Top Secret Nazi photos of the WW II dam busting efforts by Brits.

The science, engineering and technology needed to create these bombs almost 80 years ago is amazing.

I’d bid on them if the auction was nearby.

Much better pics at link.

Photographs described by experts as ‘extremely rare’ which show the damage wreaked by the famous Dam Busters in World War II are to be auctioned next week.

The aerial shots taken by German Intelligence depict the Möhne and Edersee Dams before the raid and after they were breached by the ingenious bouncing bomb, designed by Barnes Wallis, causing catastrophic flooding of the Ruhr valley.

Operation Chastise, as the famous raid was officially known, was an attack on major dams in Germany’s industrial heartland carried out on 16-17 May 1943 by the Royal Air Force’s renowned 617 Squadron, based at Scampton, Lincolnshire.

In the raid, Lancaster bombers breached the Möhne and Edersee Dams while the Sorpe Dam sustained minor damage.

Two hydroelectric power stations were destroyed by floods and several more damaged.

Factories and mines were also either damaged or destroyed.

An estimated 1,600 civilians drowned – about 600 Germans and 1,000 mainly Soviet forced-labourers.

The damage was repaired by the Germans, but production did not return to normal until September of that year.

The items for auction are five 8½ x 11 inch aerial reconnaissance photographs taken by the Luftwaffe before and after the raid at heights of between 4,500 and 8,000 metres.

On the reverse of each photograph are German Geheime Kommandofache (Secret Command Document) identification stamps and in blue fountain pen ink records of the day, date, map reference and photographer identification.

Each photograph also bears notification stating that under NAZI law it is a secret document and that duplication is forbidden.

The photographs go under the hammer in Nottingham on April 29.

Richard Davey, of vendors International Autograph Auctions, said: ‘Although the RAF took pictures from the air after the raid, these photographs are extremely rare in that they were taken by German military.

‘They depict in a dramatic sense the success of the raid in that the breaches to the dams are clearly visible.

‘The photographs are rubber-stamped in German “top secret” and are dated and with a map reference.

‘They come from a private collection of memorabilia belonging to someone with connections to the Lancaster crews who took part in the raid.

‘I have never come across anything like them before.’

Eight of the 19 specially adapted Lancasters which took part in the operation were lost.

53 of the 133 air crew died and three were captured.

The story of the raid was depicted in the 1955 movie The Dam Busters which held it up as a shining example of British ingenuity and bravery.

Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC, who led the raid, was portrayed in the film by Richard Todd. Gibson survived the operation but was killed when his aircraft crashed while flying in combat over the Netherlands in September, 1943.

The estimate for the lot (all five photographs together) is up to £1,200.

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