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Thread: The Dam Busters

  1. #61
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    (Steve Crook @ Apr 16 2006, 11:07 PM)

    The explosions were done in post-production with not overly well done cut-outs. Even as a young lad I never found the actual explosions to be very realistic.



    Steve
    Hi Steve,

    I have to agree that thae explosion scenes are not very realistic but given that it was released in the year you were just making an appearance on planet earth i feel that they were as good as it got back then. Yes modern technology would give us a more dramatic showing of the breaches in operation chastise but god forbid anyone doing it. There are only 2 Lancasters still flying, The City of Lincoln and one in Canada and this would make it possible with comptuerisation but you could not replicate the cast brilliance of Todd, Redgrave ect. It is a classic film of the fifties and given its weakneses it has stood the test of time.



    C/U The Worm

  2. #62
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    (bloodworm @ Apr 17 2006, 07:56 AM)

    Hi Steve,

    I have to agree that thae explosion scenes are not very realistic but given that it was released in the year you were just making an appearance on planet earth i feel that they were as good as it got back then. Yes modern technology would give us a more dramatic showing of the breaches in operation chastise but god forbid anyone doing it. There are only 2 Lancasters still flying, The City of Lincoln and one in Canada and this would make it possible with comptuerisation but you could not replicate the cast brilliance of Todd, Redgrave ect. It is a classic film of the fifties and given its weakneses it has stood the test of time.



    C/U The Worm
    I'm not talking about or denigrating the acting, I'm certainly not talking about computerisation, I'm just talking about the special effects in that film which were badly done - by the standards of the day. Many other films managed very good effects, usually with models.



    Steve

  3. #63
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    (Steve Crook @ Apr 17 2006, 12:56 PM)

    I'm not talking about or denigrating the acting, I'm certainly not talking about computerisation, I'm just talking about the special effects in that film which were badly done - by the standards of the day. Many other films managed very good effects, usually with models.



    Steve
    Hear what you are saying Steve. As i said, I agree with you about the SE. All i was trying to say is that we should accept the film as it is with poor SE and not try and improve it.



    C/U The Worm

  4. #64
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    As a special offer, Midland Counties (midlandcountiessuperstore.com) are offering the hardback edition of "Filming the Dam Busters" by Johnathan Falconer for £9.99 plus postage - the normal price is £20.

    "The story of the daring raid on the great dams of western Germany by 617 suadron was immortalised by the 1955 film 'The Dambusters'. This book tells the story of how the film was made. The uncredited RAF crews who skillfully flew the venerable Lancasters on camera, the film production crew, actors and background research are all covered by this tribute to a great British war film and those who helped to make it". 114 b/w photos, 160 pages.



    The cheapest on ABE is £13.25 plus postage, by the way.



    Nick

  5. #65
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    Whether or not it's a 'Classic' or 'The best war film' or whatever, for me it will always have a special place in my heart. God, as a young kid, finding out it was on TV that night (Pre video dear!) Listening to my dad talking about the war......BUT a re-make?



    I mean for me it's an incon. I mean, could you really re-do the 'Dambusters'? The 'Great Escape'? 'Ice Cold in Alex'? 'Ice Cold in Alex' in colour.......nah!





    (I mean, You know what THEY did to the 'Wop Job'!)

  6. #66
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    Some have said, unkindly, that it was fruitless mission and didn't make much difference to the German munitions industry. What do others think?
    Apparently it didn't make much difference, although it should have.



    Throughout the war the allies worked on the assumption that the German economy was under enormous strain. If that had been the case then the breaching of the dams would have had serious consequences for the German war machine.



    Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. German industry wasn't working at anything like full stretch, had much greater reserves than the allies imagined and had little difficulty in maintaining the flow of military hardware

  7. #67
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    Apparently it didn't make much difference, although it should have.

    Throughout the war the allies worked on the assumption that the German economy was under enormous strain. If that had been the case then the breaching of the dams would have had serious consequences for the German war machine.

    Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. German industry wasn't working at anything like full stretch, had much greater reserves than the allies imagined and had little difficulty in maintaining the flow of military hardware
    On the contrary, the latest thinking is that it was crucial to the liberation of Europe; in order to rebuild the dams and the related infrastructure damaged in the raid and the flood that followed, the Todt Organisation had to divert slave labour, in the number of tens of thousands, from the Atlantic Wall project; when D.Day arrived, Allied troops found themselves coming off the Normandy beaches through fully manned, but structurally unfinished defensive works....

  8. #68
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    On the contrary, the latest thinking is that it was crucial to the liberation of Europe; in order to rebuild the dams and the related infrastructure damaged in the raid and the flood that followed, the Todt Organisation had to divert slave labour, in the number of tens of thousands, from the Atlantic Wall project; when D.Day arrived, Allied troops found themselves coming off the Normandy beaches through fully manned, but structurally unfinished defensive works....
    You may well be right.



