May 15, 2013

The Dambusters raid wasn't as awesome as you thought...

It was awesomer:

Experts such as Sir Charles Webster and Noble Frankland - the official historians of the Strategic Air Offensive - believed that it was oversold, its achievements exaggerated and other Bomber Command raids unfairly ignored...

[But] in James Holland's recent book, Dam Busters: The Race to Smash the Dams...he points out that every bridge for 30 miles below the breached Mohne dam was destroyed, and buildings were damaged 40 miles away. Twelve war production factories were destroyed, and around 100 more were damaged. Thousands of acres of farmland were ruined.

Germans instantly referred to it after the raid as the "Mohne catastrophe". Even the cool Speer admitted that it was "a disaster for us for a number of months". German sources attribute a 400,000-tonne drop in coal production in May 1943 to the damage caused.



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