The Military History Society of New South Wales Incorporated presents

Colin Burgess

Australia’s Dambusters: The Men and the Missions of 617 RAF Squadron

The story of 617 Squadron and the breaching of the mighty Ruhr Dams of Germany in May 1943 is one of the most compelling and inspiring stories emanating from the Second World War. It began as an idea raised by an English engineer/inventor named Barnes Wallis. He deduced that solid dams could be breached by flying at a certain height and speed and dropping counter-rotating bombs that would skip across the surface of water, before sinking and settling against the wall of the dam and exploding at a predetermined depth. A special squadron had to be assembled and trained in utmost secrecy, and 617 Squadron gathered in some of the finest and most fearless exponents of low-level bombing, which included several Australians. Led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, the spectacular raid on the Ruhr Dams was the undoubted peak of the squadron’s many wartime exploits, causing them to become forever immortalised in legend, book and film as “The Dam Busters.”

Over several years, Colin Burgess interviewed many of the original squadron crew members and commanders, and the information he gathered enabled him to write this book, first published in 2003. It has now been enlarged and updated in recognition of the 70th anniversary of that magnificent but perilous raid and the valorous men, many of them Australians, who flew on this and later wartime missions with 617 Squadron.

Monday, 12 August, 2013, 6:30pm

Building 113, Victoria Barracks, Paddington
This is a FREE event but RSVP is essential by Thursday 8 August 2013 as numbers are restricted (02) 9660-7225 or 0418-400-825, rsvp@militaryhistorynsw.com.au

Download the flyer below:


The Dambusters Flyer – August 2013