History Film / TheDambusters

2nd Jan '16 12:34:58 PM BillWoods
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The story of the Dam Busters is one which brings out several features of the British - the sophistication of their engineering innovation, the bravery of their armed forces, the incompetence of their leaders and their unerring ability to be first in a technical field and then leave it to others to make money out of it (for example, see Babbage and Turing...or Whittle...)

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The story of the Dam Busters is one which brings out several features of the British - -- the sophistication of their engineering innovation, the bravery of their armed forces, the incompetence of their leaders and their unerring ability to be first in a technical field and then leave it to others to make money out of it (for example, see Babbage and Turing...or Whittle...)



Barnes Wallis came up with the idea of making a 5 ton spinning bomb which would skip across the water, hit the dam wall, then sink to the bottom before exploding. Thus the water itself would focus the force of the blast against the dam's wall, in much the same way that a good torpedo hit causes more damage to a ship's hull than would an equivalent amount of explosives in a bomb or artillery shell. These were duly made in a tearing hurry and delivered by a crack team flying Lancasters in pitch darkness 60ft over water, nearly half of whom did not come back. The bombs worked, though the most important dam survived.

Having suffered almost 50% losses for disappointing results, the British mothballed the bouncing-bomb concept and never attacked the dams again, letting the Germans rebuild them. Barnes Wallis was allowed to develop his 'earth penetrator' bombs which were staggeringly effective - taking out bridges and viaducts, sinking the Tirpitz, stopping the V2 and V3 developments, destroying U-boat pens at Brest with 33ft reinforced concrete roofs and in one attack, and blowing up a railway line which ran under a mountain by dropping the bomb THROUGH the mountain and into the tunnel beneath.

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Barnes Wallis came up with the idea of making a 5 ton 5-ton spinning bomb which would skip across the water, hit the dam wall, then sink to the bottom before exploding. Thus the water itself would focus the force of the blast against the dam's wall, in much the same way that a good torpedo hit causes more damage to a ship's hull than would an equivalent amount of explosives in a bomb or artillery shell. These were duly made in a tearing hurry and delivered by a crack team flying Lancasters in pitch darkness 60ft over water, nearly half of whom did not come back. The bombs worked, though the most important dam survived.

Having suffered almost 50% losses for disappointing results, the British mothballed the bouncing-bomb concept and never attacked the dams again, letting the Germans rebuild them. Barnes Wallis was allowed to develop his 'earth penetrator' bombs which were staggeringly effective - -- taking out bridges and viaducts, sinking the Tirpitz, ''Tirpitz'', stopping the V2 and V3 developments, destroying U-boat pens at Brest with 33ft reinforced concrete roofs and in one attack, and blowing up a railway line which ran under a mountain by dropping the bomb THROUGH the mountain and into the tunnel beneath.



Notable for its influence on a little movie called StarWars: the trench run was heavily inspired by the climax of the film. Several lines of dialogue are actually re-used, nearly verbatim.

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Notable for its influence on a little movie called StarWars: ''[[Film/ANewHope StarWars]]'': the trench run was heavily inspired by the climax of the film. Several lines of dialogue are actually re-used, nearly verbatim.



* MadScientist: Barnes Wallis, whilst not actually mad (even though some of his inventions were seen that way), was certainly as prolific as the archetype - he invented geodetic frames for aircraft, designed airships and aeroplanes, the bouncing and earthquake bombs, and after the war worked on swing-wing and supersonic aircraft, rocket-propelled torpedos, and even came up with designs for cargo submarines that were faster and more efficient than comparable surface ships.

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* MadScientist: Barnes Wallis, whilst not actually mad (even though some of his inventions were seen that way), was certainly as prolific as the archetype - -- he invented geodetic frames for aircraft, designed airships and aeroplanes, the bouncing and earthquake bombs, and after the war worked on swing-wing and supersonic aircraft, rocket-propelled torpedos, and even came up with designs for cargo submarines that were faster and more efficient than comparable surface ships.






** The original scene is in ''TheWall'' when Pink is freaking out in his hotel room.

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** The original scene is in ''TheWall'' ''Music/TheWall'' when Pink is freaking out in his hotel room.



** Referenced in ''TheOffice'' (UK).

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** Referenced in ''TheOffice'' ''[[Series/TheOfficeUK The Office]]'' (UK).



