Heroes of WW2: The Dam Busters!

The industrial heartland of Hitler's war machine was straining to produce tanks, ammunition and aircraft for a massive assault on the Soviet Red Army on the Eastern Front.

But On the night of 16-17 May 1943, 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force on an audacious bombing raid to destroy three dams in the Ruhr valley of Germany. 133 aircrew in 19 Lancasters took off in three waves to bomb the dams.

 The mission was codenamed Operation 'Chastise'.

The dams were fiercely protected. Torpedo nets in the water stopped underwater attacks and anti-aircraft guns defended them against enemy bombers.

But 617 Squadron had an ace up its sleeve; a secret weapon: the 'bouncing bomb.'

The aircraftmen that made it to the dams pressed home their attacks with a sheer disregard for their own safety.

The Germans referred to the raid as the "Mohne catastrophe".

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