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Thread: The Dam Busters

  1. #101
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    I always quite liked Larry Olivier's line in The Battle of Britain where, as Dowding, he was asked to confirm some statistics because both sides were claiming different figures and he said something to the effect of "Statistics don't matter. If we're right, they'll give up. If they're right, they'll be marching through London in a week."



    Steve
    I agree,Steve - it is one of my favourite lines in movie history.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  2. #102
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    Steve, I've started Harris' BOMBER OFFENSIVE a few times but it's heavy on "offensive" where he is railing against everyone as if he needs to put axes in their skulls - it's a more than a little abrasive. Rather than having an ax to grind, it reads more like he's using it instead.



    Whatever facts he discusses are overlayed with berating all those around him - above him, below him, etc. Apparently, he may have had no friends, or once that book was published, I suspect those numbers dwindled considerably. It contains about 50,000 too many harangues for my continued reading.



    Which is a shame. Actually, maybe "Defensive" should have been the keyword in its title.



    Sant, thanks for that recommendation, too.



    I think I've seen a few televised quotes or discussions with Harris, but I can't tell if he was a pariah during the war, or if he managed to become one after it. My sense is that he did more damage afterwards.



    Curtis LeMay, on the other hand, rode the Anti-Communist wagon from BBQing Japan into the '60s, probably because he was the favorite son of the munitions makers and American air-force contractors.



    This was something that Harris did not do - those who supplied him with equipment were castigated in some of the first pages for giving him "always inadequate equipment, even thru the end of the war."



    I have ended up with only one question for Harris (and for his American counterparts): "Why wasn't someone forcing you two to play together nice-nice and carry out mission after mission in concert with one another?" Just as the English airfields were worn down until Adolph showed his brilliance and left them alone, the Brit and American forces were also wearing down German forces the few occasions when they did work together. The VERY few occasions.



    While I'm certain this isn't correct, I often believe the significant cooperation between the two air forces was the marriage of the Merlin Rolls Royce engine into the P51 body.

  3. #103
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    I have ended up with only one question for Harris (and for his American counterparts): "Why wasn't someone forcing you two to play together nice-nice and carry out mission after mission in concert with one another?" Just as the English airfields were worn down until Adolph showed his brilliance and left them alone, the Brit and American forces were also wearing down German forces the few occasions when they did work together. The VERY few occasions.
    I think the top brass on both sides were still very much "old school" back then and didn't appreciate the advantages in international co-operation. Look at the arguments between Montgomery, Patton & Bradley. Senior people from both countries thought they were in charge and that the others were there to help out (under orders)



    Steve

  4. #104
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    While I'm certain this isn't correct, I often believe the significant cooperation between the two air forces was the marriage of the Merlin Rolls Royce engine into the P51 body.
    That, plus we gave the US the plans for jet engines......

  5. #105
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    That, plus we gave the US the plans for jet engines......
    And the Russians too, which produced the Mig 15 when matched up to a German airframe design.

  6. #106
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    I havent read all the posts on this.Howeever in case it hasnt ben mentioned before i would point out that because the design of the bomb was still secret when the film was made it was shown to be a round ball.it was of course cylindrical in shape.I believe that a replica is on display at Bletchley park

  7. #107
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    At the Yorkshire Air Museum,south east of York,there is an entire hut dedicated to 617 Squadron,and there is a complete casing of a trial bomb installed there. Worth a visit if you are in the area.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  8. #108
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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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. .
    And Stalin killed far more Jews than Hitler! I think your statement is overly simplistic and not one I would agree with at all. One only has to look at the allies end of war policy of firbombing German cities, the destruction of Dresden being the most controversial, even Churchill tried to distance himself from that one! 25-35 thousand civilains and refugees incinerated over a period of two days! The worst casualties inflicted on a British city was an air raid on Coventry which claimed approx 1200 lives. Anglo American bombing of German cities claimed between 305- 600 thousand civlians. I think a fairer comparison would be to say that British and Allied bombing claimed at least two or three hundred times more civilain casualties than those inflicted on the UK. Difficult to swallow, but sadly true.The true horror of war is that both sides inflict cruel and needless casualties on each other and as ever the worst casualties are civilain.

  9. #109
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    Saw this at the local Vue last night.Shown in digital in its original aspect ratio,no ads no trailers just the film.,at a price of 3 pounds.About 50 people in the audience.Great film.Gibson himself was quite a strange personality.He did over 200sorties before finally being killed over Holland late in 1944.Given that once aircrew had done 25 subsequently 30 missions they were taken off active service it makes you wonder how he could just go on like that.After all however good you are in the sky the law of averages will eventually catch up with you.Perhaps instead of remaking this film they should make a film of the life of Gibson.Funny how fighter pilots such as Bader get their story told but not the less glamorous bomber pilots.

  10. #110
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    It would be an interesting film....like Bader, he inspired trememendous loyalty, but was also a fiercely driven martinet....the hard part would be the casting; I don't know of any actors in their early twenties who could give off that amount of charisma, combined with seriousness and gravity.

  11. #111
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    According to Amazon there is a biog on him due out on the 20th September.Curiously though it is 196 pages.What this could mean is that it is a scissors and paste job rather than a full scale biog.This of course could be due to the fact that most of the people who knew him have passed on.incidentally the synopsis refers to "questionable private life" so clearly he was not quite the stright laced individual that he appears to be in the film.

  12. #112
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    In the film shown last night the dogs original name was used,it had not been dubbed.However the code word for the breaching of the dams was changed to Digger.

