Nine years ago I was standing on the beach at Reculver in Kent. I was taking photographs of some soldiers from the Territorial Army as they dug into the mud while the tide was low. They were trying to take two dummy bombs out of the sea which had sat there since World War Two. The reason this exercise was so interesting was that they were the bouncing bombs used in practice for the famous Dam Busters raid.
Why have a bomb that bounces? The idea was to destroy three dams that held the water in German reservoirs. They generated electricity for war production so they were important targets. They also had torpedo nets and were too strong to be destroyed by a normal bomb. However, engineer Barnes Wallis calculated that if a standard bomb were placed next to the dam wall on the side of the water, the explosion and the water pressure together would knock the dam down. Problem: How do you get a bomb right up against a dam wall without getting it caught in a torpedo net? Solution: Bounce it across the water in just the right way so that it stops when it hits the dam wall.
That was the idea. They knocked down two of the three but lost a lot of the flight crew on the way. In the fifties one of the most popular British war films was made about this raid. This is why so many people know about it. The trouble was that the details of the bomb were still top secret so some of the information is not all that accurate. Now film fans like me have found out that there is going to be a remake. The producer is going to be the famous Peter Jackson, who directed the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
Some people think this is a mistake. There is an old saying „If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” which people often say when a remake is announced. On the other hand, some of the special effects in the original were terrible. To create the explosions in the water, the film crew drew a cartoon explosion outline and inside it they had a film of some running water. Even the baby dragon in Wiedzmin wasn’t that bad. Also Peter Jackson has said that the original music is not going to change. This might convince some sceptics, as it is one of the most famous parts of the film.
I think I can predict one change though. Wing Commander Guy Gibson, the squadron leader, had a dog which appears in the film. It’s a completely black dog and its name was a word that can’t be said in public any more. To give you a clue, when the film came out in America they changed two letters and called it ‘trigger”. •
to dig (past tense ‘dug”) – wykopać
mud – błoto
the tide – pływ
The tide can be out, in, high and low.
a dummy – atrapa
to bounce – odbić
a raid – wypad
a reservoir – zbiornik
accurate – ścisły
to announce something – ogłosić
Did you know?
Hydroelectric power stations can be turned on and off quickly. There are times during the day when a lot of people use electricity at the same time. This means the price of electricity from power stations is different throughout the day, and the most expensive comes from this type of power station. That means they make the most money per kilowatt.
During the night time, some dams reverse the turbines and pump the water back up into the reservoir. It costs money to do this, but it means the dam can act as a giant rechargeable battery.
Here are some other places where you can find water. Put them in order from widest to narrowest.
As a general rule it would be:
estuary, lake, pond, canal, stream, font.
polecane: Pierwszy Polak połknął elektroniczną pigułkę