The Dam Busters (1955) Movie Script

I can't find it, Daddy.
I've looked everywhere.
It's alright, don't worry.
We'll find it in the morning.
I've got another one here.
Four, three, two, one, fire.
Ah I'm sorry. It's no good. It's over
there in that flowerbed somewhere.
- I've lost it, Daddy. I can't find it.
- I've got it.
- Here it is, Daddy.
- Thank you.
Watch it, Christopher.
Four, three, two, one, fire!
Fine, that's good!
Mark it, Mary.
Right, well let's...
Hello, old Doc! I'm sorry.
Have you been here long?
No, I've just come.
What all this going on?
Oh, it's... just a little thing
I'm trying to find out.
Here, can you just hold that for me?
Just over the centre of the tub.
Got it?
Right, we'll make a note of this one.
13 foot 3. That's all right now.
Thank you very much.
- Hello, Doc.
- Hello, darling.
Are you going to look at Elizabeth?
I hope it isn't tonsils.
She looks all right.
Where's your mother?
- ln the house.
- Let's go in, shall we?
- I'll be in in a minute.
Stay for some tea.
- Thanks very much.
Well, now listen. Let's try to get
one or two more shots before it's too dark.
Thank you.
Watch out, Mary.
Watch it, Christopher.
I don't think there's anything
to worry about here.
The temperature is all right.
Quite a lot of these throats
are running around this spring.
- She'll be all right in the morning.
- Good.
Now, along to bed, darling.
I'll bring you up some supper later on.
Oh, but I've got to help Daddy
play marbles.
No, it's too late now, dear.
- Good night, Doctor.
- Good night, Elizabeth.
All right, let's try one more.
- Good night.
- Good night, darling.
Three, two, one, fire!
He seems to be having a fine old game
out there.
What's it all about?
Just some problem he's trying to solve
before tomorrow afternoon.
He's been at it for days now.
He was out there at 5 o'clock
this morning in the rain.
Doctor, when I called you this afternoon
it wasn't really about Elizabeth.
- It was Barnes.
- You don't think he's well?
He's all right at present,
but he won't be for much longer.
He can't be if he goes on like this:
2 and 3 and 4 o'clock
night after night.
And after a hard day
at his real job at Vickers.
He hardly went to bed at all
last night.
He's wearing himself out.
I wish you'd have a talk with him,
I think he might listen to you.
I'll see what I can do,
but you know how he is.
- How is Elizabeth?
- Oh, she's all right.
- You don't think it's tonsils?
- No, no, no.
But I'll keep an eye on her,
don't you worry.
The tea is stone cold, Barnes.
I called you twice.
Oh, I'm sorry. But you know
I got a lot of very useful stuff here.
It's only a question now
of working it out on paper.
- Another late night?
- I don't know, it depends.
In any case, this part is easy
compared with what's coming.
- Have a cup of tea, Doc.
- Well, if you're going to...
- I'll make some fresh.
- Don't worry, I'll do it.
No, no, you sit down
and take off those wet shoes.
- Better see to the blackout first.
- I'll give you a hand.
Wait a minute.
Come out here and listen.
Hmm, sound like another big one.
Surely they won't be able to stand up
to many raids like these.
They wouldn't if we could really
get at them, but we don't.
It's like trying to kill a giant
by firing at his arms and legs
with thousands of peashooters instead
of a clean bullet through the heart.
You know what happened
when they tried to wipe out London.
Here's your tea, Barnes.
Don't let this get cold.
I'm coming.
Doc, do you remember about
that earthquake bomb idea of mine?
Yes, that was the time of Dunkerque.
You told me the idea,
but not what you wanted it for.
Come over here.
Do you know how much water it takes
the Germans to make a ton of steel?
- Haven't the least idea.
- One hundred tons.
Now just look at this.
The whole of this great arsenal
of war factories in the Ruhr
depends for its water
on three enormous dams:
The Mhne,
the Eder and the Sorpe.
They control the level of the canals
and supply a lot of hydroelectric power.
When those are full,
they hold 400 million tons of water.
Just think of the chaos
if we could break those walls down.
Now, this is what I wanted to do.
Drop a 10 ton bomb
from 40 thousand feet
that would seal itself
in the roots of the wall.
The shockwaves would be tremendous,
a real earthquake.
But could you hit a target that size
from 8 miles up?
I reckon that a near miss, even 50 feet,
would do the job.
Is there an airplane that will carry
a 10 ton bomb?
- No, but i was going to design one.
- What happened?
Well, a committee was set up
and we went into it
but I hadn't made sufficient allowance
for the cushioning effect of the water.
We should need a 30 ton bomb -
too heavy for any aircraft at present.
- Sugar?
- No, thanks.
- Oh, carry on.
- Well, just a little.
Do you know, Barnes?
I still don't see why you need
such a special bomb.
This dam is about 1 20 feet thick:
Solid masonry all through.
We've proved that a bomb 20 times
the size of the biggest bomb now
wouldn't even tickle it.
Besides, we can't float anything
down the lake
because they've got these two huge
booms stretching right across it.
We can't even get it
in under the water
because these booms
support thick steel nets
which would stop a flotilla of submarines
let alone torpedoes.
I see.
You can't bomb it,
you can't float a mine against it
and you can't torpedo it.
- Looks impossible.
- Yes, it does, doesn't it?
The other day I thought of a new,
a wonderful idea.
- You've found a way to do it?
- I think so.
The committee that's enquiring into
my original idea is meeting again tomorrow
and I rather expect they'll want
to wind the whole thing up.
Well, if they do, I'm done.
Why don't you go ahead
with your new idea until you're ready
and then get them
to form a new committee?
My dear fellow, you talk as if I could pull
committees out of a hat.
It took months... well, years almost
to get Whitehall to start this one.
Somehow or other I must just keep it alive
until I'm ready.
Oh, I'm sorry!
You want to get back to your surgery.
Well, I ought to really.
- Barnes?
- Hmm?
- Will you promise me something?
- If I can...
Would you try to get away for Easter?
You do need a rest, you know.
You think I'm going crazy?
A lot of people do, you know.
No, but you can't go on day and night.
Nobody can.
All right, Doc.
- Hello, Dr Pye.
- Hello, Wallis.
- Would you do something for me?
- I'll try.
You've got a lot of influence
over those fellows in there.
Will you try to stop them
winding the thing up right away?
- They'd need a very convincing reason.
- I've got a new idea.
It's quite different
only... l must have time.
- Can you explain to them what it is?
- That's just the point, I can't.
If I were to try explain it to them now
they'd only laugh at me.
- It's difficult without knowing more...
- Yes, I do see that, but...
We'd better go in.
Surely Mr Wallis must realise
the false position he's putting us into.
We were appointed to examine
a definite proposition.
I don't think we were confined
to any definite proposition.
We were appointed to examine every
possibility of air attack on these dams.
I know, but Mr Wallis
did put forward a
theory that was hopelessly
wide of the mark.
And on the strength of this, he wants time
to explore a completely new theory
that's too fantastic even to explain.
I'm only asking for one simple thing:
I want you to give me sufficient time.
To discover how much explosive
would be needed to breach these dams
if we could explode a bomb
directly against the wall.
How do you propose to get the bomb
directly against the wall?
That is what I'm working on now.
