And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
It had to be carried in specially adapted planes, across occupied Europe, at night, by a squadron formed just eight weeks earlier.
And, of course, the dams had to break.
While the dams and reservoirs of the Ruhr valley, which fed the industrial powerhouse of the Nazi state, had been identified as possible targets in the late 1930s, and noted engineer Barnes Wallis had been developing a suitable bomb since 1940, Operation Chastise was essentially a frantic race against time.
The right combination of highest water levels and full moon, to make the attacks theoretically feasible, happened in mid May. Full authorisation had been given in February.
On the anniversary of the raid, a Lancaster bomber flew over Derwent Reservoir, where the raiders practiced. A short but sweet video.