We are delighted to announce the inaugural event at our new bookshop in Edinburgh, with renowned historian and journalist Sir Max Hastings. He will be joining us for an exclusive pre-publication event for his latest book: Chastise: The Dambusters Story 1943.
Come along to 2 Blenheim Place from 6.45pm for a glass of something and a tour of the bookshop under construction. Then we’ll head across the road to Ps and Gs Church for a dramatic retake on familiar history from a master of the art, starting at 8pm.
In this new book, Hastings offers a fresh and compelling account of the Dambusters raid. He grew up embracing the story, the classic 1955 movie and the memory of Guy Gibson, the 24-year-old wing-commander who led the raid.
In the 21st Century, however, Hastings urges us to see the Dambusters in much more complex shades. The aircrew’s heroism was entirely real, as was the brilliance of Barnes Wallis, inventor of the ‘bouncing bombs’. But commanders who promised their young fliers that success could shorten the war fantasised as ruthlessly as they did about the entire bomber offensive. Some 1,400 civilians perished in the floods that swept through the Mohne valley, more than half of them Russian and Polish women, and slave labourers.
It is a superb, moving and enthralling narrative, covering the action of one of the most extraordinary episodes in British wartime history.