Yes, but surely
you can give us some idea.
I don't think that we can press Mr Wallis
to do that.
If I had a partly formed theory,
I certainly shouldn't want to talk about it
until I'm sure that it is all clear.
Quite so.
How long would you need to carry out
these new experiments?
If Glanville will let me have the model
dams at St Harmondsworth again
I would say... a week or ten days.
- How do you feel about that, Glanville?
- We'll be of any help we can.
Right. Then I should like to propose
that we formally adjourn for two weeks.
Can I take it
that the committee agrees to this?
I'm so glad you could come down.
I think you'll find this very interesting.
Glanville's people
have rigged up two charges.
This first one is equivalent
to a 10 ton bomb, 50 feet from the wall,
as in the earlier experiments.
This second one is only half that charge
but fixed to the wall itself.
Both are at a depth
equivalent to 30 feet.
- Are we all ready, Collins?
- All ready, Dr Glanville.
- You want to take cover?
- No, I don't think so.
Not for the first one.
If you all stand back over there...
All right, Collins, go ahead!
There. You see?
It isn't even scratched?
A very slight shock is recorded
and then it returns to normal.
This is where I was wrong before.
The cushion of water
between the explosion and the wall
absorbs the shock almost completely.
Shall we have the second one?
- When you're ready.
- This should get our feet wet.
Watch it.
- Good heavens! That's wonderful.
- Wonderful.
And that is only
half the charge of the first one.
Do you see the difference when it's placed
against the wall at the right depth?
The cushion of water acts in our favour
sending shockwaves right through the wall.
If we use this as a basis,
Glanville and I have calculated
we should one need 6,000 pounds
of this new explosive, RD X,
to breach the Mhne dam itself.
I can cut the case weight down
and make a complete bomb
of less than 5 tons.
We shouldn't need
a specially constructed aircraft either.
The new four engine Lancaster can carry
a 5 ton bomb right through to the Ruhr.
- If you can make the bomb...
- Naturally.
And get it to explode exactly in the
right position, hard against the dam wall.
- despite the protecting torpedo nets?
- Of course, that's essential.
But you still don't tell us how.
Well, if you're satisfied
with what you've seen
and I can have the proper facilities
I think I can do it.
- What facilities do you want?
- A testing tank, a really big one.
The biggest I know is the experimental
ship tank at Teddington,
- the National Physical Laboratory's.
- Could I use one of those?
- I'll see what we can do.
- Uh-huh.
- Well, goodbye.
- Goodbye.
- Goodbye.
- Goodbye.
And keep at it.
I think you've got something.
Three, two, one...
1 10, 1 36.
Thank you.
That's no good, it's too short.
Try 2 foot 6.
Well gentlemen, when you asked us
to let Barnes Wallis use this tank of ours
I didn't expect him to be still here
after five months.
I don't think we did either.
We have urgent experiments
waiting for this tank.
Any idea how long he's going to be?
It's making things very difficult.
He's exploring something entirely new,
you can't hurry this kind of research.
I know and if I thought
he was getting anywhere...
But he doesn't seem to be doing so.
At any rate, he doesn't tell me anything.
He spends hours and hours
shooting golf balls up and down.
And every now and then,
he breaks a window.
Look, couldn't you find him
some quiet duck pond in the country
where he could shoot things up and down
without being a nuisance to other people?
We'd better have a word with him.
Is he there now?
He's always there.
Didn't go home at all last night.
- Why was that?
- I don't know, I think he forgot.
He only has lunch
about once a week.
All right. Stand by!
Once again.
Three, two, one...
It's OK, I got that all right.
1 5 0 2 0 3.
Splendid! We'll try that again.
Oh, hello.
You couldn't have come
at a better time.
It's extraordinary
how these things happen.
One goes on and on feels as if
one's up against a brick wall forever
and then suddenly, it's as if a light
flashes on and everything slips into place.
And now...
If you come along here...
I've got a camera recording
but I think that up by the middle
you'll see everything perfectly.
All right.
Er, just about where you are.
Are you all ready?
Once again.
Three, two, one...
1 4 0...
We've been trying for months
to find a rule
by which we can fix
the height of each bounce.
If the bomb is released too soon,
it won't reach the dam,
if it's released too late,
it'll bounce over it
and explode directly under the aircraft
killing everyone.
But now, we've got it! If you just wait
here a moment and I'll do that again.
Three, two, one..
You see? It wasn't a fluke,
it works.
Well, that seems to be conclusive.
It's extraordinarily good of you
to have been so patient.
Not at all, glad we could help.
There were times when you must have
thought I was absolutely cockeyed.
- My dear fellow, that's the last thing...
- I shouldn't blame you if you did.
There's such a very thin dividing line
between inspiration and obsession
that sometimes is very hard to know
which side we're on.
- Will you need the tank anymore?
- If I could have it
until the end of the week to check
my calculations and complete the report.
That's perfectly all right.
You'll leave on Saturday?
Oh, yes, definitely.
After what you've seen today,
you'll put in a satisfactory report.
Certainly. I think this
ought to convince the committee.
After that, it's a matter
for the Ministry of Aircraft Production.
Under normal conditions, we should go
right ahead and give you every facility.
But I'm afraid at the present moment,
it's quite impossible.
But why, after that report?
You know how difficult things are,
Mr Wallis.
The shipping losses: half a million tons
last month alone,
most of it vital war material.
We haven't got an ounce to spare
for anything except the highest priority.
Bit surely, I only want to make a few
half size dummy prototypes of my bomb.
A new weapon like this
would need highly skilled labour,
special machine tools,
factory space.
Our factories are stretched
to the last inch of their capacity.
And you know the acute shortage
of skilled labour.
But you're making
new weapons all the time.
We're always trying to improve
upon weapons of known value.
It's a different matter when we come
to revolutionary ideas,
I might almost say fantastic ones,
like this.
You mustn't think
we're unimaginative or lukewarm.
We all see the possibilities
and we'd like to go ahead.
But at present, I'm afraid it's out of
the question. Possibly next year.
For goodness sake,
let's go as far as we can now
even if it doesn't go beyond
these half size prototypes.
You could practically make those
in a bicycle shop.
Even if we made a few dummy bombs,
you say you need a Wellington bomber
for test drops.
They're worth their weight in gold.
Do you really think the authorities
would lend you one?
What possible argument could
I put forward to get you Wellington?
Well, if you tell them that I designed it,
do you think that might help?
Looks a bit choppy down there.
Smooth or choppy, it's all the same
with this bomb, Mutt.
- Ready?
- Yes.
How is the speed, Mutt?
Set at 180.
Are we all right for height?
We're all right. Bet you half a crown
it doesn't work anyhow.
It's all right, it works!
Well, I imagine with the
success of the trials,
they'll let me go right
ahead with the real thing.
Personally, I'd like to see you
go straight ahead,
but the position is more difficult today
than it was last month.
How so?
We can't even produce enough of
existing types of bombs,
much less begin to
work on something
completely new and
completely unpredictable.
Surely they must realise if we can burst
those dams and flood the Ruhr valley
they can save the thousands of bombs
that they're dropping on the factories.
I can only pass on to you
the decision of the Ministry, Mr Wallis.
It might help if you could get the support
of somebody with personal influence.
Whom do you suggest?
