The Dam Busters – Paul Brickhill

The Dam Busters by Paul Brickhill. Not a novel but the story of 617 Squadron, The Dam Busters. It was first published in 1951 and the early editions didn’t tell all as some of the information, such as the fact that the bombs bounced, was still secret at the time of publication. The edition I have was printed in 1952 so it’s a restricted version. This was held back, according to the Briefing at the start, for more fraternal times.

The book is more a brief history of 617 Squadron, rather than just about the Dam Buster raid. This makes it all the more interesting as the Squadron played a wide part in the war, mostly bombing important targets. The losses were immense but still the chaps fly on. Guy Gibson we all know, likewise Leonard Cheshire, but there wee many more who played an important part. Towards the end of the book the tone seems to change to one more in line with modern thought where there is concern for collateral losses, but only slightly. It is an interesting book. I’d like to see one of the later editions to see how they described the bombs in action. Entertaining, no, interesting, yes very much so. A window into a time gone past, one which will never be repeated.

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