Dam Buster Lancaster Spotlights

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k9kiwi

Staff Sergeant
839
25
Jul 2, 2006
Kiwi Land
Found this wee drawing, might be of interest for the exact location and configuration of the lights for the Dams Raid.
 

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I've had that drawing for some 2 years now, but before I had it I was told whilst sitting in the seat of a Lanc that the lights as portrayed in the film Dambusters were wrong and that they were arranged as shown in the diagram so as the co-pilot could see it and report on the height.

There's also a little know secret about the wooden hand held sight shown in the film.

Simon
 
what a gem of a picture! the story in the film about how the idea of the lights came about in the film is also slightly off, the men were actually watching a woman wearing considderably less........
 
Yup Guy Gibson at a strip club.

And I am doing a bit more digging because the distance between the lights would appear to be more like thirty feet.

Considering the front light was mounted into the normal bomb camera housing, and the rear spotlight was at the REAR of the faired in bomb bay.

The angles are good and the drawing accurate, just the distance quoted.
 
I've had that drawing for some 2 years now, but before I had it I was told whilst sitting in the seat of a Lanc that the lights as portrayed in the film Dambusters were wrong and that they were arranged as shown in the diagram so as the co-pilot could see it and report on the height.

There's also a little know secret about the wooden hand held sight shown in the film.

Simon

Wasn't the hand held wooden sight superceeded by a piece of string?
 
And I am doing a bit more digging because the distance between the lights would appear to be more like thirty feet.

Considering the front light was mounted into the normal bomb camera housing, and the rear spotlight was at the REAR of the faired in bomb bay.

this's true, and would make the distance closer to 35ft i'm just not sure they'd be mounted that far apart.........
 
Also the object was to control the height until the two circles of light just touched producing a figure 8 pattern on the water.

Not as commonly believed to super impose the lights to create one circle.

Reason being this effect could well have been achieved BELOW the waters surface giving a false height.
 
Wasn't the hand held wooden sight superceeded by a piece of string?

The bombaimers found the hand held device too cumbersome (must be hard to ballance kneeling, one hand used to hold the distance device the other the bomb release button, I guess they wanted one hand to steady themselves) so they had the groundcrew place 2 strips of black electricains tape stuck on the bomb aimers glass dome at the correct distance apart.
 
agreed alot of the crews found the 6p bomb sights rubbish and had contraptions made with bits of string tied to the rivets on the bomb aimers glass dome, others had chinagraph marks painted on not only showing the mohne dam distances but the other dams as well, some die hards still did use the wooden bomb aimers device.The spot lamps for height were worked out long before hostilitys started and were originally tried out for submarine attacks before some bright spark remebered and used it to determine the height of the modified lancasters.....
dambuster nut !
 
I have a question regarding the FN5 nose turret on the Lancaster. When the .303 guns were fired, and they certainly were on the Damns Raid, were the empty cases and links collected somehow, or did they just fall to the floor? I have seen a pictures showing the nose full of spent cases and links, but I have also read that canvas bags or a flexible chute was used. I have not seen any photographic evidence of either.

In the case of the Dams Raid, I would think that the bomb aimer would not want a whole bunch of expended cases and links falling down on him during the bomb run.

I hope someone can provide a definitive answer to this question.

Thanks.

Ron
 
The "Dam Buster" film was freebee in one of the Sunday papers in the UK. Never realised they were aimed at a beam angle as well.

I thought they were directly under the aircraft fore and aft.
 
They are remaking the film of the Dambusters, it's due out 2009/2010, and is said to be as accurate as possible.

But there is only one problem, the call sign for the success of the mission was the name of Guy Gibson's dog, "n****r" and this is thought to possibly cause upset in certain parts of the world.

We shall have to wait and see how this is resolved.
 
1. Guy Gibson wouldn't have been in a "Strip Club" as the only naked ladies permitted at the time were at the Windmill (which was a variety theatre) and had to stand motionless. The story has a nice ring to it though, the theatre would have been darkened, the naked ladies would get in position then the spotlights would be turned on. Voila! Naked ladies and height keeping at a stroke...

2. I doubt the RAF or FAA would have developed such a means of attacking submarines on the surface at night before the war. Finding submarines on the surface at night required radar and, until ASV and the Leigh Light were developed later in the war, it simply wasn't possible to detect and attack surfaced submarines at night.
 
with the look of those drawings the tamiya's lights are in the wrong place ! well at least the rear one is :evil:

ian.

This is where they should be.
 

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