Why not go and see
Sir Edward Hughes?
I've seen him twice.
- Or Sir George Burnett?
- I've seen him three times.
Well then of course
there's Lord Mansell.
I sat outside his office
all yesterday morning.
He was too busy.
Oh... Well, why not see
Sir Geoffrey Haines?
- I sat outside his
office all the afternoon.
- I see.
Well, in that case for the present I think
you've done everything you possibly can.
- Have you seen Mr Summers?
- I think you'll find him
in the testing shed.
- How did you get on?
- It's hopeless.
- What happened?
- Nothing.
I walked up and down Whitehall,
in and out of offices,
up and down stairs,
sat outside rooms, l...
I felt like a pedlar
trying to sell clockwork toys.
I wish there was something
I could do.
- There is, Mutt.
- What?
Let's take the whole thing
straight to Bomber Command.
- Harris?
- Yes. You really know him.
If he sees the films and gets interested,
well, it'll only need one word from him.
Why not?
There's a bit of a snag there.
You see, he gets so inundated
with fantastic inventions...
That's ridiculous! Everything he's using
had to be invented.
Look, if you tell him that it's worthwhile
he'll listen to you, won't he?
I'll do what I can, but don't blame me
if he throws us both out of the window.
Will you come in, please?
Mr Summers
and Mr Barnes Wallis, sir.
- Hello, Mutt. Wallis.
- Good morning.
What is it you want?
I've got an idea for
destroying the Ruhr dams.
The effect on Germany
would be enormous.
I know all that, I read the report.
But you really think you can knock down
a dam with that thing?
It looks clever enough on paper,
but that goes for all these wizzy ideas.
You try to make them work,
they fall down flat.
- This one doesn't.
- How do you know?
We've tested it and proved it.
I've got some films here
I'd like you to see.
If you've proved the thing,
why hasn't it been taken up?
I don't know. But the films
only take five minutes to run.
You could see them
and decide for yourself.
all right.
Send the projectionists
out of the room.
If this thing is as good as you say,
there's no point in letting everybody know.
Thornby can run the film.
- Is that you, Barnes?
- Hello.
It's raining a bit, I shouldn't
be surprised if it turns to snow.
Yes, it is cold, isn't it?
How did you get on?
With Harris? Oh, he was all right.
What's he like?
Is he very fierce?
Oh, no. He listened to what I had to say
and saw the films.
- Was he interested?
- Yes, I think so.
It doesn't make any difference now anyway
because the whole thing is over.
Washed out and done with.
That's impossible.
What happened?
When I got back to Weybridge, they sent for
me and told that the people in Whitehall
had decided that I was making
a nuisance of myself
wasting everybody's time, including my own
and that the whole thing was dropped.
What did you do?
Well, the only thing I could do:
I resigned.
- Resigned? From Vickers?
- Mm-hm.
Surely this doesn't affect
your other work.
Sweetheart, when you believe in a thing
as much as I have believed in this
there really isn't any other work
until you have seen it through.
What will you do?
Oh, I haven't thought about that yet.
It's a new experience
to find myself unemployed.
The first thing you'll
do is to have a rest.
We'll get away somewhere.
No, I don't think so. It wouldn't
be much fun in a farm house in winter
or in some dreary wartime hotel.
There's plenty to do here too.
I must see about the tool-house door,
see if I can get it to work properly.
I've meaning to repair the chicken run
for years.
After that, I can look around
for someway of earning a living.
I suppose I can get a job
teaching somewhere.
Oh, a secretary rang up
just before you got in.
The Ministry of Aircraft Production
want to see you in the morning.
I've had enough of the Ministry of Aircraft
Production and all the rest of them.
- But they said it was important.
- Yes, it is to them.
They'd enjoy giving me a lecture
on minding my own business.
Personally, I'd prefer to dig the garden.
If it doesn't snow,
I think I'll put in a few broad beans.
- Isn't it a bit too early?
- I don't know. They're very hardy.
One year I planted a row in November
and they come up a couple of inches
by Christmas.
I think you ought to go, Barnes.
Perhaps you're right.
It would be a good thing
if I told them exactly
what I think of the
whole bunch of them.
Mr Wallis, sir.
Oh, hello, Wallis. I was trying all over
the place to get hold of you yesterday.
- You needn't have troubled.
- What do you mean, I
needn't have troubled?
They told me the news at Vickers.
If you've got to tell
me officially, well...
I suppose you've got
to have your say.
Then I'll have mine.
But they know nothing
about it yet.
The news only came through
in the afternoon.
And actually I wanted you
to be the first to know.
- What did they told you?
- That the whole thing was off.
Done with, finished.
I don't know who said that,
it didn't come from us.
What I'm telling you now is official.
Orders have just come through from Downing
Street that it's to go ahead right away.
The Prime Minister is
enthusiastic about it.
The time is the vital element now.
The dams must be attacked early in May
when the water level is at its highest.
After that the level begins to drop.
Naturally, I know that.
I made it clear in my report.
It only leaves a bare two months
to train a squadron and prepare the bombs.
Can you do your part in that time?
Well... I'll do my best.
That's how it is. I expect you all
want to get back to your groups.
I want a maximum effort tonight.
See if we can get a real knock at Essen.
Cochrane, don't go for a minute.
What do you think of Wallis' idea
of bursting the Ruhr dams?
It sounds a bit far-fetched,
but personally I think it can be done.
I hope you're right.
Anyway, I've given it my support
and I've had orders to get ready.
- I want you to take it on.
- Right, sir, I'd like to.
It'll mean taking a squadron out
of the line for special training.
No, we must form
a special squadron for this
and man it with experienced crews who've
just finished their present 30 trips.
Some of those keen youngsters
won't mind doing an extra one.
Have you anyone in mind
to command the squadron?
Yes. Gibson.
Rad shutters auto.
Rad shutters auto.
- Brakes off.
- Brakes off.
Nigger, come on, boy!
Come on!
Come on, Nigger!
Come on, old fellow.
You won't have to wait
for me for a long time.
No, you won't!
Going on holiday, down to Cornwall.
Rabbits. Rabbits, boy!
Come on, Skipper,
you'll miss the bus.
OK! Come on, Nigger.
Come on, boy!
There's a show called "Let's Face it!"
at the Hippodrome.
- That's the Cole Porter musical.
- You've seen it?
Yeah, I saw it last fall.
But I'll see it again.
"Full Swing" at the Palace
with Jack Halbert.
Can you walk straight in on these shows
nowadays or do you have to book?
You can't get into the stalls
because of the Americans.
Most nights you can get in somewhere.
There's four of us for London,
We can get the 3:15 tomorrow
and see a show before we split up.
- All right, you
can count me in.
- We'll have a couple
of taxis here at 2:30.
Excuse me, sir. There's a message
for you from Group.
The A.O.C. would like to see
you at 11 o'clock tomorrow.
Oh... right.
You wait there, old boy.
Stay there.
Wing Commander Gibson, sir.
- Good morning, Gibson.
- Good morning, sir.
Congratulations on the bar
to your DSO.
Thank you, sir.
- You finished your third tour last night?
- Yes, sir.
Would you be prepared
to take on one more trip?
What kind of trip, sir?
I can't tell you much about it
for the present
But it'll be a special one
and you'll command the operation.
