BBC Two will next week broadcast a one-off live programme to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid and the bravery of the 133 men who undertook one of the most daring bombing raids of the Second World War.
Presented by Dan Snow, The Dambusters: 70 Years On will feature interviews with the daughter of Sir Barnes Wallis, inventor of the bouncing bomb, veterans Johnny Johnson and Les Munroe, and Tornado pilots from today’s 617 Squadron.
The programme will be broadcast on Thursday 16 May 2013, exactly 70 years earlier, 19 Lancaster Bombers took off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.
Their mission: to fly as low as 60 feet above the ground, at night, into heavily defended enemy territory and drop their newly invented bouncing bombs onto three vital dams, the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe, with the intention of destroying the industrial heart of German war production.
Snow says: “The ‘Dambuster’ raid is certainly the most famous single British air raid of all time. The scale of the ambition, the genius of its many, varied participants, the breathtaking skill of the aircrews, and the impact on Germany’s war machine have all ensured that it holds a special place in the minds of people across Britain and the Commonwealth.
“It continues to be the inspiration for films, books and programmes 70 years after the lumbering Lancaster bombers took off from RAF Scampton. It is an incredible honour to be involved in a programme to mark this important anniversary, meet the few remaining survivors, and remember the sacrifice of those, on both sides, caught up in the horrors of the Second World War.”
BBC Two, Thursday 16 May 2013