That said, I would hate to have been one of the test pilots for the barrels. One of them bounced too high, and ripped the plane in half.
Of a total of about 125,000 men about 55,000 died.
EDIT: Actually I may have searched for 'lights', which would have returned no results, so perhaps my bad after all.
Quite possibly embellished, but plausible that should be the inspiration.
Max Hastings has a good book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bomber-Command-Pan-Military-Classic...
I mention it because the book talks about the problem they had with targeting, and refinements they made.
It also talks about the change in attitudes about targeting civilians, from being a war crime that must be avoided at the beginning, to being the only thing that could stop the war at the end.
According to the page, the attack did not achieve its goal of interrupting the arms production in the Ruhrgebiet area, however a lot of people were killed, including many female forced laborers.
'Apres moi le deluge'
 - http://www.abroadintheyard.com/german-survivors-of-dambuster...
But the downvotes that my comment above (and no doubt this one) gets just exacerbates the whitewashing of Allied atrocities during WWII. Case in point:
"Bomber command lost nearly 50% of their crew during WWII" - "Oh dear that is terrible tragedy - upvotes for you, my friend for pointing out this invaluable fact."
"Lots of German civilians were killed in the floods after the Dambuster raid" - "Meh, who cares? Cost of war. Downvoted. NEXT!"
 Grave of the Fireflies is a gorgeous, heartbreaking film. Highly recommended!
 See the discussion of Okinawa in http://apjjf.org/-Mark-Selden/3173/article.html
But the Germans were aggressors in this case, whose democratically elected leader initiated and waged one of the most terrible wars that the world has ever seen. So maybe the reaction you're seeing is a result of that?
3 years ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5932493#5934692
2 years ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9171303#9171730
I realize I’m a little late to the comments here and it’s unlikely to be seen, but there’s a dissonance that’s been stewing in me for a while now and I’m not sure how to reconcile it. It relates to the dichotomy between JackFr posting his fondness for a badge with cyberferret’s response, so this is why I’m replying here (if someone can suggest a more appropriate forum for me to ask this, please let me know).
I abhor war and death and killing. It’s vile, disgusting and so many other words I’m not literate enough to use to describe it. The very act of snuffing out another human’s life is something so imaginably terrible to me that when I dwell much upon it I become profoundly sad.
And yet, there’s another side of me that’s utterly fascinated by the actual implements of warfare. My father was in Vietnam and although he doesn’t like to talk about it often, I know it was a very unpleasant experience for him, particularly the time he described when he would have to carry body bags off the C-130s on base. Despite that, when I was growing up, I was given army men and plastic tanks by my parents to play with, toy guns, you name it. I fondly remember my father bringing home a variable swept wing toy jet fighter that I cherished. In my teens I pretended I was going nap of the earth in the chopper milsims available on the PC at the time.
Fast forward to today, I can sometimes spend hours getting lost in the endless rabbit hole of links on wikipedia reading about anything from the minute details of how the Exocet sea-skimming missile operates to the different types of recoilless rifles in service around the world. Or scrolling through google images admiring the sleep and sexy curves on the F/A-18. I enjoy watching movies like “We Were Soldiers” too. The scene where all the artillery batteries arrayed fired in unison I sometimes rewind a couple times just to see it over again because I find it awesomely impressive and…kind of “cool?” I watch the movie to be entertained…
This post/question is long enough so I'll try to wrap it up quickly here and get to my point:
I don’t want to go to war. I don’t want to see my brother get sent back overseas. I don’t want anyone’s sons or daughters, wives, husbands, loved ones sent to pick up arms, no matter their race, nationality, creed and regardless of wherever they call home. I wish all killing would stop, however utopian that view might be. I wish we could all experience the “Overview Effect.”
But how do I reconcile this view with my fascination of the instruments of war? I can’t help but find it incredibly impressive to watch a WW2 era battleship fire full broadsides. I enjoy visiting my brother and firing his firearms like an M1 Garand.
Am I wrong for “enjoying” these things which seem at complete odds to the way (I’d like to think) my moral compass points? Is this normal?