I'm afraid it would mean putting off
your leave.
How do you feel about it?
- All right, sir.
- Good.
It's going to need careful training
and the Commander-in-Chief
wants a special squadron formed.
It will be best if you form it yourself.
I'm telling all the squadrons they'll have
to give up their most experienced crews.
They're not going to like it.
- Is Group Captain Whitworth there?
- He's just arrived, sir.
- Ask him to come in.
- Very good, sir.
What kind of training is it to be, sir?
What sort of target?
I can't tell you the target yet.
But it will be low-flying.
You've got to be able to low-fly at night
until it's second nature.
- Hello, Whitworth.
- Good morning, sir.
- You know each other?
- Oh, yes. We're old friends.
- Hello, Gibson.
- Hello, sir.
You'll be forming this squadron
at Whitworth's main base at Scampton.
I'm sorry I can't tell you any more,
but the immediate job is to get
your crews and get them flying.
There's one other thing:
You'll have to watch security.
As far as others are concerned,
this is just an ordinary new squadron.
Very good, sir.
Now go off with Group Captain Whitworth
and he'll help you to get things going.
You'll find pretty well
everyone that matters in here, sir.
- On this board or here, in these albums.
- Right, thank you.
Now then... Oh, thanks.
I'd go for these Australians if I were you:
Les Knight and Mickey Martin.
Martin knows all there is to know
about low-flying.
Yes, I met him
when he was collecting a DFC.
I know this New Zealander, Les Munro,
I'd like to have him.
- And Joe McCarthy, he's great.
- Oh, the American. The Glorious Blonde.
He used to be
a Coney Island beach guard.
We mustn't forget the English.
Here is Bill Astell.
Oh yes, and David Maltby.
No, he's just started another tour.
And Hoppy Hopgood
from my old squadron.
I'd like to have Dave Shannon
and Burpee from there too.
We shan't be popular
with the other squadron commanders
if we start squeezing
chaps like these from them.
There are two I'd like
as flight commanders:
Henry Maudslay and Dinghy Young.
- Do you know them?
- I know Young well.
I told him to fly
in the Oxford University Air Squadron.
He was a rowing blue.
Henry Maudslay's a darn good athlete too.
He's a miler, I think.
You couldn't have picked two better chaps.
- What about your own crew?
- They're off on leave this afternoon.
They've had a hard tour and must be
sick of the sight of me by now.
I'll leave them alone.
Come on, Nigger.
Hurry up, Skipper,
you'll miss the train.
You fellows go ahead,
I shan't be coming.
- Why? What happened?
- Nothing much.
- They've given me another job.
- A staff job?
- No, forming a new squadron.
- What? Not before your leave?
You tell the boys, will you Trevor?
You chaps will have to hurry
if you're going to get the 3:15.
You needn't bother about that, Crosby.
- I'm not going.
- Not going, sir?
No, but you needn't unpack everything again
because we're moving to Scampton.
- You go and get your dinner.
- Very good, sir.
What are messing about for?
I told you, I'm not going.
Skipper, this new squadron...
Are you going to fly with it?
- Of course I'm going to fly with it.
- Well, you'll need a crew, won't you?
Of course, but I'll get one all right.
Ooh, you mean you've had enough of us.
You want to get rid of us.
I didn't say that.
Well, we've just had
a committee meeting.
There's a general opinion
that it's not going to be safe
to let you fly about with a lot of new
people who don't know how crazy you are.
It's the general opinion
that you'll need us to look after you.
Well... if that's what you want to do,
all right.
I think you're the crazy ones.
The whole bunch of you.
Two more beers, please.
There's eleven DFCs already
and three bars.
You can bet your boots
it's something big.
They say it's a special squadron
to kidnap Hitler.
- Who's that big dark fellow by the table?
- That's Young, Gibson's second in command.
Dinghy Young, they call him,
because he always comes down in the sea.
And paddles home
in his rubber boat.
Oi! Here's Gibson.
He's done 1 7 3 sorties already.
Stay there, Nigger.
Stay there, boy.
You know most of the chaps,
I think.
All right, carry on, please.
- Hello, sir.
- Hello, Dinghy.
- McCarthy, sir.
- Oh yes, of course. Glad you're with us.
Hello, Maudslay. You two chaps are going
to be my flight commanders.
- What's it all about, sir?
- You'll find out, sooner or later.
- You've met Mickey Martin, haven't you?
- Yes, of course. Hello, Mickey.
I wanted you for this.
You're the low-flying expert.
You'll be able to tell us all about it.
Low-flying? Fine.
- Hello, sir.
- Hello, Hoppy. Hello, Shannon.
I found Nigger outside.
Can I stand him a beer?
Don't give him
more than a pint.
Don't drink it too quickly
or you'll get hiccups.
Well, sir... when are we
going to get something to fly in?
They're sending the first batch
of Lancs tomorrow.
That makes the ten they promised us
to get started with.
Have them flown and tested tomorrow.
We can begin this afternoon
dividing the crews into flights.
The first job will be
to fly over every big
lake in England and Wales
and photograph them.
- Lakes?
- Lakes.
- The crews are in the briefing room, sir.
- All right, I'll come.
Right, you can sit down.
Well... here we are all together
for the first time.
You're wondering what it's all about
and I can't tell you
because I don't know myself.
But I do know it's a big thing.
And if it comes off,
it will have results
that may do quite a bit
to shorten this war.
Discipline is going to be essential.
So is security.
It's unusual for a crowd like you
to be formed into a new squadron
so you're going to be talked about.
Rumours are flying about already
but you have got to keep your mouths shut!
All here will depend on secrecy.
If we can surprise them,
then we'll play hell with them.
But if they're ready for us,
then the hell is going to come
from the other side.
Now I understand that the job,
whatever it is,
has got to be done at low level.
So the first thing
is to practise low-flying
day and night until we can do it
with our eyes shut.
Come in.
- Hello, Mutt.
- This is Wing Commander Guy Gibson.
Oh, good morning.
I'm glad you've come.
- My name is Barnes Wallis.
- Morning, sir.
Well, I'll leave you to it.
See you later.
- Right. Thanks.
- Thanks a lot, Mutt.
Would you like to put those things down?
Give me that.
Thank you.
I don't smoke but there's sometimes
have a cigarette in here...
- Yes, there we are.
- Thank you.
Well, I don't suppose you know
very much about all this at present.
I don't know anything
about anything yet.
- But you know the target.
- No, not the faintest idea.
My dear boy... Well, I thought
they would have told you.
This makes it very awkward.
Isn't that what I'm here for,
to be told by you?
Oh no, not the target.
That's dreadfully secret.
I'm afraid I can't tell anybody
whose name isn't on this list.
Still, I'll tell you as much as I dare.
Well you see, there are certain objects
in the enemy territory
that are very big and quite vital
to this war effort.
They're so big that ordinary bombs
won't hurt them.
But I've got an idea
for a special type of bomb
only it would have to be dropped
at very low level.
Oh, they've told us about low-flying.
Oh, they have?
Oh, well that's something.
Well, I don't know
if you're scientifically minded...
In any case, it wouldn't be necessary
for you or any of your crews
to understand the theory
and mathematics of the weapon.
I'd like to try and understand it
if I can.
You would?
Oh, splendid.
