07/03/2017 Points West


07/03/2017

The latest news, sport, weather and features from the West of England.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 07/03/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Welcome to BBC Points West with Alex Lovell and David Garmston.

:00:00.:00:00.

Johnny Johnson from Bristol is the last British veteran

:00:00.:00:12.

of the those daring raids into the Nazi heartland.

:00:13.:00:15.

Now, Michael Buerk takes him back to Germany.

:00:16.:00:20.

The Dambuster raid was one of the most extraordinary raids in history.

:00:21.:00:24.

But the whole bombing campaign against Germany

:00:25.:00:26.

in the Second World War remains strategically and

:00:27.:00:28.

Johnny meets a man almost killed in the raids,

:00:29.:00:35.

as even some Germans call for Mr Johnson to be knighted.

:00:36.:00:46.

The police stage a series of raids to cut off the drugs

:00:47.:00:59.

A boxer on the ropes but still fighting.

:01:00.:01:02.

A fund to help an athlete diagnosed with cancer.

:01:03.:01:10.

Cancer is in the red corner but I am still strong in the blue.

:01:11.:01:15.

Peaches Golding is the first black woman in Britain to be appointed

:01:16.:01:19.

Good evening, and welcome to a special edition of Points West.

:01:20.:01:28.

The growing calls for Britain's last surviving Dambuster,

:01:29.:01:35.

George Johnny Johnson from Bristol, to be honoured.

:01:36.:01:38.

Over 300,000 people have now signed a petition demanding a knighthood

:01:39.:01:41.

for the man who took part in one of the most daring flying missions

:01:42.:01:44.

When we hear "Dambusters", we automatically think of the 1950s

:01:45.:01:50.

But that was just a dramatisation of one of the many missions

:01:51.:01:57.

which RAF Bomber Command flew over Germany.

:01:58.:02:02.

The actual Dambusters raids began late one May evening in 1943.

:02:03.:02:09.

19 Lancaster bombers of 617 Squadron took off from Britain to attack

:02:10.:02:12.

three different dams, the Mohne, the Eder, and the Sorpe.

:02:13.:02:17.

Johnny Johnson's squadron was heading for the Sorpe,

:02:18.:02:19.

an altogether different design not at all suited to the bouncing bomb.

:02:20.:02:22.

One which needed a completely different, more audacious approach.

:02:23.:02:30.

As part of our 60th birthday year, we invited internationally acclaimed

:02:31.:02:33.

reporter Michael Buerk, who began his broadcasting career

:02:34.:02:37.

here at BBC Bristol, to take Mr Johnson back to Germany.

:02:38.:02:39.

They went to the place where he dropped his bombs and met

:02:40.:02:42.

Johnny Johnson may be looking at the present,

:02:43.:02:55.

He's back, three-quarters of a century, to a moonlit night,

:02:56.:03:01.

As a young man, he was part of RAF Bomber Command.

:03:02.:03:16.

Part of the sustained, lethal campaign against the Nazis'

:03:17.:03:18.

war machine that all but destroyed many of Germany's cities.

:03:19.:03:24.

A huge lake held back by the great Sorpe Dam.

:03:25.:03:34.

It's a tourist resort these days out of season.

:03:35.:03:36.

But 74 years ago, it was the target for the most famous

:03:37.:03:44.

The mission involved dropping specially invented bombs designed

:03:45.:03:51.

The Mohne, Eder and Sorpe Dams, captured in the 1950s

:03:52.:03:59.

As a bomb aimer, Johnny Johnson's job was to hit the Sorpe Dam.

:04:00.:04:10.

Our briefing was to fly across the dam to drop the bomb

:04:11.:04:13.

as near as possible to the centre of the dam.

:04:14.:04:20.

After six or seven of those, a voice from the back of rear turret,

:04:21.:04:23.

"Won't someone get rid of that bomb out of here."

:04:24.:04:26.

And, on the tenth run we were actually down to 30 feet.

:04:27.:04:31.

But ten times, you headed over the hill, over the town,

:04:32.:04:34.

down very sharply, 30 feet, drop it precisely in the middle,

:04:35.:04:38.

Ten times you tried before you got it right?

:04:39.:04:46.

It was something we hadn't practised at all in training,

:04:47.:04:50.

So it was practise, practise, practise here.

:04:51.:04:53.

Did you on this raid or any other have any thoughts for the people

:04:54.:05:06.

Not doing the actual operation at that time.

:05:07.:05:15.

Fritz Wortmann, then 14, was hiding in a tunnel

:05:16.:05:18.

The perfect air raid shelter, or so he thought.

:05:19.:05:30.

TRANSLATION: We went to the dam and got down to about 50 metres.

:05:31.:05:38.

After a certain time we heard the sound of engines.

:05:39.:05:41.