I also used to shoot competitively, but nowadays other interests mean I do not own a gun at all. I don't consider myself a violent person. I could never envisage taking another person's life at all. But still, I admire the devices that could do (and were designed to do) that purely from an engineering and science perspective. Not just modern stuff too - I love WWII aircraft, and even ancient things like sword and armour design through the ages.
Some things DO cross the line, and I don't go down that path (napalm, chemical warfare, IEDs etc.), but a beautifully designed jet or ship etc., I can totally admire and appreciate.
From your own link:
At least 1,650 people were killed [...] Over 1000
of the dead were prisoners of war and *forced-
labourers*, mainly Russian men and women.
The only solution would be to surrender to the Germans then. There was (and still is) no way to win a war without civilian casualties.
You realize what the outcome would be?
Edit: Well if he can whinge about downvotes, and get upvoted as a result, maybe I'll try. Didn't realize HN was such a haven for neo-Nazis.
Edited after seeing your edit above: You seem to be equating all the German population in WWII as Nazis. I think I am beginning to understand the agenda of your posts now.
Is there a specific reason why you only want to fixate on German victims?
My parents were kids in Malaysia during the Japanese, then the Allied occupation of that nation during WWII. They lived near a POW camp, and a forced labour site. They both (and their families confirmed) that while the Japanese treatment of POWs and such were atrocious, it was absolutely no different when the Allies took back control and the Japanese soldiers were on the receiving end. You've probably never (and never will) read that in history books though.
My parents were not accepting of the treatment of either group of prisoners. In fact my mum and her mother used to regularly go down to the camp to collect prisoner clothing etc. to mend, and my father and his friend used to drop food to POW labourers working on bridges etc.
But you are probably OK with the fact that my parents could have easily been unimportant 'collateral damage' (which my dad nearly was) during Allied bombing raids on Kuala Lumpur?
[Clarification - I guess this is my reason for focusing on local civilian nationals as victims of war. Families in a German valley, kids playing on the streets of Aleppo - the moment you dismiss and forget them as 'acceptable casualties of war' and lump them in as 'the bad guy collective' is a sad one indeed]
And I'm sure Allied bombers didn't want to kill anyone when they hit the dams, but that doesn't seem to prevent you being judgemental about it. What makes you "sure", BTW, that the Germans in that area didn't condone the Nazi policies of slave labour that resulted in so many people killed?
> You seem to think that they need to be punished with extreme prejudice for having the temerity of accepting what the German leadership and military machine at the time did.
You seem to like telling me what I think. Where did I say the Germans need to be punished with extreme prejudice, or anything even remotely like that? Stop being so hysterical.
I'm questioning why you are so fixated with emphasizing German victims, while dismissing or showing little to no interest in non-German victims, because the only people I have ever seen doing that are Nazi sympathizers.
> But you are probably OK with...
There you go again, telling me what I think. Is this a tactic you find works in other arguments you have?
> the moment you dismiss and forget them
Who is forgetting them? I specifically said you should include all victims, and not just the Germans, which you refused to do.
You're the one who is going out of your way to dismiss the fact that the majority of the people who died were not German, and only died because of German barbarity and racialist far-right policies.
And I think it's pretty obvious now why you're doing that.
I spelled out at least once, if not twice in this thread that I include them as part of the 'non combatants' killed in the raid, but it is clear that your hatred for the 'barbarity' of a nation is interfering with your ability to see that.
But calling out anyone who simply asks "What about German civilians killed?" as neo-Nazis and Nazi sympathisers is, well, simply bloviating hysteria.
You seem to be getting really upset about the downvotes you are getting, but just so it's understood, my karma balance here on HN does not let me downvote direct replies to my own comments, so it is clearly other members on here who are reacting to your views.
I will be civil enough to stop short of actually labelling you as anything though, because I have no other knowledge about you to make such a judgement call.
I don't think that derailing this thread any further with our discussion will be of benefit to anyone. Take a deep breath. Have a nice cup of tea, and I hope you have a great day.
I do indeed hate the barbarity of Nazi Germany, as do most civilized people.
Hardly surprising you'd be upset by that, since you're a Nazi sympathizer who has made it quite clear in this thread how much you hate the WW2 Allies, dismissing Allied casualties, claiming the Allies were worse than the Japanese, and lying about Allied atrocities that no history book mentions (for obvious reasons).