I'll explain it all to you later
on paper.
But first of all,
I'd like you to see some films.
You can leave your things here,
it's only in the next room.
Right, this way.
- Er, are you ready?
- Yes, sir.
Bring up a couple of chairs.
Now these are the first dropping tests
at Chesil Beach, near Weymouth.
Here comes the Wellington.
Mutt Summers is the pilot
and I'm working the release gear.
Now in a moment, you'll see the bomb.
There it goes...
Now watch.
Now we switch to one of the big
testing tanks at Teddington.
These pictures were taken much earlier,
when I was experimenting with miniatures
but they show
what the bomb does underwater.
There it goes.
Now that's exactly how a full size bomb
would behave.
At 30 feet down, an hydrostatic pistol
would automatically explode the charge.
Well, you can see now why this low-flying
is so important.
Each aircraft will only be able
to carry one bomb
and it must be dropped from exactly 150
feet at a speed of 240 miles an hour.
Above or below that height and speed
and it just doesn't work.
Take a chair, won't you?
I'm sorry, we're tied so closely, but it's
all a question of gravity and mathematics.
I'm afraid I'm asking
a great deal of you.
Do you think you can fly
it to those limits?
Well, it's hard to say off hand.
The altimeter does no good
at that level
but they've given me
some of the best pilots in the Air Force.
So we'll see what we can do.
Have you tested the full size bomb yet?
No, it's being assembled now.
I hope to try it in a week or ten days.
Do you really mean
that a five ton bomb
can bounce along the water
like a ping-pong ball?
It's been hard to persuade some people
that it will
but I've every reason to believe it will
behave exactly like those miniatures.
How far from the target
do we drop the bomb?
Ah, that's the third factor that I'm afraid
requires absolute accuracy.
I've got a little more work to do on it
but I think it'll be 600 yards.
Did you invent this thing
out of your own head?
Well... yes...
I think I may say I invented it.
Well I think it's terrific.
I thought so at one time,
but I'm beginning to
think that the job of
inventing it was small
compared with the job of dropping it.
Well, we'll do our best.
I'm talking right in the dark at present.
If only I knew what the target was...
Yes... Well, I've told you
as much as I dare.
I hope they'll tell you the rest
when you get back.
Well, Gibson, there it is.
That's your main target:
The Mhne dam.
So that's it.
I thought it was going to be the Tirpitz.
If you can blow a hole
in this wall, you'll
bring the Ruhr steel
industry to a standstill
and do much other damage besides.
I'm showing you the targets
but you'll be the only man in the squadron
who knows, so... keep it that way.
Very good, sir.
These are the models of the two other dams:
The Eder and the Sorpe.
- But the Mhne is the most important.
- I see, sir.
Come along and study these
as often as you like.
We're having regular reconnaissance
to see what they're doing over there
and watch the height of the water.
The operation must be carried out
when the lakes are full.
When is that likely to be, sir?
About the middle of May.
We'll need a good moon as well,
so it looks as though we're tied
to a night between the 12th and 17th.
By the time the next full
moon comes around the
water level will have
started to fall again
so that's our only chance this year,
about five weeks from now.
How's the training going?
Oh, pretty well, sir.
Except for the low-flying.
- I guessed you'd be in trouble over that.
- It's fairly easy by day,
but night-flying over water at 150 feet
is pretty near impossible.
- You can't trust your altimeter?
- Not at the limits that Mr Wallis wants.
He was very emphatic about flying
at 150 feet exactly.
I'd hoped we could get over it by practice
but on still nights,
when the water is smooth,
there's a sort of a no man's land
between the dusk and the water.
I've got the Farnborough experts on that.
I hope they'll come along with an idea.
Wallis is going to test
the full size bomb at Reculver tomorrow.
I'd like you to go down and watch
- Take your bombing leader with you.
- Right, sir.
Can I see your passes, please?
Thank you.
- Hello, Gibson.
- Hello, sir.
This is Bob Hay, my bombing leader.
I'm sorry to drag you here so early.
We had to catch the high tide.
It goes right out here,
so when it's low we can wade in
and find the bombs
and see how they stand up
to the shock of impact.
- Have you started yet?
- Yes, we've dropped two already.
How did they go?
Erm, not too well, I'm afraid
the casing broke. We're testing another.
Well, they're due now, any minute.
Here it comes.
It's broken again.
I'm sorry to bring you all the way here
to see that.
There's no need to worry,
I'll get it right.
I'm sorry, gentlemen.
I shall have to strengthen the casing.
- I'll begin work at once.
- Well, how long will it take?
A few days.
When the tide's out, we'll
collect the fragments
and see what happened.
I said all along it wouldn't work.
I'm afraid you must think me
rather a fraud.
Not at all, sir.
But you know, things nearly always
happen like that first
- when you're trying something new.
- Yes, I'm sure they do.
- How are you getting
on with the low-flying?
- It's awfully hard
to get accuracy,
I mean, to within a few feet -
especially at night over water.
- Still we'll find some way of doing it.
- Yes, yes, it must be very difficult.
Bomb aiming is another headache, sir.
The ordinary bombsight isn't
accurate enough at such a low level.
And you want the aircraft to drop that bomb
dead at the same spot, one after the other.
Yes, yes, within a few feet.
We'll look after our own headaches
and leave you to look after yours.
I'm afraid that's all
we can do at present.
Oh, I should get it right
within a few days.
- You must try and come down again.
- I'd like to, sir.
- Good luck.
- Good luck to you.
- And to those boys of yours.
- Thanks.
The tide is going out, I must wade in
and collect some of the pieces.
- Can we help?
- Oh, no, no. I'm used to it.
I just feel about in the mud with my toes.
Sometimes I get a bit of bomb,
sometimes it's cockles.
How are we going to fly at a level
of 150 feet in the dark?
That's what I want to know.
Maybe if we left a navigator down
on the end of a 150 foot wire:
When he calls out,
we'll know we're too low!
No bombsight that works at low level,
a bomb that falls to bits,
no way of flying at 150 feet
and the raid, at all costs, in five weeks.
Otherwise, everything's marvelous.
We've got to go through London
so let's have a darn good dinner
a bottle of wine, a musical
with lots of dazzling girls and...
and the night train back.
Sing, soldier
as you march along
Sing, sailor sing a shanty song
Let the sound float around
Soon the pilots will pick up the air
Sing, worker make a cheerful sound...
She's nice, isn't she?
Let it ring, have your fling
Life's a bird in the spring
And sing, everybody sing
Sing, soldier
as you should march along
Sing, sailor sing a shanty song
Let the sound
float around everywhere
Soon the pilots will pick up the air
Sing, worker
make a cheerful sound
Sweet music
makes the wheels go round
Let it ring, have your fling...
- Don't you think she's nice?
- What?
- A nice kid.
- Yes, quite.
Up a bit...
A bit more.
Now hold it.
Much too much.
Down... down...
Hold it now.
Sir, have a drink to celebrate.
- We've done the trick.
- What trick?
Flying at 150 feet. No need for altimeters,
no need for anything else.
- How's that?
- It's simple: a couple of spotlamps.
One in the nose,
the other in the belly,
trained to shine down and meet together
at 150 feet below the aircraft.
