Amazing pictures showing the damage done by RAF Bomber Command

Amazing pictures showing the damage done by RAF Bomber Command to Hitler’s Nazi war machine including the Dambusters raid emerge 75 years on

  • The set of photographs show the devastation caused to Germany by Bomber Command during the war 
  • Among the photographs in the collection are before and after images of the Dam Busters raid 
  • Some of the other raids carried out by the Dam Busters 617 Squadron are also included in the historic archive 
  • The archive was saved by War Office official Noel Richards and is being sold by his 74-year-old son, Peter

Amazing before and after aerial photos of daring Bomber Command missions including the legendary Dam Busters raid have emerged 75 years later.

One dramatic image shows water gushing into the Ruhr valley after the Mohne Dam was breached by a ‘bouncing bomb’ following Operation Chastise on the night of May 16, 1943.

Other photos capture the devastating aftermath of raids on German cities by dead-eyed British bombers with churches and factories turned to rubble.

An archive of photographs from the legendary Dam Busters mission from May 1943 shows the impossible nature of the target including this reconnaissance photographs of the Mohne dam before its destruction by 617 squadron

This second photograph hours after the mission shows the damage caused by Barnes Wallis’s bouncing bombs 

The images include photographs of other RAF missions including this gun camera footage from a Spitfire filmed over northern France showing the moment a Messerschmitt Bf 109 was shot down

They show the Steigletz area of Berlin decimated by aerial bombardment and the Krupp works in Essen left flattened after a direct hit from the Allies.

The Bielefeld viaduct is destroyed by a 22,000lb Grand Slam bomb following a pinpoint strike, while a German ship is sunk off the Bay of Biscay.

The dramatic moment is captured when a German Me109 bursts into flames following a dogfight with a Spitfire over northern France.

In total, there are 40 photos in the album which belonged to photographer Noel Richards OBE, a long-serving employee at the War Office.

As wartime head of the Photographic and Reproductions Branch of the Air Ministry, he also photographed the maps in the War Rooms and was granted unprecedented access to Churchill and his inner circle.

The images were owned by photographer Noel Richards of the War Office and include this shot of bombed out Berlin

Another image shows this German ship being strafed by allied aircraft in the Skagerrak between Denmark and Sweden 

This attack shows a German Sperrbrecher minesweeper ship being destroyed in an air attack. The Sperrbrechers were used to clear a path for more valuable ships and submarines. This vessel was sunk in the Bay of Biscay in January 1945

This image shows an aid package being dropped to the crew of a US B29 Superfortress which was forced to ditch in the North Sea following a mission over occupied Europe

The photos have been consigned for sale by his son Peter, 73, with London-based Forum Auctions and are tipped to sell for £800.

Richard Carroll, specialist at Forum Auctions, said: ‘This photo album is a fascinating historical document and it is quite sobering to see the tragedy and devastation caused to cities in France and Germany by the war.’

Operation Chastise was carried out by Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron, later called the Dam Busters, under the command of Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC.

The Mohne and Edersee Dams were breached, causing flooding of the Ruhr valley and of villages in the Eder valley, while the Sorpe Dam sustained minor damage.

Two hydroelectric power stations were destroyed and several more damaged.

The raid carried a heavy cost as eight out of the 19 aircraft were shot down and 53 out of the 133 aircrew were killed.

Their heroic exploits were immortalised in the 1955 film The Dam Busters starring Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd.

The auction takes place tomorrow (May 31).

The Bielefeld viaduct, pictured, was attacked multiple times by the allies – including in 1945 by 617 squadron 

The Dam Busters eventually took out the bridge using the Barnes Wallis-designed Grand Slam bomb 

This is the moment the Grand Slam bomb landed near the viaduct, undermining its foundations in March 1945

The historical images are being sold by Noel Richards’ son Peter, 73, and are tipped to sell for around £800

This image shows a burned out German fighter being over flown by four Spitfires in close formation 

This image taken from Eindhoven in Holland shows the start of the ill-fated Operation Market Garden mission

This image taken in Eindhoven shows the gliders used in Operation Market Garden to attack Nijmegen and Arnhem being towed towards the combat zone and their eventually release

By March 1945 the German town of Wesel, pictured, had been virtually obliterated with the shell of the cathedral still standing

This reconnaissance photograph shows the Berlin suburb of Steglitz which was wiped out towards the end of the war

This low-level reconnaissance photograph shows the damage to the Krupps factory in Essen in April 1945


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