Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen And The Secret Raid Against Nazi Germany

May 15, 2022|
Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen And The Secret Raid Against Nazi Germany by Ted Barris
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National Bestseller

Foreword by Peter Mansbridge

“Barris tells the jaw-dropping story of a night that changed the war.” —The Globe and Mail

 It was a night that changed the Second World War. The secret air raid against the hydroelectric dams of Germany’s Ruhr River took years to plan, involved an untried bomb and included the best aircrewmen RAF Bomber Command could muster—many of them Canadian. The attack marked the first time the Allies tactically took the war inside Nazi Germany. It was a military operation that became legendary.

On May 16, 1943, nineteen Lancaster bombers carrying 133 airmen took off on a night sortie code-named Operation Chastise. Hand-picked and specially trained, the Lancaster crews flew at treetop level to the industrial heartland of the Third Reich and their targets—the Ruhr River dams, whose massive water reservoirs powered Nazi Germany’s military-industrial complex.

Each Lancaster carried an explosive, which when released just sixty feet over the reservoirs, bounced like a skipping stone to the dam, sank and exploded. The raiders breached two dams and damaged a third. The resulting torrent devastated enemy power plants, factories and infrastructure a hundred miles downstream.

Every airmen on the raid understood that the odds of survival were low. Of the nineteen outbound bombers, eight did not return. Operation Chastise cost the lives of fifty-three airmen, including fourteen Canadians. Of the sixteen RCAF men who survived, seven received military decorations.

Based on interviews, personal accounts, flight logs, maps and photographs of the Canadians involved, Dam Busters recounts the dramatic story of these young Commonwealth bomber crews tasked with a high-risk mission against an enemy prepared to defend the Fatherland to the death.


Ted Barris is an author, journalist and broadcaster. He is a full-time professor of journalism at Centennial College in Toronto. He has written more than fifteen non-fiction books including Victory at Vimy: Canada Comes of Age, April 9-12, 1917; Juno: Canadians at D-Day June 6, 1944; and The Great Escape: A Canadian Story.
Title:Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen And The Secret Raid Against Nazi Germany
Product dimensions:480 pages, 9 X 6 X 1.45 in
Shipping dimensions:480 pages, 9 X 6 X 1.45 in
Published:May 15, 2022
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9781443455435

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