> But calling out anyone who simply asks "What about German civilians killed?" as neo-Nazis and Nazi sympathisers is, well, simply bloviating hysteria.
Remembering Germans who were killed is one thing. Focusing on nothing but German casualties, ignoring the vast majority of victims because they were not German (and were in fact victims of Germany), and criticizing and smearing the Allies is what outs you as a neo-Nazi. Who do you think you're kidding here?
> You seem to be getting really upset about the downvotes you are getting
"But the downvotes that my comment above (and no doubt this one) gets...". Your words, not mine. Not only complaining that your post with false information was (quite rightly) downvoted, and complaining about downvotes you hadn't even received, but even unhappy that an informative post about horrific Allied casualties was (according to you) upvoted. Unbelievable.
> I will be civil enough to stop short of actually labelling you as anything though, because I have no other knowledge about you to make such a judgement call.
Having no knowledge didn't stop you posting this crap:
"You probably have an 'acceptable number' of women and children that can be destroyed"
"You seem to be equating all the German population in WWII as Nazis"
"You seem to think that they need to be punished with extreme prejudice"
"you are probably OK with the fact that my parents could have easily been unimportant 'collateral damage'"
> I don't think that derailing this thread any further with our discussion will be of benefit to anyone.
What was the benefit of derailing it in the first place? What was the benefit of your other posts here, in a thread about heroism and bravery against one of the most evil regimes in history, repeatedly criticizing the Allies?
If you're going to deny being a Nazi, as Nazis are prone to do when outed, try not quack so loudly in future.
Further, ascribing the downvotes, flags, and overall behavior of other community members to the causes of your choosing isn't substantive and forms a poor basis for the civil discussion that this site is here for.
Ah, whereas his comments about what I "think", and my "agenda", and how I believe "women and children" should be "destroyed", and how I'd be "OK" with the death of his parents are perfectly fine and not personal attacks at all?
How about his whining about downvotes in order to get upvotes? Let me guess, that's somehow fine too; it's only a problem when I bring the subject up when I get downvoted for correcting the false claims in his post?
Am I to take it that if someone in future is making obvious and offensive far-right arguments here on HN they should be tolerated and allowed to get away with it, without comment, otherwise it's considered a personal attack?
Because, aside from the Nazi references (retracted), everything I wrote in that post was simply a criticism of what he wrote and/or the offensive opinions he expressed, and no comment about him personally.
> Further, ascribing the downvotes, flags, and overall behavior of other community members to the causes of your choosing isn't substantive and forms a poor basis for the civil discussion that this site is here for.
If my complaint is so unsubstantive, give one good reason why a post (with numerous upvotes) simply stating "Maybe we should also remember that most of the people who signed this document owned slaves" should be flagged.
I'll retract "you're a Nazi sympathizer" simply because that much is obvious already by his posts, repeatedly criticizing the Allies and highlighting Allied "atrocities", openly supporting Nazi ally Japan and claiming it was more humane than the Allies, being dismissive of Allied casualties while grossly exaggerating German victims of the Allies, while also ignoring victims of the Nazis (who made up the bulk of the dead in this raid).
Just as Holocaust denial isn't literally saying the Holocaust didn't happen, being a Nazi sympathizer is not about shouting Sieg Heil, it's about picking away at small things here and there. Minimizing or ignoring the crimes or victims of the Nazis (which he did), emphasizing the offences of the Allies (which he did), posting misinformation and/or lies (which he did). All textbook far-right/neo-Nazi tactics.
I don't expect much from far-right members of HN, but the double standard here couldn't have been made more obvious to me in the past week. The other day a post of mine was flagged simply because it mentioned an undisputed fact of history that the far-right don't like people to know about, and it had so many upvotes it could not be buried in downvotes. So it was (abusively) flagged.