Watch through the cockpit blister
and keep the two spots plumb together
on the ground or the water
and there you are, at 150 feet,
accurate to an inch.
Yeah, but that would mean carrying lights
rights into the attack.
That's better than finishing up
on the drink.
That's wonderful!
How did you think of it?
Genius, pure genius! We gave the idea
to Farnborough and they did the rest.
We still need a bombsight
that works at low level.
When are we getting
some real bombs?
It's annoying not knowing
a damn thing about anything.
I know...
But the old boy has got new trials
on Friday, you ought
to go down again.
He's pretty sure it'll work this time.
Oh my God!
- It's a bad business, isn't it?
- Yes, I'm afraid it is.
- What are you going to do?
- I know the trouble, I
must work in it again.
Well, here we are,
the 22nd of April...
The deadline for the raid
is the 19th of May.
- That's barely four weeks.
- Give me a few more days. A week, at most.
If we're going to change the design
the factories will never do it in time.
I shan't change the design, I must just
strengthen the casing
and try a new method of release.
Well, a week from today.
If it doesn't work then,
we shall have to call it off.
There's nothing else we can do.
Hello, there.
Hello, Gibson.
I was wondering if you were here.
I was watching from down there.
Why didn't you come
and watch it with me here?
I knew how you must be feeling,
I guessed you'd rather be alone.
It's a devil, isn't it?
Yes, it is rather.
It's most disappointing. I shall have to go
all out on some modifications.
- I wonder if I could ask
you to do something.
- Of course, anything I can.
Well you see, it isn't only the structure
of the bomb that's the trouble,
it's in the dropping of it -
we muss lessen the force of the impact.
I asked you originally if you could fly in
over water and drop the bomb at 150 feet.
I wonder if you could do it at 60 feet?
- That's very low...
- Oh, yes. I do realise that.
You'd only have to hiccup
to finish in the drink.
Yes, I've got no right to ask you
to do a thing like that
but I'm afraid it will be our only way.
We've had a bit of luck.
We've found a way of fixing our height
with spotlamps.
I'll have them altered for 60 feet
and have a crack at it tomorrow.
You will?
That's... that's splendid.
If it's too dangerous,
you mustn't hesitate to let me know.
Oh, we'll do it all right.
Down... down...
Up a bit.
Up a bit more.
Steady... steady...
Hold it now.
Hold it, hold it.
This is bloodily dangerous!
"Sir, as a poultry farmer doing his best
in the food crisis
"l wish to protest
against the stupid young men
"who indulge in idiotic joy riding
at all hours of the night.
"It may be good fun for them..."
" may be good fun for them,
but I would point out that
"every time they come over our poultry
houses, my hens lay premature eggs
"that drop off the perches
and mess up the floor.
"This means a serious loss to both me
and the country."
You've picked up something here.
You were right about that tree,
we did take the top off.
I know where it came from.
I suppose we'd better send it back.
- Well, it's now or never, Mutt.
- Don't you worry, it's
going to be all right.
You'd better get a move on.
It's a good half hour's drive to Reculver.
Take a longer run in
to be certain of that altitude.
I'll watch it.
- Well, good luck.
- You pray for me, I'll pray for you.
If he doesn't hurry up,
it'll be dark.
The poor chap is probably hoping
it will be dark.
The time I wasted on this damn thing
is driving me crazy.
It will all be over soon
one way or another.
Sorry to keep you all waiting. There are
so many last minute things to attend to.
Go ahead.
You'd better get a move on.
Hello, Gibson.
We've had an awful day
I never thought we'd do it.
These observer fellows... I felt like a man
being driven out for execution.
Don't say another word
till you've looked over there and wished.
- What?
- New moon.
- Have you wished?
- Oh, yes! And you?
Yep. That's our moon.
It's going to be a lucky one.
I hope so. Oh, I do hope so.
Well, we're all right on altitude
if we can fly at 60 feet in the dark.
May dear boy, can you do that?
That's absolutely splendid!
Yes, we've been at it all week.
- Here they come.
- Good luck.
Oh, my dear God!
- Well, I must say, that was wonderful.
- I'm immensely relieved.
- Do you smoke, Wallis?
- No, thanks.
I'll get through to the factories tonight
and give them the green light.
Any final instructions for them?
No, they can go ahead on the same
specifications they were given last week.
Well, Mr Wallis, it must be a wonderful
feeling to achieve a thing like this...
to conceive something absolutely unheard of
and carry it through with flying colours.
How on Earth did you ever get the idea?
Well... To be quite honest,
it isn't really my idea at all. l...
I got it from Nelson.
Nelson, you say?
Yes, he discovered
that under certain conditions
he could get more destructive results
from his cannon balls
by making them ricochet off the sea
before hitting the enemy ships.
Usually he pitched them about two thirds
of the way between his guns and the target.
But there is some evidence to suggest
that during the Battle of the Nile
he dismissed the French flagship
with a yorker.
Wing Commander Gibson, sir.
- Good evening, Gibson.
- Good evening, sir.
I've been looking at the reconnaissance
photographs that came in today.
It looks as if the water will be
at the level we need in a week's time.
The moon's full next Tuesday,
so we're pretty close to deadline.
We're all right on low flying, but there's
still the matter of the special bombsight.
Yes, I've had the backroom boys
busy on that.
You're going to laugh when you see this.
It looks like a coat hanger from a bazaar.
Do you see the idea? Your bomb aimer
keeps his eye to this peephole.
When these two nails are in
direct alignment with the towers,
then you'll be exactly 600 yards
from the wall... and away goes your bomb.
Do you think it's too simple?
No, sir. I'm all in favour of things
being simple, but, Good Lord...
There it is. Try it out on the towers
at the Derwent Water dam.
Bomb gone.
Bomb gone.
Bomb gone!
Well, the sixpenny bombsight works
and the spotlamps work.
We've flown 2,000 hours and dropped more
than 2,000 practice bombs.
The specially converted aircraft
start arriving tomorrow.
So from now until the
word go, practise
flying them at you're
proper all-up weights.
You can work that out, Dinghy.
Don't forget that
some of the armour's been taken out.
And don't exceed 63,000lbs,
otherwise we shan't get off.
- Any problems?
- Does the front gunner stay in his turret?
Yes, he'll have to deal with the flak guns.
The trouble is that his feet dangle
in front of the bomb-aimer's face.
How about fixing up
stirrups to get his feet
out of the way and make
him more comfortable?
- That's a good plan.
- Have you any idea when we're going, sir?
Probably within a week,
but keep it under your hats.
You won't have to put up with being called
the armchair squadron much longer.
Two months without an operation -
it's getting a stale joke now.
There was nearly a riot when a fellow
from 57th Squadron started it again.
Our fellows would feel better
if they blew off steam.
All right, the next time anyone
start's being funny, have a riot.
All right, that's all.
- Have you seen the squadron orders?
- Yes. Same old stuff.
It's good to have
an evening off for once.
Yes, 16 ops last month,
7 in the first two weeks in May.
What are you fellows going to do
when you've worn those armchairs out?
It's a joke, you know.
Can't you take it?
We're getting a little tired of it.
Come on chaps.
Come in.
The Group Captain's asking for you, sir.
He's waiting outside.
- Steady!
- Let go!
- Thank you, sir.
- Saved my life.
- Hello, Guy.