    My information came from J K Galbraith's book "A Life In Our Times". He made the point that German munition production increased every year of the war and only declined when the Russians were actually at the gates of Berlin. He further suggested that the bombing campaign helped rather than hindered the Nazi war effort.



    Having said that, Galbraith was an economist. As such his grasp of reality was tenuous at best.

  9. #69
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    I feel that there was much effort and counter-propoganda by the Nazis to try to show that the raid didn't have the impact the the British Allies claimed. A lot of men, material and time would have been used to do this.



    For such a small raid, it did make a huge impact. The high percentage losses were regrettable but no worse than those of a big raid.



    Crucially it did divert Barnes Wallace into making the earthquake series of bombs, Tall Boy, Grand Slam etc. These were used to great effect for the rest of the war. Destroying E-boats, U-boat pens, viaducts, canals, V1 launch sites, even the Tirpitz was attacked.



    The Germans also spent a lot of time trying to make their own bouncing bombs.

  10. #70
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    I feel that there was much effort and counter-propoganda by the Nazis


    "Sir,

    We have read with disappointment and distress the account in The Northern Whig of the -carefully prepared and skilfully executed destruction of dams in the Ruhr district by the R.A.F. Surely such an act means that many civilians, including women and children, will have been drowned or rendered homeless?

    We would suggest that this does not fit in with the original aim of the British Govemment to break the power of the Nazis, but at the same time encourage the German people to overthrow the Nazis and so to play a useful part again in the life of Europe. On the contrary we feel certain that this act will be represented in Germany as one of deliberate cruelty to the German people, and will be used to goad them to a prolonged resistence.

    Yours etc.

    Dorothy E. Clay, K.W.Young, Gerald A.J.Hodgett, Kenneth Clay, Donald Smeltzer,

    F.Smeltzer, A.R.Whitley, Rosemary Kerr, Cecil F.Pritchard, Denis P.Barritt

    6 Magheralave Road, Lisbum."


    BBC - WW2 People's War - A Criticism of the Dambusters

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    Crucially it did divert Barnes Wallace into making the earthquake series of bombs, Tall Boy, Grand Slam etc.


    If I remember correctly, Wallis was pushing for 'earthquake bombs' in the 1930s, and even designed a bomber specifically to carry them.



    Destroying the dams was a major propaganda victory, but I'm not convinced it really did much to hurt German industry. The point about the Atlantic Wall is interesting, but the failure there was as much down to poor planning and military intelligence by the Germans as lack of defences... had they thrown all available forces at the beaches rather than keeping many in reserve for the 'real' invasion at Calais, then the landing would have been far harder and possibly even failed.

  12. #72
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    "On the contrary we feel certain that this act will be represented in Germany as one of deliberate cruelty to the German people, and will be used to goad them to a prolonged resistence.

    Yours etc.

    Dorothy E. Clay, K.W.Young, Gerald A.J.Hodgett, Kenneth Clay, Donald Smeltzer,

    F.Smeltzer, A.R.Whitley, Rosemary Kerr, Cecil F.Pritchard, Denis P.Barritt

    6 Magheralave Road, Lisbum."


    BBC - WW2 People's War - A Criticism of the Dambusters
    "He who sows the wind..."



    Sadly, the Nazis killed far more Germans than the RAF.



    The RAF went to great lengths to avoid civillians while the enemy went to great lengths to prevent them hitting their intended targets. This sometimes meant that civillian areas were hit. This has been called the Battle of the Beams, how radio technology was used to bring aircraft to their targets while sublte jamming bent the beams onto other areas. Probably worthy of a film itself.

  13. #73
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    633 squadron is one of my favourate films that i have in my collection,you get the feeling that your in the cockpit with angus lennie and cliff robertson very stiff upper lip,a canidian and a scot keeping a stiff upper lip,and speaking of a scot what about the hill with sean connery brill performance by harry andrews



    Brian

    Stiff upper lip is one of the reasons I enjoy English movies about the War. I would have to agree that "Dam Busters" is, if not THE best, ONE of the best of the 'Men-in-Training' movies. Do you remember the scene when the Lancasters are approaching the coast, shot from above, and lit by moonlight reflected off the water? Absolutely beautiful.



    The Dambuster squadron (617 squadron) was formed from experienced pilots and after the missions were retained as an elite precision boming unit - they were later to take part in the sinking of the German battleship Tirpitz.



