low, his aircraft hit the surface of the sea.
The Upkeep mine was ripped free, the back flooded with water, and the men were lucky to be alive. Of the first wave of planes to take off, none reached their target. He approached the water so low his crew warned he was about to hit the trees. He turned on his spotlights so his navigator could tell him when he was flying at exactly 60ft and, flying at mph and the bomb was released. Flying the 30 tonne plane fast and low whilst illuminated to become the target for every gun in sight, Gibson admitted he was incredibly frightened as he kept the plane steady.
The mine bounced three times and sank.