[ read online eBook ] Chastise: The Dambusters Story 1943Author Max Hastings – Autowiringdiagram.co

A Masterly History Of The Dambusters Raid From Bestselling And Critically Acclaimed Max HastingsOperation Chastise, The Overnight Destruction Of The M Hne And Eder Dams In North West Germany By The RAF SSquadron, Was An Epic That Has Passed Into Britain S National LegendMax Hastings Grew Up Embracing The Story, The ClassicMovie And The Memory Of Guy Gibson, TheYear Old Wing Commander Who Won The VC Leading The Raid In The St Century, However, Hastings Urges That We Should Review The Dambusters In Much Complex Shades The Aircrew S Heroism Was Wholly Authentic, As Was The Brilliance Of Barnes Wallis, Who Invented The Bouncing Bombs But Commanders Who Promised Their Young Fliers That Success Could Shorten The War Fantasised Wildly What Germans Call The M Hnekatastrophe Imposed On The Nazi War Machine Temporary Disruption, Rather Than A Crippling BlowHastings Vividly Describes The Evolution Of Wallis Bomb, And Of The Squadron Which Broke The Dams At The Cost Of Devastating Losses But He Also Portrays In Harrowing Detail Those Swept Away By The Torrents Some , Civilians Perished In The Biblical Floods That Swept Through The M Hne Valley, Than Half Of Them Russian And Polish Women, Slave Labourers Under HitlerIronically, Air Marshal Sir Arthur Bomber Harris Gained Much Of The Credit, Though He Opposed Chastise As A Distraction From His City Burning Blitz He Also Made What The Author Describes As The Operation S Biggest Mistake The Failure To Launch A Conventional Attack On The Nazis Huge Post Raid Repair Operation, Which Could Have Transformed The Impact Of The Dam Breaches Upon Ruhr IndustryChastise Offers A Fascinating Retake On Legend By A Master Of The Art Hastings Sets The Dams Raid In The Big Picture Of The Bomber Offensive And Of The Second World War, With Moving Portraits Of The Young Airmen, So Many Of Whom Died Of Barnes Wallis The Monstrous Harris The Tragic Guy Gibson, Together With Superb Narrative Of The Action Of One Of The Most Extraordinary Episodes In British History


4 thoughts on “Chastise: The Dambusters Story 1943

  1. says:

    This is a well written and eminently readable book, as one would expect from someone of the stature of Max Hastings, but it adds nothing new to our knowledge and understanding of Operation Chastise or the early days of 617 Squadron Over the past decade, quite a number of publications have been released, for which my own books on the subject have provided material, that focus on the Dams Operation, but, apart from expanding on the personal details of those taking part, and even the service histories of the individual Type 464 Lancasters, they have covered the same ground The chapter covering the aftermath is a fitting tribute to the many hundreds of innocent eastern European female slave workers, who perished in the flood, but even this is a reworking of Helmut Euler s research In what I believe is an attempt by Mr Hastings to introduce a new element, he draws some alarmingly wild conclusions concerning Gibson s selection of pilots for the individual waves, his mistrust of Maudslay and Young, and his selection of deputies in the event of his loss.Mr Hastings writes that Gibson selected the pilots crews for the M hne Eder element based on their performance during training What is clear, however, is that, on the contrary, they were selected on seniority of rank, to wit, one wing commander, two squadron leaders and the five most senior flight lieutenants in the squadron The inclusion of P O Les Knight, while probably absolutely justified on merit, occurred purely because the three remaining flight lieutenants had disqualified themselves from filling that final slot Munro was being punished for bending his Lancaster at Reculver, and McCarthy for marching his crew into Gibson s office and demanding they be sent on leave so that Johnny Johnson could get married Faced with the imposing bulk of a belligerent Joe McCarthy, Gibson backed down, but it would have annoyed him intensely, and McCarthy s relegation to the Sorpe wave was his punishment The third available flight lieutenant, Norm Barlow, was an aging Colonial, who would never have fitted the Gibson mould for inclusion among the elite It is no coincidence that the two NCO pilots, Brown and Townsend, and the two most junior officers, Anderson and Burpee, were dumped in the third wave Are we really to believe that they were there based solely on weakest performance during training What are the chances, when a crew relied on all seven men to perform at their best To accept that the third wave crews were, to a man, inferior to those in the first wave, some of whom were on their first operation, is to support Gibson s contention that a man with a commission is a better human being than one without one There is no evidence that they had performed less well than their commissioned colleagues, indeed, during the operation, both Brown and Townsend displayed considerable flying skills and airmanship, Brown performing a stall turn down the dry side of the Sorpe Dam after losing flying speed, and, in so doing, saving his Lancaster, Upkeep and crew In fact, Gibson had committed his most junior, and, if Mr Hastings conclusions are to be believed, the least able crews, to the most challenging job, to be over Germany after the defences had been stirred into life and with dawn fast approaching.Mr Hastings further suggests that Gibson did not trust Maudslay sufficiently to appoint him as his deputy at the Eder, and that Gibson s appointment of Hopgood as deputy at the M hne signified a lack of faith also in Young Hopgood s selection was, in fact, a matter of common sense, as he was at Gibson s side during the outward flight and, as the second in line to attack, was in a prime position to observe Gibson s run, and take over immediately and seamlessly should he be lost He would also have been the second to divest himself of his Upkeep, and, relieved of the weight, would be in a much maneuverable Lancaster, and be better able to direct the attacks of those waiting in line Young and Maudslay were further back with no guarantee that they would even reach the target Mr Hastings goes on to claim that Gibson s insistence that Young accompany him as deputy to the Eder was based on his mistrust of Maudslay to fulfil the role, and, that keeping Young over Germany, instead of sending him home with Martin and Maltby, was responsible for his loss This is wildly misleading and untrue Firstly, everything we know of Maudslay reveals him to be an outstanding human being and an accomplished pilot The truth is that Young was another common sense choice as deputy for the following reason After delivering his Upkeep, Gibson was able to concentrate on being what would later be referred to as Master Bomber , and direct the attacks of the other crews He required a deputy at the Eder in case he became unavailable, and Young, having also divested himself of his Upkeep, was the only logical candidate, while Maudslay, with his bomb still on board, had other matters to occupy his attention and energy.The fact that Gibson caused Young to remain over enemy territory instead of sending him home with Martin and Maltby was not responsible for his loss Young and crew were killed by a navigation error, which led them to be ten miles south of their intended exit point, the known gap in the defences to starboard of the radar masts at Egmond, through which Gibson, Shannon and Knight passed safely, following on the heels of Martin and Maltby The error put Young and crew on course for the little resort town of Wijk aan Zee, which lay at the northern extremity of the Luftwaffe s Ijmuiden defence zone There was a light flak battery in the town and another on the high dunes overlooking it, and it was these that accounted for Young and crew Had he been on course, he would have reached home with the others.There are reasons for the actions people take, and, usually, some kind of evidence to tell us why they took them I fear that Mr Hastings has become carried away while seeking a new angle to set in an already exhaustively covered story.