  13. #113
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    In the film shown last night the dogs original name was used,it had not been dubbed.However the code word for the breaching of the dams was changed to Digger.
    I'm sure I watched a version the other week where everyone called the dog 'Boy', just as Patrick McGoohan did. It seemed to work quite well and made a modicum of sense.



    How odd that they should leave the dog as

    -. * .. * --. * --. * . * .-.

    but change the code-word.........



    I wonder how many versions are out there? They could do a boxed set of all the variations........




  14. #114
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    According to Amazon there is a biog on him due out on the 20th September.Curiously though it is 196 pages.What this could mean is that it is a scissors and paste job rather than a full scale biog.This of course could be due to the fact that most of the people who knew him have passed on.incidentally the synopsis refers to "questionable private life" so clearly he was not quite the stright laced individual that he appears to be in the film.
    It might also be only 196 pages because he was dead at 24....

  15. #115
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    It might also be only 196 pages because he was dead at 24....


    Age 22 (at the time)



    327 pages

  16. #116
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    I've joined this forum to express my sheer delight at finally seeing my all-time favourite war movie - The Dam Busters - on the big screen again last night at Cineworld in Aberdeen, an event which was - to the amazement of the management - packed to capacity.



    Having watched it repeatedly since I was a child, the experience of seeing (and hearing) it up there was like seeing it for the first time. Being in the second row, the effect of seeing REAL Lancasters thundering towards the screen at genuinely low level was simply awesome, and the sound of those Merlin engines through a cinema sound system was incredible.



    Interesting point to make, though . . . .



    The cinema was mostly full of youngsters, and I had expected them to denigrade the movie and perhaps snigger (HEY! A new and politically-correct name for Gibson's dog, perhaps?) at a lot of it, especially the special effects - but not a bit of it.



    These young people - many who obviously had never seen the film before, laughed at the parts that we may have forgotten were amusing ("my 'ens lay premature eggs that fall off the perch and mess up the floor") and were genuinely awed by the sight and sounds.



    What really struck me, however, was their reaction during the classic scene near the end, when the camera silently pans through the empty rooms of the missing aircrews - you could have heard a pin drop in the cinema.



    Another interesting fact was that the Lancasters cavorting at low level over the lakes in the movie were obviously real and were obviously REALLY flying that low. There is no amount of cgi (am I wrong?) that could replicate such an incredible sight, especially when the bombers filled the screen and almost flew right out of it.



    So, I say praise God that such an awesome, powerful, poignant, magnificent movie masterpiece was once again shown where it truly belongs - on the big screen, and thanks also to all those youngsters in the cinema in Aberdeen, who showed respect for a legend and who, I really believe, became fans of the movie too.

  17. #117
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    The story of the Lancs that were used, piloted by Lincoln crews, is interesting in itself.

  18. #118
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    If anyone wants to see a real Lanc there is one on exhibition down the road from me at the Raf museum in Hendon.

  19. #119
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    I've joined this forum to express my sheer delight at finally seeing my all-time favourite war movie - The Dam Busters - on the big screen again last night at Cineworld in Aberdeen, an event which was - to the amazement of the management - packed to capacity.


    Having watched it repeatedly since I was a child, the experience of seeing (and hearing) it up there was like seeing it for the first time. Being in the second row, the effect of seeing REAL Lancasters thundering towards the screen at genuinely low level was simply awesome, and the sound of those Merlin engines through a cinema sound system was incredible.



    Interesting point to make, though . . . .



    The cinema was mostly full of youngsters, and I had expected them to denigrade the movie and perhaps snigger (HEY! A new and politically-correct name for Gibson's dog, perhaps?) at a lot of it, especially the special effects - but not a bit of it.



    These young people - many who obviously had never seen the film before, laughed at the parts that we may have forgotten were amusing ("my 'ens lay premature eggs that fall off the perch and mess up the floor") and were genuinely awed by the sight and sounds.



    What really struck me, however, was their reaction during the classic scene near the end, when the camera silently pans through the empty rooms of the missing aircrews - you could have heard a pin drop in the cinema.



    Another interesting fact was that the Lancasters cavorting at low level over the lakes in the movie were obviously real and were obviously REALLY flying that low. There is no amount of cgi (am I wrong?) that could replicate such an incredible sight, especially when the bombers filled the screen and almost flew right out of it.



    So, I say praise God that such an awesome, powerful, poignant, magnificent movie masterpiece was once again shown where it truly belongs - on the big screen, and thanks also to all those youngsters in the cinema in Aberdeen, who showed respect for a legend and who, I really believe, became fans of the movie too.
    That experience was replicated at Bolton too; a full cinema, a good sprinkling of teenagers (including my 15 years old), no stupidity and dead silence at that moment you point out cooleyn. Wonderful.



    About 30 years ago, my brother-in-law, then in the RAF, invited me to watch as the new Station Commander took the Battle of Britain's Flight's Lancaster up for a spin. Watching it take off and being flung about the skies was one thing, but then having it come barreling in over one of the hangers at probably 80-100 feet above my head was quite another. It's a sound the film couldn't hope to replicate!

  20. #120
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    What a super Post......
    hear hear....a great illustration of how a film from that era can still captivate and find a new audience, and no CGI, just real flying sequences with real Lancasters, brilliantly done. I think the flying sequences in 633 squadron are pretty good too and even in The blue Max. What makes them good is that they are done for real. I love films about flying and love those types of films and the reason I was dissapointed with a contemporary film like "The Aviator" was the sheer unreality of the CGI flying sequences.

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