In May 1943 the most iconic air raid of the Second World War – codenamed ‘Operation Chastise’ – took place when a fleet of Lancasters attacked the dams over the Ruhr Valley in a strike at the heart of the German industrial war machine. The so-called ‘Dam Busters’ raid was subsequently the subject of a book by Paul Brickhill, on which was based one of the greatest war films ever made. The image of the revolutionary ‘bouncing bomb’ skimming the surface of the water before exploding to cause an earthquake of seismic proportions at the base of the dams is now folklore.
The bombs were the brainchild of the brilliant, self-taught engineer, Barnes Wallis. A devout Christian, Wallis was nevertheless a patriot and felt it his duty to apply his skills to help defeat the monstrous evil of Nazism that was threatening his country. To do so he invented weapons that were aimed primarily at destroying the German war machine, hence forcing Germany out of the war and preventing a repeat of the huge loss of life suffered by troops during the First World War.
This article was taken from the July - September 2019 issue of Heroes of the Faith.
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