WWII

Operation Chastise: 77 Years Since The Dambusters Raid

Of the 133 Allied aircrew that took part, 53 British airmen lost their lives in the eight planes that were shot down or crashed.

This year marks the 77th anniversary of Operation Chastise - the Dambusters raid on German industrial targets in the Second World War.

On 16 May 1943, the first of the 19 Lancaster bombers took off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire to drop ‘bouncing bombs’ on dams in Germany's industrial heartland.  

The aim was to cut off vital supply lines in the Ruhr Valley.

Of the 133 Allied aircrew that took part, 53 British airmen lost their lives in the eight planes that were shot down or crashed.

Notwithstanding the loss of aircrew lives, the daring mission was seen a major success for the Allies.  

It is considered to be one of the first signs the tide was turning against the Germans during the Second World War.

Cover image: The damage inflicted by the Dambusters raid on the Eder dam (Picture: PA).