adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $14.18

Buy for $14.18

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A brand-new history of the Dambusters raid from best-selling and critically acclaimed military historian Max Hastings.

Operation Chastise, the destruction of the Mohne and Eder dams in Northwest Germany by the RAF’s 617 Squadron on the night of 16/17 May 1943, 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 led the raid. In the 21st century, however, he urges that we should see the Dambusters in much more complex shades.

The aircrew’s heroism was entirely real, as was the brilliance of Barnes Wallis, inventor of the ‘bouncing bombs’. But commanders who promised their young fliers that success could shorten the war fantasised as ruthlessly as they did about the entire bomber offensive. Some 1,400 civilians perished in the biblical floods that swept through the Mohne valley, more than half of them Russian and Polish women, slave labourers.

Hastings vividly describes the evolution of Wallis’ bomb and of the squadron which broke the dams. But he also portrays in harrowing detail those swept away by the torrents. He argues that what modern Germans call the Mohnekatastrophe imposed on the Nazi war machine temporary disruption, rather than a crippling blow.

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

Here once again is a dramatic retake on familiar history 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; of the monstrous Harris; and of the tragic Guy Gibson, together with superb narrative of the action of one of the most extraordinary episodes in British history.

©2019 Max Hastings (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What listeners say about Chastise

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Detailed story but not boring at all.

If you are a Ww2 reader you will go trough this book in a jiffy. Plenty detail and good persona info. I recomend this book.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for huskywoo
  • huskywoo
  • 09-15-19

A Story of Real People and Moral Complexity

If you were brought up with the memory of the 1955 film and tally ho tales of derring do the real story of the Dambusters is much more moving, tragically nuanced and morally ambiguous. A story of real people with all the flaws of real people which, doesn't detract from the heroism of their actions. Max Hastings also relates in moving detail the tragic loss of life sustained by the civilian population and foreign forced labourers caught in the deluge unleashed by the breached dams. Thought provoking and moving.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Drew
  • Drew
  • 12-07-20

Outstanding and Informative

Well written up to date information of the Dambusters that I have always been fascinated since a boy of 8 after watching the film, building a large airfix model of a Lancaster, holding it in my hand and flying it around the room pretending to be the pilot Guy Gibson approaching a box of Swan vesta 60cm above the coffee table at 232mm/s and dropping my bouncing marble. Max Hastings has an ultimate grounded up to date, and bloomin interesting, knowledge on the Dambusters that he shares with the listener and with Peter Noble's outstanding dulcet narration, leaves you in very deep thoughtful and emotional reflexion of that subject. It kind of leaves you with that modern day view and moral dilemma to assume your own decisions and assumption on this very famous powerful history lesson. I am in no doubt that this was the most intelligent, creative, daring, courageous and successful military mission ever carried out and indeed shortened the war against the Nazi war machine. Max has expressed this beautifully. My recommendations are John Nichols 'After the Flood' and of course Guy Gibson 'Enemy Coast Ahead'.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul R Gregory
  • Paul R Gregory
  • 10-05-19

Simply Excellent

Max Hastings is, and has always been, my favourite military history author. This most recent addition to his vast body of work is simply excellent.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for andy furkins
  • andy furkins
  • 11-22-20

Thought provoking

Well produced and what"s best about this book it looks at the pros and cons of the raid, political pressures on the protagonists.

The records of the pilots and of the "unintended" victims are fascinating.

A question for Audible ... why don't you provide pdfs of the photos in the hard copy of the book?

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for peter mcphail
  • peter mcphail
  • 11-17-20

very informative

really enjoyed this book,gave a great insight into the real story of the Dambusters raid and learn of many things i was unaware of.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for David
  • David
  • 05-27-20

Superb account of Dambusters operation

Detailed account of raid, its preliminaries and consequences. Well researched. Written and narrated. Tiresome that you require more words.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Justin M.
  • Justin M.
  • 04-21-20

High Quality Hastings

I have read/listened to a number of books and stories about this famous raid. This book gives you everything you need to understand; the reasons for the raid, the technical development & challenges, the people and 617 Sqn and how the raid was carried out. Very much recommended.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for E P
  • E P
  • 04-17-20

Sub Hastings is still worth a read

I have read a number of Max Hasting books. I have always found him informative and lively. While I am glad to have read Chastise, this is a bit of a disappointment. It brings no new light to the subject and feels rushed and insubstantial. After Vietnam, it is a let dowm

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for JJC
  • JJC
  • 02-05-20

Another masterful epic from Max Hastings

The Dambusters rank pretty high in the mythology of the 39-45 War and surely no-one doesn't know the story, if only from the classic film. Having seen and having read quite a lot on this subject in the past I was concerned that there wasn't much more to say on the subject, so I'd previously resisted buying this title. However, of course I shouldn't have worried. Max Hastings yet again brings his power of massive research, intellectual reach and historical insight to bear and he weaves the history, the interviews and the analysis into a consistently compelling narrative with not a little opinion on some of the associated personalities and the significance of some of the results of the mission. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-07-20

Essential history of Chastise

The best analysis of operation Chastise and its aftermath to be found. Precisely and succinctly read.

1 person found this helpful