    The movie was shot around Ladybower resovoir in Derbyshire near to where my father lives - it was also where the real squadron trained for the mission. There are many excellent walks around the resovoir with magnificent views and a tradional pub (the Dambuster pub) - I took my American wife there once and she was impressed.



    British war movies, unlike their American counterparts, like to recreate history and show it how it was. Some poetic licence is allowed but not too much.



    Did you know that the sequence when the bombers follow the canal on the way to the target was the inspiration for the StarWars scene in which the fighters attack the DeathStar through the equator channel?



    No I didn't but then again Star Wars I (or rather Star Wars IV as the cable channels refer to it as now) contains a great many movie reference points and influences from the droid Laurel & Hardy routine to Tarzan swinging with Jane on a rope.



    I always thought the final attack on the Death Star remined me of 633 Squadron where the whole squadron gets wasted attacked down a narrow fjord (complete with enemy Messerschmidts/Tie fighters lurking above them and for the final bomb to destroy the mountain/Death Star.



    Were the producers of 633 Squadron on drugs the day they cast George Chakaris as a Norwegian naval officer complete with a nordic blonde sister?



    The best training war movie I ever saw was Full Metal Jacket. Awesome first half, awful second half. Kubrik should've scrapped the war movie section and just focussed on a study of the de-humanisation and automation of the individual during the basic training process.

  14. #74
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    If I remember correctly, Wallis was pushing for 'earthquake bombs' in the 1930s, and even designed a bomber specifically to carry them.


    The jury's out on Wallis' superbomber, it might well have been a Spruce Goose-style white elephant...it looks a bit big, slow and clumsy to have been an effective weapon, bearing in mind the lack of power of the engines it would have had....as it was, the Tallboy and Grand Slam bombs had to wait for the Lancaster with the late-generation Merlins to carry them into war... and even then, much of the bomber's defensive armament was sacrificed to make that possible. Again, it was the superlative pilots and crew of 617 Squadron that did the precision flying under extreme conditions.

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    "He who sows the wind..."

    Sadly, the Nazis killed far more Germans than the RAF.

    The RAF went to great lengths to avoid civillians while the enemy went to great lengths to prevent them hitting their intended targets. This sometimes meant that civillian areas were hit. This has been called the Battle of the Beams, how radio technology was used to bring aircraft to their targets while sublte jamming bent the beams onto other areas. Probably worthy of a film itself.
    On 15 February 1942, the head of Bomber Command, Sir Charles Portal, wrote to Air Chief Marshall Norman Bottomley to clarify a few points about the RAF new bombing targets:



    "... I suppose it is clear that the aiming points will be the built up areas, and not, for instance, the dockyards or aircraft factories."

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    it looks a bit big, slow and clumsy to have been an effective weapon


    Wikipedia claims it was designed to do 320mph at 45,000 feet, which would have made it a tough target for German fighters. However, I agree that those figures look debatable in the real world.

  17. #77
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    "... I suppose it is clear that the aiming points will be the built up areas, and not, for instance, the dockyards or aircraft factories."
    The bomber will always get through. The only defence is in offence, which means that you have to kill more women and children more quickly than the enemy if you want to save yourselves.

    Stanley Baldwin, British Prime Minister, House of Commons speech 10 November 1932.




    War is cruelty. There's no use trying to reform it, the crueler it is the sooner it will be over."

    William Tecumseh Sherman




    The Air Force comes in every morning and says, "Bomb, bomb, bomb." And then the State Department comes in and says, "Not now, or not there, or too much, or not at all.

    President Lyndon B. Johnson


  18. #78
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    Wikipedia claims it was designed to do 320mph at 45,000 feet, which would have made it a tough target for German fighters. However, I agree that those figures look debatable in the real world.
    Indeed...the dimensions of the the Victory Bomber given makes it nearly twice the length and wingspan of the Lancaster, but with only 50 % extra engine power (assuming the later Merlins of '43 on..) .....and yet the designed performance figures given give it an airspeed 50 % greater and double the altitude ceiling of the Lancaster...with the greatest possible respect to Barnes Wallis, it doesn't add up...

  19. #79
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    with the greatest possible respect to Barnes Wallis, it doesn't add up...
    Wasn't a big part of the 'moral' of the film (to get myself back to the point) that people were always saying that to Barnesy and he just kept bouncing back at 'em....

  20. #80
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    Wasn't a big part of the 'moral' of the film (to get myself back to the point) that people were always saying that to Barnesy and he just kept bouncing back at 'em....
    Sure....but if the figures projected for the Victory Bomber were his, he was way out....the engines simply weren't powerful enough in the late 30's....the Superfortress was the only WW2 bomber to come close to that performance, and had a ceiling of only 30,000 ft....after a whole war's worth of engine and airframe development.

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