Harry Sherrard will be talking about Operation Chastise, the race to smash the Ruhr dams, as featured in the epic Dambusters film. Harry is an historian and speaker with a particular interest in World War 2. He is head of the talks team at Brooklands Museum and has spoken at CYC before, when he gave his Goodwood talk. Barnes Wallis was based at Brooklands in the war, where much of the development of the bouncing bomb and the planning of the mission took place.
On the night of 16/17th May 1943, the RAF’s recently formed 617 Squadron carried out what was probably the most famous air raid of all time. A combination of the genius of Barnes Wallis, inventor of the bouncing bomb, and the astonishing courage and skill of the crews saw two major German dams breached and a third damaged, leading to loss and disruption to the Nazi war economy. Normally kept top secret, the aerial reconnaissance photos of the ruptured dams and consequent flooding were transmitted around the world, giving the Allies a major propaganda coup.
How was the technology developed? How was this daring raid executed? Was the raid worth the lives of the 53 aircrew who perished on the night? How accurate was the epic 1955 Dambusters movie? This is a fascinating presentation about one of the greatest feats of arms of World War 2.
Talk starts at 10.30am, coffee will be served from 10am.