THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
A masterly history of the Dambusters raid from bestselling and critically acclaimed Max Hastings.
Operation Chastise was one of the most extraordinary episodes of the Second World War, yet it has also become one of the most misunderstood.
Max Hastings tells the gripping story of the Dambusters raid, from the invention of the bouncing bomb to the moonlit cockpits of young pilots flying at treetop height through lethal enemy fire. But Hastings also challenges what we think we know about the Dambusters, bringing to light the difficult truths that have often been left out of the legend.
‘Brings it to life as never before … Hour by nerve-jangling hour’ Daily Mail
‘Superb … The heroes shine, but their achievement haunts’ Times
‘A virtuoso performance from a veteran military historian. It is a white-knuckle narrative that brings clarity and insight to a much-loved tale, as well as offering a vital corrective to the drum-thumping conclusions of earlier books’ Sunday Times
About the author
Max Hastings is the author of twenty-six books, most about conflict, and between 1986 and 2002 served as editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph, then editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and his books, of which the most recent are All Hell Let Loose, Catastrophe and The Secret War, best-sellers translated around the world. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, an Honorary Fellow of King’s College, London and was knighted in 2002. He has two grown-up children, Charlotte and Harry, and lives with his wife Penny in West Berkshire, where they garden enthusiastically.
- Praise for Chastise
- ‘A virtuoso performance from a veteran military historian. It is a white-knuckle narrative that brings clarity and insight to a much-loved tale, as well as offering a vital corrective to the drum-thumping conclusions of earlier books.’ Sunday Times
- ‘Hastings recounts the actual raids with dramatic intensity … He brings us into those Lancasters, flying perilously low, straight into flak … Superb.’ Times
- ‘Thoughtful and gripping … This is a fine book combining great storytelling with a deep appreciation of the melancholy and waste that march in step with glory.’ Patrick Bishop, Telegraph
- ‘What is at stake in this revision of the old glorious narrative is something important. The debate over whether this particular raid mattered is, in miniature, the wider historiographical debate over the morals and efficacy of the whole bombing war … A powerful parable which might instruct us in our own confused times.’ Spectator
- ‘Hastings, who is a master of his craft, unfolds the story skilfully … It doesn’t matter how many times you have seen the film, or heard the story, this book is gripping from start to finish’ Keith Lowe, Literary Review
- ‘A riveting account that also shines a light on the fact that more than 1,400 civilians died in the floods that followed … It’s a monumental read’ Sun
- ‘A fine book about that moonlit Dambusters’ raid of 76 years ago, a worthy tribute to the men of 617 Squadron – and their hapless victims’ Sunday Express
- ‘A remarkable book … Combining formidable narrative power with equally potent explanatory insight, it situates the Dambusters Raid in the broader strategic context of World War II’ Washington Post