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The Attack on the Sorpe Dam – George Johnny Johnsons Story

Over the weekend Bruce and the Amazing War Stories team went to see a special screening of Andrew Panton’s and Piotr Forkasiewiczs’ new film The Attack on Sorpe Dam. What makes this movie especially poignant is that it was narrated by George “Johnny” Johnson, the last surviving dambuster. Johnny sadly passed away on the 7th of December 2022 but his legacy lives on in the magnificent film which we urge all our supporters to watch.

The Attack on Sorpe Dam focuses on the lesser well-known part of the historic dambusters mission that happened on May 16/17th 1943. As many know, the ‘dambusters raid’ (known formally as Operation Chastise) was an RAF attack on 3 key dams in the Ruhr Valley in Germany. The thought by the planners was, if the dams could be destroyed, not only would the electricity production in the region be halted but the water from the reservoirs would crash through the valleys below, ruining factories and workers houses that were situated there. It would put a serious dent into Germany’s war effort. It also transpired there was an also another, if totally un-thought of, benefit that the planners hadn’t anticipated – the destroyed dams would divert builders away from constructing the Atlantic Wall – a key obstacle that would have to be overcome during the D-Day landings.

The attack which was carried out by 617 Squadron (initially codenamed Squadron X) required special training, as it was to be carried out at low level, just 60 feet, in the dead of night. Not only that, it was to be done using a new type of ordinance, a ‘bouncing bomb’, otherwise known as an “Upkeep”. Two out of the three dams were destroyed, and naturally films in the past have mainly focused on those two ‘successful’ breaks – however, despite Johnny and his crew scoring a direct hit, the Sorpe Dam did not collapse. What makes this part of the attack so riveting was fact the third Dam was not only just as challenging, but perhaps more technically difficult to hit than the other two, as it required the bomb to be dropped along the length of the dam instead of perpendicular to it.

What makes the film stand out is the INCREDIBLE CGI created by our friend and collaborator Piotr Forkasiewicz. Piotr is a renowned digital war artist and you can see many of his images throughout our site – indeed you can buy some of his prints in our shop – make sure you check it out later.

He spent hundreds of hours creating some astonishing scenes for this film, and the end result is very, very impressive, creating a unique, immersive experience that has never been achieved in a film before. Piotr perfectly captures the point of view of the bomb aimer, Johnny and shows what it the challenges the entire crew faced during the flight. It’s truly is a unique film and not to be missed.

The ONLY way to see this film is at the special screenings held in various museums around the country. Please click the link below to book, but don’t delay as several screenings are now entirely sold out.

Book Here
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