WHEN the Dambusters raid succeeded in destroying a series of German dams, it was hailed as a propaganda victory. Seventy years on, the true contribution the mission made to the winning of the war is only now being acknowledged.
In striking with such precision at the heart of the Nazi war machine, the RAF and its cache of bouncing bombs designed by the brilliant Barnes Wallace wreaked havoc on Hitler’s bid to produce the tanks, ammunition and aircraft needed for a conclusive assault on the Soviet Red Army on the Eastern Front.
Not only that, but Germany’s desperation to repair the damage meant resources were shifted from elsewhere – including the beaches of Normandy, where thousands of workers should have been constructing defences against a future Allied invasion.
It means the Dambusters raid should not simply be remembered as an example of British ingenuity and bravery at its best. This decisive mission was one of the key turning points in the war, one that deserves to be credited with saving countless lives.