This comment is from Ricky, but it’s too good to hide in the Comments area. Cheers Ricky.
Operation Chastise did show how great the engineering minds of the brits were!
Two lights to calculate altitude (60ft) and two angled prongs to mark up against the dam towers to tel the pilot and bomber how far out to drop the bomb…..
60ft off the water at 240 mph in a Lancaster bomber with no armour!!
My other favourite story is the assault on the German dry dock in Northern France, St Nazaire!
Code name for the British commando raid on the French port of Saint Nazaire on March 28, 1942 on a 356 metre long Normandy Dry Dock. The 257 Army Commandos and 345 Royal Navy took part. The plan was to blow up the lock gates by ramming a ship, packed with explosives, straight into the gates themselves. The ship chosen for this task was an old lend-lease 1919-built American destroyer, USS Buchanan, renamed HMS Campbeltown. Internally she was stripped of all unnecessary equipment to accommodate four and a half tons of explosives made up of 24 depth-charges timed to explode at a certain time.
At 1.30am, racing full speed ahead, the Campbeltown ploughed through the anti-torpedo nets and crashed into the lock gates with such force that her bows were peeled back forty feet. Firmly wedged on the gate the crew and commandos wrecked havoc on electrical and pumping installations around the dock. As daylight broke, scores of enemy officers and men swarmed all over the ship but failed to find the explosives. At 10.35am a terrific explosion rocked the dockside as the Campbeltown exploded, ripping the ship and the lock gates apart and killing most of the German officers and men on deck. The Normandy Dock was not brought back into operation until 1948. Of the 611 Commandos who went into action, 169 lost their lives. Some 200 were captured and made prisoner, five escaped and made it safely back to England through Spain. Five men were awarded the Victoria Cross, one posthumously, for outstanding heroism during Operation Chariot.
My Grandad was a Commando in the second world war…these stories make me so proud!!
What a man to be named after……RESPECT!!