- What's going on?
One of the boys from 57th Squadron
shot his mouth off once too often.
I've just had word from Group.
Weather reports are good.
If it holds like this,
you'll do the job tomorrow night.
Good. What about the bombs?
Theyre arriving now.
I'm glad we're going.
There's no harm telling your flight
commanders, but keep it to yourselves.
I'll break up that show in there
and get the boys to bed.
- I'll see you in the morning. Goodnight.
- Goodnight.
- Would you sit there, sir, please?
- Yes.
Be seated gentlemen, please.
For the past six weeks
you've been wondering
why this squadron
has been formed...
Commander Gibson, carry on.
Well, the training's over.
For obvious reasons,
you've had to work without knowing
your target or even your weapon.
You've had to put up with a good deal
from other people
who think you've been having a soft time.
But tonight, you're going
to have the chance
to hit the enemy harder
and more destructively
than any small force
has ever done before.
You're going to attack
the great dams of Western Germany.
Here are your targets.
Here's the Mhne dam.
That's the Eder.
And there's the Sorpe.
All just east of the Ruhr.
Now, we shall attack in 3 formations.
The first will take the Mhne dam as its
first target, then carry on to the Eder.
That will be nine aircraft in three waves,
taking off ten minutes between each wave.
I'll lead the first with
Hopgood and Martin.
Young leads the second
with Maltby and Shannon.
And Maudslay the third,
with Knight ans Astell.
The second formation
will consist of five aircraft.
Joe McCarthy, Byers, Barlow,
Rice and Munro.
They'll go by this northern route
to attack the Sorpe,
and also act as a diversion
to split up enemy fighters.
The third formation will follow
as a mobile reserve to fill in gaps.
That will be five aircraft.
Townsend, Anderson, Brown,
Ottley and Burpee.
There's a full moon tonight,
so normal ops are out.
We'll be the only people flying.
And to avoid the fighters,
we'll have to keep
at zero feet all the
way there and back.
Any questions?
- Can I say something about the route, sir?
- Yes, go ahead.
I see you've taken it very near
a synthetic rubber factory at Hls.
There's a great deal of flak around there.
It's a hot spot. We nearly got the
chop there about three months ago.
Can I suggest we go a little further north?
Yes, we knew about that
when we planned the route.
The trouble is, if we
go much further north,
we run into another
hot spot round here.
Anyway, we can take it up a little.
Now, the gap isn't too wide,
so watch it, you navigators.
What about the defences on the dam, sir?
Reconnaissance show's them as being fairly
light, you'll see the photos in a minute.
Any balloons, sir?
Up till yesterday, the nearest ones were
around a small factory 1 2 miles away.
We don't expect any.
Sorry old boy.
It's secret, you can't go in.
Come on, hop it.
Hello, Nigger, old boy.
What are you doing?
Who are you looking for, eh?
He's not in his office.
You'd better try somewhere else.
Go on, away you go. Go on!
Hello, Nigger.
No, not in here, old boy. Go on.
Hello, Nigger, old boy.
What are you doing around here?
Well, there it is. That's what the
bomb does, the rest is for you.
And may I say...
good luck to you all.
The Mhne lake looks rather like
a big double tooth.
These strips of water are the roots
with the dam here in the crown.
Here's the Krbecke bridge
where we assemble.
And here's the spit of land which gives us
a head on approach for the attack.
Study these models.
Get every detail into your heads
until you know them with your eyes shut.
Get these code words off by heart.
"Goner" is the word for the explosion
of a bomb in the right place.
"Nigger" is the code word
for a breach in the Mhne dam
and "Dinghy" for a breach in the Eder.
Do you want me, Crosby?
Er, I'm sorry, sir, it's Nigger...
he's been run over. He's dead.
The car didn't even stop.
- Where did it happen?
- Outside the main gate.
He run across the road
and the car hit him.
- Where is he?
- Ln the guard room, sir.
I see.
- Bacon and eggs for me, please.
- Are you flying tonight, sir?
Am I flying?! You know perfectly well I'm
the person who pays you every fortnight.
Your bread and jam is on
the centre table, sir.
No harm in trying.
- We've got the wrong oil.
- It was checked this morning.
No, I don't mean that oil.
It's the bomb release gear.
Wallis is chasing around
for the right kind.
- Can he get it?
- I hope so.
- Are you flying tonight, sir?
- That's the general idea.
Can I have you next egg
if you don't come back?
OK, I'll have yours if you don't.
We've still got an hour.
Let's put our feet up for
a bit before we change.
Not a bad idea. Come on.
- Got anything for me?
- Just one, sir.
- It's only a missed bill!
- I think I'll pay that tomorrow.
Thank you.
It's all right,
they had some of the lighter oil in store.
- Oh, good.
- They're changing it now.
- Bit of luck you noticed it.
- It was my fault it wasn't made clear.
- What about some supper?
- Well... I think I'll have some later.
- Does it worry you, having me about?
- No, I'm jolly glad you came!
Was my talk at the briefing all right?
Oh, fine.
You sold them that bomb hands down.
Coffee, sir?
Er, no, thank you.
Go on, have some.
There's plenty of time.
Oh, thank you.
Evening, sir.
- Flight...
- Sir?
Just a minute.
You know that Nigger was killed
this afternoon?
Yes, sir. I'm very sorry.
Would you bury him at midnight
on the grass verge outside my office?
Very good, sir.
I'd like you to do it at about the time
we're going into the job over there.
I'll see it's done, sir.
Hello, Hoppy. Tonight's the night,
tomorrow we'll have a party.
Come in.
- Laundry just in, sir.
- Oh, great.
I think I'll have a clean shirt
and a nice clean shave.
What do you want to shave for now?
If we have to bail out,
you never know who we might meet.
There's no point in me bothering.
If we come down together and there happens
to be two about, I'll get the ugly one!
- All right, sir?
- Yes.
Well, chaps, my watch says time to go.
- How is she, Sergeant?
- Bang on, sir.
- All set?
- Yes, sir.
You've done a fine job with this team.
- I couldn't have asked for a better one.
- Good luck.
Thank you, sir.
Good luck.
Come on, then.
OK, Hutch.
Pitch fully fine.
- Pitch fully fine.
- Check fuel.
- Fuel OK.
- Lamps 25 degrees.
- Lamps 25 degrees.
- Radiator shutters automatic.
Radiator shutters automatic.
Well, I suppose
there's nothing much we can do.
Except wait.
The A.O.C. is waiting
to take us back to Grantham.
Send a message to Hopgood.
Heay, Sparks?
P-Popsy signalling.
Martin is having a chat with Hopgood.
What's he saying, Hutch?
He says we're going to get
speeches tomorrow night.
Sure we are!
Biggest binge of all time.
Carry on.
- Well, Coggie, how is it going?
- All right so far, sir.
The first wave is about 20 miles
from the Dutch coast.
Enemy radar has probably
picked them up by now.
Cheer up, Wallis. This is your night
as well as theirs.
Skipper, ground speed: 203.
We'll be there in one hour and ten minutes.
Will be over the Dutch coast
in two minutes.
There it is now.
Stand by, front gunner, we're going over.
The second wave should be coming up
to the Dutch coast now.
Enemy coast ahead.
Enemy coast ahead.
We should be on the line of the canal.
