“Dambusters” Strike Germany
On May 16-17, 1943, No. 617 Squadron RAF (later dubbed the “Dambusters”) targeted dams with the intent of flooding the Ruhr region of Germany. The mission was reported a “limited success” with casualty reports ranging from 1,268 to 1,600 plus (over 1,000 of these were alleged to be Soviets in German labor camps). The initial effects on factories, mines, water production and hydroelectric power were short-lived, but the impact on food production was felt well into the next decade.
Ten of the 19 “Dambusters” returned from the mission. Four of those would not survive the war.