Re: "Starved of hydro-electric power
There was a very good programme on the BBC World Service about this last night.
The raid was intended to impact industry geared towards manufacture of war materiel, but it was also intended to damage numerous power stations. As noted by other commentards, the knock-on effect of diverting German military manpower was highly significant.
The good bits:
- It generally achieved these goals
- A big propaganda win for the British
The bad bits
- The impact on power supply wasn't particularly major. In some cases power supply was restored in around 48 hours, in other cases a couple of weeks or so.
- Loss of life for crews involved in the rate was staggeringly high in the context of the number of planes involved in the raid.
- German industry used a lot of slave labour, and many hundreds of Ukrainians were killed as well.
- Significant number (small number of thousands) German civilians were killed as well...although in a few weeks' time the allies would be firebombing German cities, leading to civilian death toll an order of magnitude greater than that off the dams raid.
The programme also talked a bit about the incredible flying skill of the RAF pilots involved in the raid...taking huge Lancasters (no terrain-following radar or any of the other mod cons) at pretty much zero altitude across Europe and back.