RAF – The British Newspaper Archive Blog


On this day, 18 May

Today, we’re looking at two events that occurred on 18 May: the Khodynka Tragedy in 1896 and Jacqueline Cochran’s breaking of the sound barrier in 1953. Khodynka Tragedy The first took place in 1896 in the Khodynka Field, Moscow. The field was the site of festivities honouring the recent coronation of Emperor Nicholas II. Thousands gathered to celebrate and to, hopefully, receive rumoured gifts of food and a commemorative cup. With growing and increasingly frenzied crowds, the police force on

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The Dambusters Raid – 16 and 17 May 1943

On 16–17 May 1943, an attack on the Mohne and Edersee Dams was carried out by 617 Squadron, led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson. The attack famously used the ‘bouncing bombs’ that had been invented by Barnes Wallis. Included below is a newspaper report of the attack and also some photographs, which were published just two days afer the attack on the dams.      


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