Spinning success

What is widely considered the RAF’s greatest single bombing operation was the result of exemplary grit and the herculean meeting of minds between innovators, engineers and aircrew. John Ash breaks down the key numerics that best describe the legendary dams raid

500 revolutions per minute

From 1937, when the dams had been identified as potential targets, work progressed to devise a weapon that could breach them. Much of the genius of the raid comes from the mind of Barnes Wallis, who, in 1942, using marbles and a water tub, first realised a torpedo-like weapon could be made to skim on water.

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