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Cassell Military Classics: The Peenemunde…

Cassell Military Classics: The Peenemunde Raid: The Night of 17-18 August…

by Martin Middlebrook

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I have a friend whose mother was a Luftwaffe secretary at Peenemünde. In the wars of the late 20th century, she could often be heard to make the comment, when the news talked about 'precision bombing', that these amateurs knew nothing about precision bombing, as she'd been on the receiving end of 617 Squadron's work on the night of 17th August 1943, and they knew a thing or two about the subject!

That this book makes a point of saying that 617 Squadron - the famous 'Dam Busters' - were not involved in this raid illustrates two things: the power of urban myth, and the extent of the book's research to report facts, not supposition. Although the RAF units involved included some from 5 Group, which included 617 Squadron, they were specifically excluded so that the 5 Group commander could demonstrate that precision work was not just the preserve of an 'elite' unit but that any of his units could do it. And of course, it's possible that the Germans preferred to think that 617 Squadron were involved so as to take consolation in being attacked by "the best".
  RobertDay | Oct 10, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0304353469, Paperback)

On August 17, 1943, RAF Bomber Command set out to destroy the secret research establishment where Nazi scientists were developing state-of-the-art rockets. Although the bombing "crept back" from its target, and the cloudless sky made the British aircraft perfect targets, they succeeded in disrupting Hitler's weapons program. Containing the remembrances of over 400 people from both sides--flight crews, researchers at the site, and foreign laborers forced to work there--this classic history is thoroughly irresistible.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:13 -0400)

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Martin Middlebrook provides a classic account of RAF Bomber Command's night raid on the secret research establishment which was developing Hitler's secret rocket weapons. Originally published: London: Allen Lane, 1982.

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