  2. says:

    From the original Enemy Coast Ahead written by Gibson himself the recently published uncensored version is much authentic through wartime storyteller Paul Brickhill s offering to much scholarly works from John Sweetman and latterly James Holland, the raid that became known as the Dambusters has probably received as much coverage in print and on film than almost any other single event of the WW2 That being so, you would imagine that there is nothing else to be said about the event and in relation to the actual facts of the raid, you would be correct But Max Hastings has approached the night of 16 17 May 1943 and the events leading up to it and its subsequent effects from a different angle Whilst he has followed the timeline of the raid he has focussed much on personnel rather than the technical detail He looks at how the crew and those who could only watch and wait might have felt by reference to letters, conversation and family relationships He examines the legacy of the breaching of the dams, not forgetting the experiences of those caught up in the subsequent deluge, which he describes in terrifying detail Consequently, this is a much rounded account and not just a re telling of a well known story I have read all the books referred to above and Richard Morris excellent biography of Guy Gibson and like anybody of my generation, I ve seen the film countless times Even so, I found Max Hastings account extremely readable and a worthwhile addition to my bookshelf This was a big story featuring major characters like Barnes Wallis, Arthur Harris, Guy Gibson and not forgetting Winston Churchill himself It will always stand re telling, especially by an author of the quality of Max Hastings.


  3. says:

    I found the book to be immensely enjoyable to read having seen the film many times and having a very keen interest in all things RAF during WW2 As is often the case the book is better than the film but on this occasion they complement each other perfectly and provide the reader and viewer with a wonderfully accurate insight into what was perhaps the greatest example of RAF endeavour and flying during the conflict Perhaps only surpassed by the 3 gliders that landed at Pegasus bridge on the evening of the 5th 6th June 1944 The book debunks many hitherto theories about the role of Bomber Harris and the notion that the raid was not warmly embraced and supported by many others in the RAF, a result in part of the film and subsequent documentaries about precision bombing Certainly Guy Gibson was not the benign character portrayed in the film by Richard Todd but there again without his demeanour and driven character 617 squadron would never have been able to perform such an undertaking.The only blemishes I could find are the account of the reception debrief Les Munro received from Gibson after he had to return prematurely, plus a highly optimistic caption for a Lancaster wreck on the Dutch coast In an interview with Munro many years after the war he described his debrief by Gibson as being very curt and blaming him for not flying low enough, so absolutely not exonerated The pic on page 268 9 believed to be that of A Apple has appeared in previous books on the Lanc as unidentified but cannot be a BIII of the type used on the raid as it has the side windows glazing which were a feature of the BI but deleted for the BIII


  4. says:

    Max Hastings latest military history with usual scholarly accuracy and research A truly fresh approach to a well known story, but with a focus on the personalities behind the air crew and the impact to the civil population following the floods many of whom were German slave workers from occupied European territories, not commonly known Recommended read for those who want to learn behind this famous military victory which gave hope to the British population during the dark days of struggle against the evils of Nazi power.