This guy makes a false claim about the Dam Busters raid (claiming thousands of German civilians were killed) - meaning he either did not read the link he Googled just before posting (it's simply the first result for "German victims of Dam Busters raid") or he did read his link, and did have a clue about this topic he was trying to pontificate on, and decided to lie about it anyway - and not only was that false version of history upvoted by certain people here, my correction of it, quoting the actual article he posted and accurate facts, was downvoted, because those facts don't align with the far-right bias of some people at HN.
Maybe Trump's victory and the rise of fascism in Europe has made right-wing extremists here bolder, as they are elsewhere on the internet, or maybe HN has always been a haven for ultra-right tendencies, but it's turning HN from a site that supposedly emphasizes factual information into just another far-right propaganda site.
You can't downvote this comment, because it's a reply to your comment.
Thus, the downvotes are coming from other people, and they're telling you to calm the fuck down.
Plenty of people think Allied bombing of civilian populations was a war crime.
The reason it wasn't a war time at the time is because "don't kill civilians" was taken for granted - it was so obvious no-one put it into conventions.
Pat yourself on the back for taking three laborious sentences to simply repeat what the other poster already said in one sentence a day earlier. Perhaps try actually reading a thread before jumping head first into it (a day late) next time.
> they're telling you to calm the fuck down
I think you need to take your own advice, unless you can explain what is not "calm" about quoting hard facts (heavily downvoted) in response to an ignorant post making false claims (upvoted).
> Plenty of people think Allied bombing of civilian populations was a war crime. The reason it wasn't a war time at the time is because "don't kill civilians" was taken for granted - it was so obvious no-one put it into conventions.
Okay, list the names of the "plenty of people" you know of who believe the Dambusters raid was a war crime and we'll see how many of them (assuming they aren't just a figment of your imagnation) are not on the far right and/or Nazi sympathizers.
Super tangential, but there is a very enjoyable Regina Spektor song titled “Après Moi” with the full phrase as a refrain.
The R100 flew to Canada and back without incident, setting various records on the way.
The fatal R101 flight to India was insisted on by the Air Ministry in response. A deadly effect of "ship it when we say" rather than "ship it when it's ready"
One interesting fact from the R100 story : the stress calculations of their airframe were obviously done by hand and took 3 months to complete, something one could do in Excel nowadays, even without CAD.
The figures are almost unimaginable :
Wallis finally settled on the use of six reconditioned Rolls-Royce Condor petrol engines for propulsion.  Each of which generated 500 hp (373 Kw) and weighed 1,504 lbs (682 kg).
From wikipedia :
Nevil Shute later suggested in Slide Rule: Autobiography of an Engineer that the success of R100's Canadian flight indirectly led to the R101 disaster. Prior to the transatlantic flight, the Cardington team could suggest that neither airship was ready for a performance of such duration. However, when R100 returned in triumph they had to either make the flight to India or admit defeat – which would have meant discredit with the consequent danger of losing their jobs.
The start of the YouTube video puts the exposition of the attack from one film next to the exposition of the attack from the other. Is that really such a strong similarity? I'd guess a lot of war/action movies have a here's-how-it's-going-to-go-down scene. Some of the other pairings are closer - I think I buy the one with the line about the number of guns.
So, I see a Dam Busters reference, and that's interesting! But I'd need more convincing that it's used for storyboarding.
"As the British pilots approach the superstructure, one asks, “How many guns do you think, Trevor?”
To which Trevor replies, “I’d say there’s about ten guns. Some in the field, some on the tower!”
The similarities go even further… A tense countdown leads to the first bombing of the German dam, just like the trench run. After the first bomb attack against the German dam is away, one of the pilots exclaims, “It’s gone! We’ve done it!”
To which he’s told, “We haven’t! It’s still there!”
That bomber tells his other pilots to set up for their attack run, eventually taking three bomb runs to destroy the target."
That's almost verbatim what Lucas used for dialogue (something he always admitted he struggled with writing).
It's pretty clear that the lineage is essentially undeniable.
High probability the game was inspired by the show, I'd guess.
They dug a giant hole to build a test dam for this project. Fun to watch.
USA dropped a nuclear bomb on the USSR. 5 million people died, panic in the media, outcry from the whole world community, etc.
Couple days later another sensation: USSR dropped a rubber bomb on the USA. 50 million people died, counting: the bomb continues to bounce!