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Max Hastings promotes new Dambusters book in Woodbridge

PUBLISHED: 17:42 02 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:42 02 September 2019

Sir Max Hastings Picture: YUI MOK/PA

Sir Max Hastings Picture: YUI MOK/PA

PA Archive/PA Images

The acclaimed author and journalist will be at the community hall to talk about his new military book

Max Hastings has a new military book out focusing on the Operation Chastise dam busters raid in 1943. Picture: HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS/MAX HASTINGS.COMMax Hastings has a new military book out focusing on the Operation Chastise dam busters raid in 1943. Picture: HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS/MAX HASTINGS.COM

Operation Chastise was carried out by 617 Squadron of Royal Air Force to attack German dams in May 1943 using the unique 'bouncing' bomb.

It targeted the Moenhe, Eder and Sorpe dams in the Ruhr, the industrial heartland of Nazi Germany.

Led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, who won a Victoria Cross for the daring low-level attack, the Moehne and Eder dams were breached.

This released millions tons of water, hitting the German war effort.

Max Hastings grew up watching the iconic 1955 film 'The Dam Busters' and has now written a book on the subject. Picture: IMDbMax Hastings grew up watching the iconic 1955 film 'The Dam Busters' and has now written a book on the subject. Picture: IMDb

But in his book 'Chastise' the author, who says he grew up watching the famous 1955 film 'The Dam Busters', claims to offer a different insight.

He gives moving depictions of the young airmen and detailing the deaths of 1,400 civilians swept away by the floods in the Mohne Valley.

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"The aircrew's heroism was wholly authentic, as was the brilliance of Barnes Wallis, who invented the bouncing bombs," he said.

"But commanders who promised the young fliers that success could shorten the war fantasised wildly."

Now a prominent military historian, Sir Max is a former foreign correspondent for the BBC and the London Evening Standard.

He was the first journalist to enter Port Stanley after the Argentine surrender in the 1982 Falklands War, and he has written several acclaimed books about war and conflict in the 20th century.

He later became editor at both The Daily Telegraph and the Evening Standard.

For his literary accomplishments, Sir Max has been honoured with a lifetime contribution medal for his military books by the Royal United Services Institute.

The Woodbridge event is at Woodbridge Community Hall on Tuesday September 24 at 1.30pm.

Tickets are £25 which include a copy of his book Chastise. An additional ticket can be bought for £10, without a book.

Tickets are available from Browsers Bookshop on the Thoroughfare, Woodbridge or by calling 01394 388890.

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