The intensity kept going up and down.

:05:42.:05:46.

Until suddenly there was a deafening explosion.

:05:47.:05:55.

The doors inside the dam burst open, and there

:05:56.:05:57.

Johnny's bomb was spot-on, but not enough to breach the Sorpe.

:05:58.:06:18.

Eight Lancasters were designated to hit the dam that night.

:06:19.:06:21.

But the other Dambusters blew great holes in the Mohne and Eder Dams.

:06:22.:06:33.

This old footage taken by an off-duty German soldier shows

:06:34.:06:35.

the breach at the Eder Dam two days after the attacks.

:06:36.:06:42.

Industrial valleys were flooded, depriving war factories

:06:43.:06:46.

of the water that they needed, badly frightening

:06:47.:06:48.

ARCHIVE: Wing Commander Gibson VC who led the great

:06:49.:06:57.

Lancaster raid over the dams, escorts the king during a visit

:06:58.:07:02.

by Their Majesties to an air station in the north of England.

:07:03.:07:05.

It was a godsend to a nation desperate for a victory.

:07:06.:07:08.

Johnny was there that day, personally congratulated by

:07:09.:07:10.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at RAF Scampton.

:07:11.:07:14.

..And resulted in enormous damage and dislocation to Germany's...

:07:15.:07:19.

No matter 1,300 German civilians had died.

:07:20.:07:21.

No matter the damage to Nazi war production was only temporary.

:07:22.:07:24.

The war's supreme feat of precision flying had dealt Hitler

:07:25.:07:27.

Now as two old men by the side of a lake where they both nearly

:07:28.:07:50.

Friends now, until the end of their days.

:07:51.:08:04.

And later in the programme, Michael will explore why Mr Johnson

:08:05.:08:08.

may have been overlooked for a knighthood and why the men

:08:09.:08:11.

of Bomber Command have never received a campaign medal.

:08:12.:08:15.

Four people have been arrested in simultaneous raids in London this

:08:16.:08:18.

morning in connection with the supply of class A drugs

:08:19.:08:20.

The constabulary made the arrests with help

:08:21.:08:24.

Our Gloucestershire reporter Steve Knibbs joined the operation

:08:25.:08:27.

in Peckham and Lewisham in the early hours of this morning.

:08:28.:08:31.

This is the culmination of a long investigation.

:08:32.:08:36.

Stand-by, stand-by, strike, strike, strike!

:08:37.:08:39.

30 police officers from Gloucestershire carry out

:08:40.:08:45.

simultaneous strikes on four buildings, to arrest four people

:08:46.:08:48.

they believe are heavily involved in supplying drugs into the county.

:08:49.:08:52.

Within minutes, all four targets are arrested.

:08:53.:08:55.

Three men and one woman, all on suspicion of

:08:56.:08:57.

All, apart from one of them, are also suspected

:08:58.:09:02.

With the suspects in custody, specialist search teams

:09:03.:09:13.

and scenes of crime officers look in every nook

:09:14.:09:15.

At the moment we've seized a quantity of cash,

:09:16.:09:18.

various mobile phones, documentation regarding

:09:19.:09:19.

These arrests were part of Operation Sideswipe,

:09:20.:09:24.

aimed at targeting so-called dangerous drugs networks.

:09:25.:09:27.

Effectively, gangs who prey on vulnerable users

:09:28.:09:29.

They'll often take over someone's house to deal from,

:09:30.:09:34.

so-called cuckooing, all under threat

:09:35.:09:36.

This is one of the most significant operations launched

:09:37.:09:40.

by Gloucestershire Constabulary in recent years.

:09:41.:09:43.

It's taken months of gathering intelligence and analysing that

:09:44.:09:47.

intelligence, and detectives say it proves their determination to show

:09:48.:09:50.

that Gloucestershire isn't an easy target for those who want to deal

:09:51.:09:53.

These people think they can come in to Gloucester and commit

:09:54.:09:59.

the crimes they are doing, selling drugs to our

:10:00.:10:01.

young vulnerable people, and exploiting people.

:10:02.:10:02.

This is why it's important that we do take the fight back to them.

:10:03.:10:08.

They know who we are, and we look at arresting them

:10:09.:10:12.

and seizing their assets that are obtained through

:10:13.:10:14.

All four arrested today are still in custody,

:10:15.:10:18.

as the investigation into serious drug dealing in Gloucestershire

:10:19.:10:20.

continues in and away from the county.

:10:21.:10:23.

Steve Knibbs, BBC Points West, London.

:10:24.:10:28.

Peaches Golding says she's delighted at being chosen to be

:10:29.:10:30.

She'll be the first black person in history to be a lord lieutenant

:10:31.:10:38.

when she takes up the role in six weeks' time.

:10:39.:10:41.

