On Demand Tour: Dambusters – Operation Chastise – 1943
Battlefield Guide – Dr Rob Owen
Tour Manager – Gareth Edwards
During the spring of 1943 RAF Bomber Command engaged in a major campaign to deprive the German war machine of its major source of armament production. Over a five month period 43 major raids were mounted against the industries of the Ruhr. In the midst of this campaign, on the night of 16/17 May 1943, a force of 19 Lancasters of No. 617 Squadron carried out the daring and unique Operation Chastise – the breaching of the Mohne and Eder Dams. Executed in moonlight at extremely low level, in the face of fierce opposition and utilising an extraordinary weapon, the Dams Raid has been described as the greatest feat of arms ever executed by the RAF. This tour examines the targets for this operation and the challenges facing the aircrew. It explores their airmanship, skill and courage along with the results they achieved, whilst recognising the high price paid by both sides.