"That night, employing just a few
bombers, the British came close to
a success that would have been
greater than anything they had
Operation Chastise, the raid on the German Dams in May 1943 is an extraordinary story. A completely different type of weapon, 133 men in nineteen Lancaster bombers flying at tree-top height into enemy territory and dropping their bouncing bombs to destroy the Dams. This is a tale of utmost skill, ingenuity and raw courage. This raid was deemed one of the finest feats of flying in the Second World War.
We start our journey at Brooklands. In one of the hangers is a Wellington bomber (designed by Barnes Wallis) and one of the practice mines (bouncing bomb) codename ‘Upkeep’. Then on to Germany. We visit the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe Dams and examine the daring attacks by 617 Squadron, led by Guy Gibson. We visit Rheinberg War Cemetery where lie Flt Lt Hopgood DFC* and the crew of Lancaster AJ-M.
Our last day we pay our respects at the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery wherein lie the crews of five of the eight Lancasters that did not return. Lastly we visit Steenbergen and the grave of Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC DSO* DFC* and Sq Ldr Jim Warwick DFC, killed on 19th September 1944.
For the truly adventurous, we can follow some of the raid by air.