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Busting bombing myths

Refugees will now be housed at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire
Issue 2855

Destroyed Mohne Dam, the day after the attack

The 80th anniversary of Operation Cherise more commonly known as the Dambusters raid is filled with symbolism. The 617 Squadron attacked German dams in 1943. Wing commander Guy Gibson used his dog’s name, the N-word, as a code to say a dam had been breached.

Unfortunately, his dog died the same night. Now the RAF want to move the dog’s bones from RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire. The reason is government plans to house refugees in the airbase. The raid was important in building a myth that the war was won with ingenuity and bravery. In reality, the raid was a flawed idea—blowing up dams to stop German production. 

The famous bouncing bombs weren’t able to blow up the one dam that would have significantly affected production. Those in charge knew this but sent planes to bomb it anyway.

There was bravery from the aircrew, they had a casualty rate that essentially made them suicide bombers. The raid killed some 1,500 civilians who drowned. Among the victims were some 700 women from eastern Europeans, engaged in slave labour for the Nazis.

The plans to turn the camp they flew from have led to protests, some by righteous defenders of the myth of the Second World War and some by those who probably would have backed Hitler. While it’s an abomination to house migrants in a camp, it fits perfectly well with the place’s history entwined with ruling class actions.

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