Manual Dambuster

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All the same, the Squadron, which was carrying out the raid, had a secret weapon — bouncing bombs.

Commemorating the daring Dambusters raid

The operation involved 19 Lancasters that went in three waves, attacking the dams one after another. The planes had to come in low since the bombs needed to be dropped from only about 60 feet above the water. It took five of the aircraft dropping their loads before the first dam fell, but they managed to destroy it. Those planes which still had bombs attacked the second dam. An hour and a half after the first one collapsed, the second dam was also destroyed. Aircraft from the second and third waves targeted the third and final dam, but they were unsuccessful.

Even a lot of the conversations, which have been written down, are all there.

Dambusters 70th Anniversary

Two people can take part in the experience, in the place of flight lieutenant Robert Hutchison, a wireless operator, and Harlo Torger Taerum, a navigator. Operation Chastise was hailed a success after two of the dams, the Eder and the Mohne, were breached. They released million tonnes of water. The Upper Derwent Valley in Derbyshire the test area for the real raids doubled as the Ruhr valley for the film.

Additional aerial footage was shot above Windermere , in the Lake District.

BRE's part in the Dambusters' raids

While RAF Scampton , where the real raid launched, was used for some scenes, the principal airfield used for ground location shooting was RAF Hemswell , a few miles north and still an operational RAF station at the time of filming. Guy Gibson had been based at Hemswell in his final posting and the airfield had been an operational Avro Lancaster base during the war.

At the time filming took place it was then home to No. However, part of the RAF's fleet of ageing Avro Lincolns had been mothballed at Hemswell prior to being broken up and several of these static aircraft appeared in background shots during filming, doubling for additional No Squadron Lancasters.

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The station headquarters building still stands on what is now an industrial estate and is named Gibson House. The four wartime hangars also still stand, little changed in external appearance since the war.

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Serving RAF pilots from both squadrons based at Hemswell took turns flying the Lancasters during filming and found the close formation and low level flying around Derwentwater and Windermere exhilarating and a welcome change from their normal high level solo Canberra sorties. Three of the four Lancaster bombers used in the film had also appeared in the Dirk Bogarde film Appointment in London two years earlier. The theatre scene showing the spotlights was filmed at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith. There is no reference in the film's credits to who the dancers were.

The film featured several actors who would go on to be stars of cinema and TV. He delivered the line—"Sorry, old boy, it's secret—you can't go in. Now, c'mon, hop it! The Dam Busters March by Eric Coates , is for many synonymous with the film, as well as with the exploit itself, and remains a favourite military band item at flypasts and in the concert hall. Other than the introduction and trio section theme, the majority of the march as performed is not featured in the film soundtrack. Coates himself avoided writing music for the cinema, having been advised against it by Edward Elgar , and he only agreed to provide an overture for the film after he was persuaded by the film's producers it was of "national importance" and pressure was put on him via his publisher, Chappell.

A march he had recently completed was found to fit well with the heroic subject and was thus submitted.


Gibson owned the dog when he was previously a member of Squadron. Nigger often accompanied Gibson on training flights and was a great favourite of the members of both and Squadrons.

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He was noted for his liking of beer, which he drank from his own bowl in the Officers' Mess. Nigger died on 16 May , the day of the "Dam Busters" raid , when he was hit by a car. He was buried at midnight as Gibson was leading the raid. In the film, the dog was portrayed in several scenes; his name and the codeword were mentioned several times.

Some of the these scenes were sampled in the film Pink Floyd — The Wall In , British television network ITV broadcast a censored version of the film, removing all utterances of "Nigger".

ITV blamed regional broadcaster London Weekend Television , which in turn alleged that a junior staff member had been responsible for the unauthorised cuts. When ITV again showed a censored version in June , it was condemned by the Index on Censorship as "unnecessary and ridiculous" and because the edits introduced continuity errors.

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The original, uncensored, version was also shown on 1 and 5 January , by the British broadcaster Channel 5. It was the version, distributed by StudioCanal , containing shots of the bomber flying into a hill. The film is largely historically accurate, with only a small number of changes made for reasons of dramatic licence.

Some errors derive from Paul Brickhill's book, which was written when much detail about the raid was not yet in the public domain. The Dambusters received a Royal world premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square on 16 May , the twelfth anniversary of the raid. Richard Todd, Barnes Wallis and the surviving members of Squadron who had taken part in the mission were all guests of honour.

Dambusters pilot Les Knight honoured by Dutch village - BBC News

Reviews upon its release were positive. Variety described the film as having great attention to detail. Over time, the film's reputation has grown and is now regarded as a beloved classic of British cinema. The film was the most successful film at the British box office in Richard Todd considered the film as one of his favourites of all those that he appeared in, and went on to appear at many Dambusters themed events. At the same time, the film holds a 7. The film was not shown on British television until 30 May On 16 May , a commemoration of the 65th anniversary was held at Derwent Reservoir , including a flypast by a Lancaster , Spitfire , and Hurricane.