Operation Chastise: Dambusters Raid on the Mohne, Eder & Sorpe Dams
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Operation Chastise – better known as the Dambusters Raid – was an attack on the mighty Dams of the Ruhr Valley, the industrial heartland of Nazi Germany. It was here on the night of May 16/17 th 1943 Wing Commander Guy Gibson led the brave men of 617 Squadron in their quest to drop the pioneering “bouncing bombs” designed by scientist Barnes Wallis. 144 young men took off from RAF Scampton, 56 failed to return, 3 being taken prisoner, 53 making the ultimate sacrifice. On this trip MHT pays tribute to the ingenuity and bravery of all these men.
Click the Dambusters Literature 2017 link or the image below to open the literature
Day One: At 09:30 guests are met by MHT at Dortmund Airport, the gateway to the Ruhr Valley. After an initial briefing we make our way to our first destination: the crash site of Ottley and his crew. On the ground we talk about the terrific flak over nearby Hamm and the problems the crews encountered. We then drive to the mighty Mohne Dam where we get our first glimpse of one of the primary targets. After lunch we head up to the nearby crash site of Hopgood to pay our respects. We then visit the Sorpe Dam to see why the “bouncing bombs” had little effect on this type of Dam before making our way to our hotel to check in.
Day Two: We return to the Mohne Dam to cover the raid in detail before visiting 2 sites connected wth the destruction of the Mohne Dam: the church at Himmelpforten that was swept away and the Forced Labour Camp at Neheim which suffered terribly. We then drive east to the Eder Dam, another of the primary targets. We drive up the mountain to Waldeck castle to recount tales of how the pilots cut their engines over the castle before swooping down over the spit of land to release the bombs then pull up quickly. We visit the Dam and have a private showing of the nearby museum before heading to our hotel. Later in the evening we return to the Mohne Dam at the time of the Raid.
Day Three: We depart the hotel at 10:00 to drive to the new Barlow crash site memorial (2 hours drive). From there we visit 2 Commonwealth War Grave Cemeteries where Dambuster crews are buried: Reichswald (45 minutes) and then Rhienberg (30 minutes) before making our way back to Dortmund airport to Dortmund airport (1 hour) where we have our trip debrief.