TVT Productions to produce a special documentary exploring the role of the iconic RAF ‘Dambusters’ bomber squadron on D-Day, to be shown on Smithsonian Channel in the UK and US to mark the 76thanniversary of the Allied landings in June.
In D-Day and the Dambusters (1×90’ for Smithsonian Channel UK / 1×60’ for Smithsonian Channel US), historian and former RAF navigator John Nichol reveals how 617 Squadron, the most famous RAF bomber unit of WWII, fooled Hitler and the German high command into believing the Allies were invading Calais, instead of Normandy, by creating the impression of a fake fleet with their Lancaster bombers.
Using once classified secret documents and log books, Nichol chronicles this mission and other precision bombing operations that 617 Squadron carried out after they attacked and breached the dams in the heart of Germany, which created their legend and earned them the nickname – The Dambusters – and helped win the war.
Nichol’s journey takes him to France, Germany and Finland to see for himself where the Dambusters changed the course of history – including former Nazi weapons sites which have been out-of-bounds since 1945.
Amongst the World War II veterans interviewed for the programme are numerous pilots and crew members from 617 Squadron, including the pilot from the raid on the dams who led the formation which created the fake fleet, as well as German veterans.
Charles Thompson, Executive Producer for TVTProductions says: “D-Day and the Dambusters is an unusual insight into the little-known history of how the brave RAF personnel of 617 Squadron spent the rest of the war following their incredible achievements as the Dambusters. John Nichol is a war hero himself (he was shot down in Iraq in 1991) and is able to uniquely relate to one of the most daring war-time raids of all time by speaking to some of those involved on both sides, while also uncovering new facts and visiting key historic locations.”
“We love to take a well-know story such as the Dambusters, and then surprise our audience with new insights and information” says David Royle, Chief Programming Officer for Smithsonian Channel. “Theirs is a tale of human drama and unimaginable courage, and their actions on and after D-Day helped changed the course of history.”
D-Day and the Dambusters is a TVT Production. It is executive produced by Charles Thompson and directed is Matthew Wortman. Joy Galane and David Royle serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.