Chastise: The Dambusters Story 1943
A brand new history of the Dambusters raid from best-selling and critically acclaimed military historian, Max Hastings.
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|Library of Congress
||Operation Chastise, 1943, World War, 1939-1945 - Aerial operations, British
Description of this Book
A brand new history of the Dambusters raid from best-selling and critically acclaimed military historian, Max Hastings. Operation Chastise, the RAF's 1943 assault on Germany's dams, has passed into legend as one of the RAF's greatest feats of arms. `The Dambusters' 1955 movie made Barnes Wallis, inventor of the `bouncing bomb' which breached the Mohne and Eder dams, one of Britain's most celebrated `boffins'. Max Hastings's new book, however, also highlights the grim reality that 617 Squadron's achievement was not victimless. Drawing on harrowing survivors' narratives, he describes the stupendous floods that swept the Mohne and Eder valleys in the early darkness of 17 May, drowning around 1,400 people, almost half of them French prisoners or East European women forced labourers. Few modern writers are better qualified to offer a fresh telling of this amazing story. In 1977, for his classic history BOMBER COMMAND, the author interviewed Barnes Wallis, Air Marshal Sir Arthur Harris, 5 Group's commander Sir Ralph Cochrane, together with dambuster `Micky' Martin and many other aircrew veterans. Like all Hastings's books, his DAMBUSTERS is above all a human story, portraying the mostly doomed young heroes of 617 Squadron in unprecedented detail. While millions have watched the movie, few know how this saga fits into the `big picture' of World War II. Hastings describes the raid as `a supreme piece of military theatre, of priceless value to Churchill and Britain at a time when the country's prestige had fallen low, especially in American eyes'. Though Chastise's impact on German industry was less than its architects hoped, it lifted the hearts of the battered British people. This is a timelessly moving tale, of very young men who achieved the almost impossible- yet also, unthinking, unleashed a Biblical catastrophe. This is a book destined to grip yet also surprise all who love the Dambusters legend, together with a new generation of readers to whom it is unknown.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||Praise for Vietnam `Masterpiece ... manages with great skill to combine the accumulation of strategic and political disaster with the real experience of those fighting on the ground' Antony Beevor, Spectator `Will surely set the benchmark for years to come... This may be his best... Exhaustively researched and superbly written, it is both a balanced account of how and why the war unfolded as it did, and a gripping narrative on what it was like to take part...History as it should be: objective, immersive and compelling' Daily Telegraph, 5* `Magnificent... One by one, the sacred canons of right and left are obliterated. The war is laid bare, with all its uncomfortable truths exposed' The Times `Powerful and chilling... Hastings is masterful at describing the conditions faced by young American soldiers... [he] is second to none in his ability to describe military strategy with a clarity that makes things entirely understandable to the layman' Mail on Sunday, 5* `An altogether magnificent historical narrative' Tim O'Brien `A masterpiece' Frank Scotton `Magnificent, his best work ... full of extraordinary and compelling detail and thoroughly informed by his own personal experience of so much of the war. It's written in unputdownable style, with a dispassionate, liberal-minded understanding of the detail of the war, which draws on testimony from every side and doesn't favour anyone. I've never read a better history of the wars in Vietnam, and it's hard to see how anyone will be able to improve on this' John Simpson `Neophytes and experts alike will find Hastings's book stimulating, informative - and above all, riveting' New Statesman `This fabulous work offers up a gut-wrenching glimpse of the reality of war' The Sun, 5*
Max Hastings is the author of twenty-six books, most about conflict, and between 1986 and 2002 served as editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph, then editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and his books, of which the most recent are All Hell Let Loose, Catastrophe and The Secret War, best-sellers translated around the world. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, an Honorary Fellow of King's College, London and was knighted in 2002. He has two grown-up children, Charlotte and Harry, and lives with his wife Penny in West Berkshire, where they garden enthusiastically.