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Dam Busters: The Race to Smash the German Dams

James Holland presents an analysis of the 1943 mission to destroy German dams with a brand-new weapon - the bouncing bomb. Extraordinarily, the raid almost never happened.

James Holland presents an analysis of the legendary 1943 Dam Busters raid, a low-level night mission that took 19 Lancaster bombers deep into the heart of enemy territory to destroy German dams with a brand new weapon - the bouncing bomb.

Of the many extraordinary things about the Dams raid, the biggest is that it almost never happened. When finally green lit, it set off an incredible race against time to form and train a new squadron. Their mission was to deliver a weapon that did not yet exist.

Unprecedented by any scale, and even more remarkable because the crews were not the experienced elite that legend sometimes suggests, Holland believes this truly is the greatest raid of all time. Yet, whilst arguing that the true impact of the successful raid has been underestimated, he also sets out to investigate whether the results should have been even greater.

1 hour

Last on

Sat 30 May 2020 19:30


Role Contributor
Presenter James Holland
Producer Aaron Young
Director Aaron Young


  • Tue 8 Nov 2011 21:00
  • Sat 12 Nov 2011 19:00
  • Sat 12 Nov 2011 21:45
  • Mon 28 May 2012 23:20
  • Mon 28 May 2012 23:50
  • Thu 16 May 2013 23:20
  • Sat 30 May 2020 19:00
  • Sat 30 May 2020 19:30