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Osprey Elite Units 34

617 “Dambuster” Sqn

by Alex Bateman


S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Osprey Aviation Elite Units 34
617 “Dambuster” Sqn
By Alex Bateman
ISBN: 9781846034299
Media and Contents: Soft cover, 128 pages
Price: GBP£11.24 online from Osprey Publishing
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Authoritative text; good choice of period photographs; interesting and informative content.
Conclusion: A concise history of 617 Sqn operations and their achievements during Word War II

Reviewed by
Mick Evans

Osprey's 617 Dambuster Squadron is available online from Squadron.com




Alex Bateman has been researching No 617 Sqn and the Dams Raid for almost 25 years and in recent times has collaborated on several television documentaries and a feature film.  He has contributed to more than a dozen books relating to the squadron and its operations. 

This is his first book for Osprey and is an excellent publication detailing the WWII exploits of 617 Sqn the famous Dambuster Squadron.  No 617 Sqn is unique in the annals of RAF history for it is the only Sqn to have been formed for a specific combat operation – the famous Dams Raid of 1943.  An elite unit within Bomber Command, No 617 Sqn was made up of highly experienced crews posted in from other squadrons.  The squadron was led by a series of highly decorated master bombers, the unit pioneered new bombing techniques, using several new and unique weapons such as tallboy and grandslam.  At the same time the crews flew as guinea pigs in trials of new equipment and aircraft. 

More than once 617 Sqn suffered exceptionally heavy losses, but the unit ended the war with an impressive list of battle honours, considered by many as second to none within Bomber Command. 

The publication contains 128 pages containing numerous in service black and white photographs.  There are 21 colour artwork plates depicting 17 Lancaster, 3 Mosquito and 1 Mustang III colour schemes flown by the squadron during the war.  A set of comprehensive appendices contain a complete list of targets and dates, Squadron Commanders, Bases, Battle Honours and Aircraft loses.

I found this book to be a great read as it contains is a concise history of 617 operations and their achievements during Word War 2 whereas other books have just focussed on the Dams Raid.  I highly recommended this book.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review sample

Review Copyright © 2010 by Rob Mick Evans
Page Created 3 May, 2010
Last updated 3 May, 2010

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