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Dambusters evolution is focus of university lecture


Dambusters evolution is focus of university lecture

Dr Robert Owen, Official Historian for the No. 617 Squadron Association, is set to give an open and honest account of the unit's operations during the Second World War - presenting the crucial question of whether events were planned or did they evolve in a haphazard fashion?

The Lecture, which will take place at the University of Wolverhampton on 10 March, room MC001 - 18.30pm onwards, is part of the larger Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies, which are being held in conjunction with the Royal Aeronautical Society and the War Studies Department at the University of Wolverhampton, and are also part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme.

The Lecture Series initially ran in 2015, but has been brought back this year due to previous success.

The talk will focus on the backstory of the No. 617 Squadron, better known as the ‘Dam Busters’ and the part they played in carrying out precise attacks utilising new and unconventional weapons, culminating with Barnes Wallis’ deep penetration bombs, ‘Tallboy’ and ‘Grand Slam’.

617 Squadron - picture courtesy of RAF Museum

The lecture's main aim is to identify the various policy and decision making bodies and examine their role in selecting weapons and targets for the Squadron.

Dr Peter Preston-Hough of the University’s Department of War Studies said: “We’re delighted to be part of this prestigious series of lectures, which promises to provide an interesting insight into this area of history.”

Dr Ross Mahoney, RAF Museum Aviation Historian said: “The RAF Museum is once again delighted to be working in conjunction with our colleagues at the University of Wolverhampton to bring the Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies to a wider audience.

“The year’s first lecture is about one of the RAF’s most famous units, the Dambusters. The lecture will highlight No. 617’s development beyond the famous Dams raids of 1943 and open up a new understanding of the Squadron’s contribution to the Second World War.”

The lecture is free, however, spaces are limited so it is advised that anyone wishing to attend the event books in advance. You can pre-book your ticket by visiting:


For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 322003/322736

Date Issued: 4th March 2016

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