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Dam Busters Bouncing Bomb

By capto
These rusty relics are prototypes of the Dam busters 'Bouncing Bombs' recovered from the sea off the Kent coast where much of the testing was done. The display is housed at the RAF museum at Manston, well worth a visit.

Barnes Wallis first began to think of producing a bouncing bomb in 1941. He was aware that in the 19th century the British Navy had bounced cannon balls on water to increase their range. He began by carrying out experiments with marbles and a catapult on a tub of water in his garden. Later he tested his prototype at the National Physics Laboratory in Teddington. These tests were successful and the first bouncing bomb was dropped on Chesil Beach in December, 1942.

In February, 1943 Barnes Wallis was told to prepare these bouncing bombs for an attack on the Mohne and Eder dams in the Ruhr. The Dambusters Raid took place on 16th May 1943. The cylindrical bombs, that spun at 500 rpm, were dropped by Guy Gibson and the 617 Squadron at a height of 60 feet and at a speed of 240 miles an hour. The rotating bomb skipped over the water and exploded while sinking to the base of the retaining wall of the dam. The bombing produced heavy floods and badly damaged German production in the Ruhr.

To use the bouncing bomb the pilots had to fly very low and seven out of the 19 aircraft which took part in the raid were brought down by German anti-aircraft guns. The RAF could not sustain such high losses and the bomb was rarely used again during the war.

Tags: General Dam busters

Voters: barbarahirst, digital_boi, Kurt42 and 29 more

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barbarahirst 9 27 12 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 1:09PM
funnily my Greman uncle was locked up in Germany during the war to make such a thing for the Germans
He was a scientist and it was against his principles.
He escaped to Paris and eventually after the war went to live in Aus where he married my Australian aunt.

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18 Feb 2014 1:21PM
a well remembered childhood memory put to good use to help shorten the war well documented

ali63 Plus
6 775 1 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 1:42PM
Excellent collection,

18 Feb 2014 1:49PM
Interesting set of images Ivor,
NDODS 7 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 1:53PM
An informative and interesting narrative supported by a great set Ivor.

Regards Nathan
cats_123 Plus
14 4.8k 28 Northern Ireland
18 Feb 2014 1:54PM
I remember being taken to see the Möhne Dam on a student exchange trip when I was about 16....left an indelible image on my brain - necessary but not without wider consequences Sad
Mollycat Plus
4 11 2 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 2:24PM
Interesting images from a moment in history Ivor.
Nikonuser1 Plus
5 153 16 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 2:28PM
Interesting images Ivor, saved for posteritySmile

LynneJoyce Plus
10 20 99 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 3:51PM
Fascinating - V4 is my favourite.
jadus 6 1.2k 3 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 4:44PM
Thanks Ivor, good set of documentary photos. Have you tried them in mono?

18 Feb 2014 6:02PM
a very interesting set, and still a great Story Ivor.

John Smile
rayme330 6 17 1 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 6:23PM
Fascinating series of images and great write up Ivor.

Great reportage & images, Ivor.

EileenH 4 1 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 7:15PM
Nice interesting setSmile

18 Feb 2014 7:30PM
Very interesting and informative Ivor. Cathy
pluckyfilly 11 351 33 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 8:43PM
Great write up good shot - most interesting
Bantu 4 7 1 India
19 Feb 2014 3:13AM
very good capture of heritage.
19 Feb 2014 12:37PM
It's a great story from our side of WW11 but so many people died in the aftermath of this raid, and as I recall the result wasn't as damaging as had been thought.

19 Feb 2014 10:53PM
A fascinating collection!!!. V1 and V4 are my fav.
Mike_Smith Plus
10 490 1 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2014 7:22PM
I have always been interested in this story, i have watched the films many times, amazing bit of history here Ivor. Sir Barnes Neville Wallis died i think it was 1979
ukgubbi 6 5 India
20 Feb 2014 11:51PM
Nice narration and set of images too.
barbarahirst 9 27 12 United Kingdom
21 Feb 2014 8:46AM
you are featured e2 piccy at the moment

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