OK, I've got it.
Watch out for pylons.
- There they are.
- Pylons.
At the junction, we alter course.
The next thing we see in the Rhein.
This is new.
Hutch, warn the others.
New course, skipper:
165, magnetic.
The northern wave
have run into trouble on the coast.
McCarthy is going on the
Sorpe dam by himself.
Gibson's formation should be nearly
at the Mhne by now.
There's the lake now.
The main lake and the dam
are off to the right.
There it is, boys.
Pretty impressive, aren't they?
Someone's woken them up.
What do you think about it, Bob?
My goodness! It's big, isn't it?
Can we really break that?
How many guns do you think there are,
I say there's about ten guns.
Some in the field
and some in the towers.
We've seem to upset them a bit.
P for Popsy, are you there?
OK, leader.
Hello, M-Mother. Are you there?
I'm here, leader.
- Here, leader.
- Here, leader.
- Here, leader.
- Here, leader.
Here, leader.
Hello, all cooler aircraft.
I'm going into attack.
Stand by to come in to your order
when I tell.
Hello, M for Mother.
Stand by to take over if anything happens.
OK, leader.
Good luck.
Check height.
Speed control, Pulford.
Gunners ready.
Coming up, Spam.
- 220.
- This is fine, I can see everything.
- Down a little.
- 230.
- 230.
- Steady.
Down a little.
- 235.
Stand by to pull me under the seat
if I get hit.
- Steady...
- 240.
- Hold her steady.
- 235.
- Hold that.
- 240.
- 235.
- That's fine.
- 235.
- Bomb, gone!
Good shot! Nice work!
- Nice work, Skipper.
- Bang on, Skipper.
It's gone, we've done it.
We haven't. It's still there.
Hello, M for Mother.
Are you there?
Standing by, leader.
Hang on a minute,
until the water comes down.
Hutch, send back codeword "Goner".
from G-George.
That's all.
I'd hoped one bomb might do it.
Hello, M-Mother.
It's your turn, you can go in now.
- Good luck.
- OK, leader. Attacking!
Stand by to go in.
If he doesn't drop his bomb now
it'll be too late.
He's dropped it. There it goes.
Oh, they've got him!
It's from right over the top.
Hello, P for Popsy.
- Are you there?
- OK, leader.
You can go right in.
I'll fly across the dam
to draw the flak off you.
OK, thanks, leader.
Stand by, everyone.
We're going in.
- 230.
- Down a bit.
- 235.
- Down a bit.
- Steady... Up a bit.
- 230.
It's all yours, Bob.
- 235.
- Steady.
- Hold her...
- 230.
- Hold her, steady.
- 235.
- Hold her.
- 235.
- That's fine.
- 235.
Bomb gone!
The wing is hit!
Starboard out was empty, thank God.
- Bomb's gone, leader.
- OK, Popsy.
Let me know
when you're out of the flak.
All OK Behind.
Goner from P-Popsy.
That's all.
Hello, A-Apple. Are you ready?
OK, leader.
Let me know when you're in position
and I'll draw the flak for you.
P-Popsy, are you hit?
Starboard wing, but we're all right,
we can make it.
A-Apple is going to attack.
Come in on his starboard side
and help me draw the flak.
OK, leader.
A-Apple making bombing run.
from A-Apple.
That's all.
Hello, J-Johnny.
Are you ready?
OK, leader.
All right, go ahead.
We'll come in with you.
- Are you there, Dave?
- Ready, leader.
OK. Stand by to attack.
It's gone! Look!
My God;
- Are you there, Dave?
- Ready, leader.
It's all right. Skip it!
All right, boys.
Nice work! You've had your look.
P-Popsy and J-Johnny,
set course for home.
The rest of you come along with me.
It's Nigger! It's gone!
- You've done it, Wallis.
- Well done, well done!
I reckon you should be able
to see it by now.
No sign of it.
Do you recognise anything, Spam?
Plenty of water...
No dam yet.
Wait... there it is!
All right, Dave.
You go in first.
There doesn't seem to
be any flaks, but it's
not going to be easy
with all these hills.
- Can you see the castle?
- I've got it, leader.
That's your way in.
Take your time. We've only got three bombs.
OK, leader. Going in now.
Down... down...
Down... down... down...
- We're too high.
- Down...
We're too high, Skipper.
We won't make it.
Steady... hold it there.
It's too late, Skipper.
It's too late.
Sorry, leader.
Made a mess of that.
- I'll try again.
- All right, Dave.
You hang around for a bit.
- Hello, Z-Zebra. Are you there?
- Here, leader. I've got the target.
All right, you can go in now.
There's no flak, but watch those hills.
Take your time
and mind the mountain on the other side.
- OK, leader. I'm going in.
- Good luck.
He's left it too late.
Hello, Z-Zebra.
Are you all right?
I think so, leader.
Stand by.
Goner Z-Zebra.
That leaves two more.
Cocoa, sir?
- Sir?
- No.
Are you in touch
with the reserve formation?
All except Burpee, sir.
He hasn't answered for some time.
Goner, L-Leather.
OK, Dave.
Bang on but you didn't break it.
Hello, N for Nuts.
Are you ready to make your attack?
- Ready, leader.
Come in down
and dive for the point, Les.
Get off the air, Dave. You've got
the last bomb, Les, so take your time.
Good luck.
Down... down...
Steady... hold it...
A little bit more...
That's fine, steady...
Steady... bomb gone!
It's Dinghy! They've done it!
They've got the Eder dam as well!
Wallis, when you first came to me with this
I didn't believe a word you said.
Now, you can sell me a pink elephant!
All right boys, home.
They know we're here now
so keep your eyes open.
'This is London.
'The Air Ministry have just
issued the following communiqu.
'ln early hours of this morning,
a force of Lancasters of Bomber Command
'led by Wing Commander G. P. Gibson,
D.S.O., D.F.C.
'attacked with mines the dams
of the Mhne and Sorpe reservoirs.
'These controlled two-thirds of the water
storage capacity of the Ruhr basin.
'Reconnaissance later established
that the Mhne dam
'had been breached over a length
of 100 yards
'and that the power station below had
been swept away by the resulting floods.
'The Eder dam, which controls the
head-waters of the Weser and Fulda valleys
'and operates several power stations,
was also attacked and reported as breached.
'Photographs show the river below the dam
in full flood.
'The attacks were pressed home
from a very low level
'with great determination and coolness
in the face of fierce resistance.
'Eight of the Lancasters are missing.'
Is it true?
All those fellows lost?
Only two aircrafts went down
in the attacks.
That was Hopgood's over the Mhne
and Maudslay's over the Eder.
Astell got it soon after crossing the coast
and Dinghy Young was shot down
over the sea on his way home.
The rest we don't know about.
They've been calling them since midnight
but they haven't answered.
The flak was bad,
worse than I expected.
56 men... If I'd known it was going
to be like this, I'd never have started it.
You mustn't think that way.
If these fellows had known they wouldn't be
coming back they'd have gone just the same.
There isn't a single one of them
that would have dropped out.
I knew them all,
I know that's true.
Look, you've had a worse night
than any of us
Why don't you go and find a doctor
and ask for one of his sleeping pills?
Aren't you going
to turn in, Gibby?
No, I... I have to write
some letters first.
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