The Dambusters connection
|Secret tests in the
The Nant-y-Gro experiments were preceded by trials on scale models at government research stations near London, involving the detonation of scaled amounts of explosives at varying distances from the walls of the model dams. In May 1942 the first live explosive tests on the dam itself were carried out in the Elan Valley, watched by Barnes Wallis. These first attempts were spectacular, but they did not seriously damage the Nant-y-Gro dam.
photograph shown here records the effect of the test detonation
of explosives in direct contact with the dam wall, as viewed
from the upstream side.
Caban Coch reservoir can be seen beyond the remains of the Nant-y-Gro dam.
The location of
After further development work, another attempt was made in
July 1942. A mine was suspended at the optimum depth by scaffolding
from the mid point of the 180 feet long dam, and detonated remotely.
A huge central section of the dam wall was successfully blasted
away in a massive explosion.
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