The conference will comprise a detailed review of the origin, preparation, execution and achievements of Operation Chastise and will mark the RAF's most famous single mission, exactly 75 years to the day after it took place.
This conference will be for those with an interest in military history and air power; in particular, those interested in the Royal Air Force, the Allies’ Strategic Air Offensive in WW2 and 617 Squadron (Dambusters).
a) To examine the details of the origin, preparations, execution and results of what continues to be the RAF’s most famous single mission.
b) To enable informed debate on the controversial aspects of the mission. It is notable that some historians and commentators have cast significant doubt on the overall value of the mission. It is important that the results are fairly assessed.
c) To reach a consensus, based on a detailed examination of all the factors, on the operation as a whole.
a) Thursday, 17 May 1943 will be 75 years to the day after the main events of Operation Chastise, popularly known as the Dams Raid or the Dambusters Raid. (The mission began in the evening of 16 May but the actual attacks on the dams all took place on 17 May). This is an excellent opportunity to mark an event that remains the RAF’s most famous single mission.
b) In addition to marking the event, the conference will enable the operation to be examined in detail, i.e. its origins, preparation, execution and results. These details are notably different from the generally held view of the mission as based on the 1955 film. They add considerably to the depth and breadth of an already fascinating operation.
c) The conference will bring together distinguished historians who possess a deep understanding of the events and the context of the operation so enabling it to be suitably marked with a balanced assessment of a remarkable mission.
Royal Aeronautical Society HQ
No.4 Hamilton Place