Barnes Wallis had developed the ‘Bouncing Bomb’ which was key to the Dam Busters mission operated by 617 Squadron. The Operation was code named Operation Chastise, the ‘Dambusters Raid’, was carried out on the night of 16 – 17 May 1943 by the specially created squadron of the Royal Air Force, led by Guy Gibson.
They successfully breached two of the three dams targeted. The Mohne and Eder dams were breached, the Zorpa dam was not. The breaches led to serious flooding in the surrounding area, the aim had been to seriously disrupt industrial production for the German war effort. The mission did not achieve that objective, the mission was not as successful as had been planned and the price was very high. 19 Lancaster Bombers deployed, 8 was lost 53 airmen were killed and 3 were taken prisoner. Subsequently the greatest benefit was the positive impact on morale but the loss of a high toll to the squadron meant that the immediate impact was less positive.