Welcome to our new site MORE INFO

Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items

Chastise: The Dambusters Story 1943

Max Hastings

$34.99

Paperback

In stock
Ready to ship

QTY:

Harper Collins
01 October 2019
History; European history; Second World War; Air forces & warfare
A masterly history of the Dambusters raid from bestselling and critically acclaimed Max Hastings.

Operation Chastise, the overnight destruction of the Moehne and Eder dams in north-west Germany by the RAF's 617 Squadron, was an epic that has passed into Britain's national legend.

Max Hastings grew up embracing the story, the classic 1955 movie and the memory of Guy Gibson, the 24-year-old wing-commander who won the VC leading the raid. In the 21st Century, however, Hastings urges that we should review the Dambusters in much more complex shades. The aircrew's heroism was wholly authentic, as was the brilliance of Barnes Wallis, who invented the 'bouncing bombs'. But commanders who promised their young fliers that success could shorten the war fantasised wildly. What Germans call the Moehnekatastrophe imposed on the Nazi war machine temporary disruption, rather than a crippling blow.

Hastings vividly describes the evolution of Wallis' bomb, and of the squadron which broke the dams at the cost of devastating losses. But he also portrays in harrowing detail those swept away by the torrents. Some 1,400 civilians perished in the biblical floods that swept through the Moehne valley, more than half of them Russian and Polish women, slave labourers under Hitler.

Ironically, Air Marshal Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris gained much of the credit, though he opposed Chastise as a distraction from his city-burning blitz. He also made what the author describes as the operation's biggest mistake - the failure to launch a conventional attack on the Nazis' huge post-raid repair operation, which could have transformed the impact of the dam breaches upon Ruhr industry.

Chastise offers a fascinating retake on legend by a master of the art. Hastings sets the dams raid in the big picture of the bomber offensive and of the Second World War, with moving portraits of the young airmen, so many of whom died; of Barnes Wallis; the monstrous Harris; the tragic Guy Gibson, together with superb narrative of the action of one of the most extraordinary episodes in British history.
By:   Max Hastings
Imprint:   Harper Collins
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 31mm
Weight:   550g
ISBN:   9780008280536
ISBN 10:   0008280533
Pages:   464
Publication Date:   01 October 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Max Hastings is the author of twenty-six books, most about conflict, and between 1986 and 2002 served as editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph, then editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and his books, of which the most recent are All Hell Let Loose, Catastrophe and The Secret War, best-sellers translated around the world. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, an Honorary Fellow of King's College, London and was knighted in 2002. He has two grown-up children, Charlotte and Harry, and lives with his wife Penny in West Berkshire, where they garden enthusiastically.

Reviews for Chastise: The Dambusters Story 1943

Praise for Vietnam `Masterpiece ... manages with great skill to combine the accumulation of strategic and political disaster with the real experience of those fighting on the ground' Antony Beevor, Spectator `Will surely set the benchmark for years to come... This may be his best... Exhaustively researched and superbly written, it is both a balanced account of how and why the war unfolded as it did, and a gripping narrative on what it was like to take part...History as it should be: objective, immersive and compelling' Daily Telegraph, 5* `Magnificent... One by one, the sacred canons of right and left are obliterated. The war is laid bare, with all its uncomfortable truths exposed' The Times `Powerful and chilling... Hastings is masterful at describing the conditions faced by young American soldiers... [he] is second to none in his ability to describe military strategy with a clarity that makes things entirely understandable to the layman' Mail on Sunday, 5* `An altogether magnificent historical narrative' Tim O'Brien `A masterpiece' Frank Scotton `Magnificent, his best work ... full of extraordinary and compelling detail and thoroughly informed by his own personal experience of so much of the war. It's written in unputdownable style, with a dispassionate, liberal-minded understanding of the detail of the war, which draws on testimony from every side and doesn't favour anyone. I've never read a better history of the wars in Vietnam, and it's hard to see how anyone will be able to improve on this' John Simpson `Neophytes and experts alike will find Hastings's book stimulating, informative - and above all, riveting' New Statesman `This fabulous work offers up a gut-wrenching glimpse of the reality of war' The Sun, 5*


See Also