Operation Chastise began on the evening of this day in 1943 when a British Royal Air Force squadron set out for the Ruhr valley. The aim was to destroy three German dams using clever “bouncing bombs”, and therefore flood Germany’s industrial heartland.
More than a third of the 133 men who took part in the raid died on that night, but two large dams were successfully destroyed. The squadron leader, Guy Gibson, would be awarded the Victoria Cross and go on a public relations tour of the US and Canada. Although immortalised in the brilliant 1955 movie The Dam Busters, in real life Gibson was not so fortunate, as he was sadly killed in 1944.
Tonight we're toasting all those brave men with an I B Damm'd.
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