* StrollingThroughTheChaos: Gibson during the aformentioned riot. Avoids a chair, a pair of pants and several airmen (though he does stop to deck a man who's double-teaming one of his own men).

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* StrollingThroughTheChaos: Gibson during the aformentioned aforementioned riot. Avoids a chair, a pair of pants and several airmen (though he does stop to deck a man who's double-teaming one of his own men).
24th Jun '15 12:08:53 AM SSJMagus
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Barnes Wallis came up with the idea of making a 5 ton spinning bomb which would skip across the water, hit the dam wall, then sink to the bottom before exploding. These were duly made in a tearing hurry and delivered by a crack team flying Lancasters in pitch darkness 60ft over water, nearly half of whom did not come back. The bombs worked, though the most important dam survived.

to:

Barnes Wallis came up with the idea of making a 5 ton spinning bomb which would skip across the water, hit the dam wall, then sink to the bottom before exploding. Thus the water itself would focus the force of the blast against the dam's wall, in much the same way that a good torpedo hit causes more damage to a ship's hull than would an equivalent amount of explosives in a bomb or artillery shell. These were duly made in a tearing hurry and delivered by a crack team flying Lancasters in pitch darkness 60ft over water, nearly half of whom did not come back. The bombs worked, though the most important dam survived.
6th Jun '15 5:07:53 AM Morgenthaler
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->'''Official''': ''You say you need a Wellington Bomber for test drops. They're worth their weight in gold. [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Do you really think the authorities will lend you one? What possible argument could I put forward to get you a Wellington?]]''
->'''[[GadgeteerGenius Barnes Wallis]]''': ''[[DeadpanSnarker Well, if you told them I designed it, do you think that might help?]]''

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->'''Official''': ''You say you need a Wellington Bomber for test drops. They're worth their weight in gold. [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Do you really think the authorities will lend you one? What possible argument could I put forward to get you a Wellington?]]''
->'''[[GadgeteerGenius Barnes Wallis]]''': ''[[DeadpanSnarker Well,
Wellington?''
->'''Barnes Wallis''': ''Well,
if you told them I designed it, do you think that might help?]]''
help?''
28th Nov '14 7:34:05 PM Specialist290
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* AirstrikeImpossible

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* AirstrikeImpossibleAirstrikeImpossible: One of the classic examples. The climax of the movie involves a series of low-altitude bombing runs, with the bombers flying in the face of heavy anti-aircraft defenses.
9th Aug '14 3:32:14 PM Last_Hussar
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Added DiffLines:

* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Partially justified as it wasn't until many years after the film that many of the facts were declassified. Planning to hit the dams had actually started in 1936, when war was inevitable. The '2 search light' technique was invented by a long forgotten civil servant who was working on the height problem.
22nd Apr '14 8:27:15 AM Achaemenid
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[[caption-width-right:350:some caption text]]

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[[caption-width-right:350:some caption text]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Calling T for Troper!]]

->'''Official''': ''You say you need a Wellington Bomber for test drops. They're worth their weight in gold. [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Do you really think the authorities will lend you one? What possible argument could I put forward to get you a Wellington?]]''
->'''[[GadgeteerGenius Barnes Wallis]]''': ''[[DeadpanSnarker Well, if you told them I designed it, do you think that might help?]]''
25th Dec '13 6:17:31 PM Jake
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--> '''Barnes Wallis:''' Well, if you told them I designed it, do you think that might help?

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--> '''Barnes -->'''Barnes Wallis:''' Well, if you told them I designed it, do you think that might help? help?

** [[StrawmanHasAPoint To be scrupulously fair to said civil servant]], [[JustifiedTrope the RAF didn't have many bombers to spare at that stage in the war.]]
30th Sep '13 5:29:03 AM hoodiecrow
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--> '''Barnes Wallace:''' If I'd known it was going to be like this, I'd never have started.

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--> '''Barnes Wallace:''' Wallis:''' If I'd known it was going to be like this, I'd never have started.



--> '''Barnes Wallace:''' Well, if you told them I designed it, do you think that might help?

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--> '''Barnes Wallace:''' Wallis:''' Well, if you told them I designed it, do you think that might help?
24th Aug '13 9:06:03 PM Tapol
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Added DiffLines:

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dambustersposter_7801.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:some caption text]]
10th Jul '13 1:37:30 PM TropeLicious
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* DownerEnding

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* DownerEnding[[spoiler: DownerEnding]]
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