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In early 1943 the Allies needed a hero and something to celebrate. Britain, Canada, and other members of the Commonwealth had been at war for 3 1/2 years and Bomber Command was still the only offensive punch that was capable of making itself felt within Hitler's European fortress. Guy Gibson and the Dam Busters, as they soon were known as, became the heroes and many believe that the momentum of the war seemed to change with the raid.
The loss of men and aircraft was exceptionally high -eight of the nineteen Lancasters did not return. Only 77 of the 133 airmen returned to base and just three of the 56 airmen that did not return survived to become Prisoners of War. A low-level operation such as the Dams Raid left little chance for escape once an aircraft had been hit.
"It was a great success, but a great many young men died. Barnes Wallis was in tears when I left."