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The raid on the great dams of western Germany by Lancaster bombers of 617 Squadron in May 1943 is one of the best kwn, most widely told stories of the Second World War. Led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, each Lancaster in the nineteen-strong force was equipped with the revolutionary bouncing bomb designed by the inventor Barnes Wallis. Two of the three main dams were breached and the unleashed floodwaters inundated the Ruhr valley below, killing thousands and causing German industry to grind to a halt. In later years the strategic impact of the raid was deemed to be less than was thought at the time, but the fillip it gave to civilian and Service moral in wartime Britain was incalculable. The Dam Busters Story is a short but authoritative narrative account of the RAF's famous dam buster raid, supported by a superb selection of colour and black and white photographs. Jonathan Falconer's narrative covers the development of the bouncing bomb, the planning of the raid, its dramatic execution and aftermath. An appendix provides a definitive listing of all the Lancasters and crews that flew in the raid, and their fates.
JONATHAN FALCONER has written widely on RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War. His published works on the subject include Stirling at War (1991), RAF Bomber Airfields of World War Two (1992), Stirling Wings (1995), Bomber Command in Fact, Film and Fiction (1997), Bomber Command Handbook 1939-1945 (1998), The Dam Busters (2003), Filming The Dam Busters (2005), and Stirling in Combat (2006). He works as a senior commissioning editor with Sutton Publishing and lives in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire.