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Case Number 23341: Small Claims Court

Bombing Hitler's Damns

PBS // 2012 // 120 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 18th, 2012

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson is a dam fool.

The Case

World War II was a horrifying and catastrophic period of human history, no doubt, but holy cow have so many amazing stories come out of it. And this one is a doozy.

Having seen so much failure in their tactical bombing runs, the British Air Force was desperate to make a dent in Nazi infrastructure. Enter Cambridge engineer Barnes Wallis, the developer of one of the craziest, most innovative pieces of war tech ever devised. The target: two of Germany's largest dams, pivotal to the country's industry. The weapon: some crazy "bouncing bombs," dropped by bombers powering over just 30 or so feet over the water. The bombs hit the water, skip like flat stones and bury themselves into the dams, causing major damage to Hitler's industrial war machine.

Bombing Hitler's Damns blends the storytelling of Wallis's brainstorm with a team of present day engineers researching the mechanics behind his invention and, ultimately, attempting to recreate the tactic themselves (minus the explosives and loss of life of course). It's a nice approach, exhibiting Wallis's accomplishment into easy-to-grasp principles, illustrated by hands-on down-and-dirty engineering.

If you're into these sort of awesome, under-the-radar history stories and reality shows like Mythbusters, there is much to enjoy with Bombing Hitler's Dams. Definitely worth a look.

The DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 2.0 stereo, no extras.

The Verdict

Good stuff from NOVA once again. Not Guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 90

Perp Profile

Studio: PBS
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 120 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary
• Historical
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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