The ceremonial role means she's the Queen's representative

:10:42.:10:43.

in the city, and Peaches says she'll do all she can to

:10:44.:10:46.

I think the term you guys use is "gobsmacked".

:10:47.:10:54.

That just doesn't happen to ordinary people like me.

:10:55.:11:01.

So, I guess, what it does prove is ordinary people can do

:11:02.:11:04.

She says her father who was a civil rights campaigner has always

:11:05.:11:16.

inspired her to fight for fairness and equality, something she says she

:11:17.:11:21.

will continue to do as Lord Lieutenant.

:11:22.:11:21.

Congratulations to her. A fundraising campaign's been

:11:22.:11:23.

launched for a Bristol boxer who's been diagnosed

:11:24.:11:25.

with incurable cancer. Dean Francis, who won many

:11:26.:11:27.

titles in his career, has been told been by doctors

:11:28.:11:29.

there's nothing more they can do. But now the boxing world is helping

:11:30.:11:32.

him in his biggest fight yet. Of all these champion

:11:33.:11:35.

boxers from Bristol, one has been handed

:11:36.:11:40.

the fight of his life. Dean Francis has bowel cancer,

:11:41.:11:43.

and it's spread to his liver. He has between six months,

:11:44.:11:52.

and three years to live. When they initially

:11:53.:11:56.

told me, I was numb. Me and my wife were

:11:57.:12:01.

looking at each other. I am going to approach it

:12:02.:12:04.

in the same way, positive, Cancer is in the red corner but I am

:12:05.:12:11.

still strong in the blue. And his support in that corner

:12:12.:12:22.

led by a world champion. He has always been

:12:23.:12:25.

a mentally strong person. He would come in the gym dancing,

:12:26.:12:29.

so confident about himself. I wanted to be like him,

:12:30.:12:32.

just the way he spoke to people I'm going to be just as strong

:12:33.:12:36.

for him, we will together. We are convinced we are

:12:37.:12:43.

going to beat this. The plan is to raise

:12:44.:12:47.

?100,000 online, to explore At times, it makes me emotional

:12:48.:12:49.

when I think about how much people My only wish is that,

:12:50.:12:54.

when I was fighting, they were around so I could have

:12:55.:12:57.

sold more tickets! But, yes, honestly,

:12:58.:13:00.

it is heart-warming! The fight is still very

:13:01.:13:04.

much in Dean Francis. Against the ropes, yes,

:13:05.:13:14.

but he's never been beaten easily. His spirit is so admirable,

:13:15.:13:32.

incredible. I am sure his positive vibes will

:13:33.:13:34.

beat it. Gloucestershire's triple

:13:35.:13:38.

Olympic gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin has received

:13:39.:13:39.

a CBE for services to equestrianism. She was presented with the honour

:13:40.:13:41.

by Her Majesty the Queen. Charlotte is the most successful

:13:42.:13:44.

British dressage rider ever. It's been confirmed that

:13:45.:13:49.

Gloucester Rugby head coach It follows Saturday's 30-27 defeat

:13:50.:13:51.

by Harlequins at Kingsholm. Fisher later tweeted

:13:52.:13:57.

that it was "time to make Bristol City take on Norwich

:13:58.:14:00.

tonight at Ashton Gate, looking to climb out

:14:01.:14:06.

of the Championship relegation zone. They dropped into the bottom

:14:07.:14:09.

three for the first time this season on Saturday,

:14:10.:14:12.

following their goalless City have won just twice

:14:13.:14:13.

in 21 league games. We return now to our main story,

:14:14.:14:24.

and the growing campaign to award a knighthood to Britain's last

:14:25.:14:31.

surviving Dambuster George "Johnny" Earlier in the programme,

:14:32.:14:34.

our guest reporter Michael Buerk took Mr Johnson back to Germany

:14:35.:14:37.

to revisit the dam he bombed and to be reconciled

:14:38.:14:40.

with his former enemy. It's hard for any of us to imagine

:14:41.:14:46.

what Johnny and his fellow airmen would have seen and felt,

:14:47.:14:51.

as they flew low over the Sorpe Dam. We've created this 360 degree video

:14:52.:14:54.

which hopefully will give If we run this video for you,

:14:55.:14:56.

instead of approaching the dam from across the water like the other

:14:57.:15:05.

two missions, Johnny's aircraft had to negotiate this hilltop

:15:06.:15:08.

village into the valley so that he could drop his bomb

:15:09.:15:10.

in the middle of the dam. They hadn't been able to practise,

:15:11.:15:15.

and it took ten attempts before Johnny finally succeeded

:15:16.:15:18.

in hitting his target. They then had to make

:15:19.:15:20.

their escape over the forest. This 360 film is on our

:15:21.:15:25.

Facebook page now. So to Michael's second film

:15:26.:15:34.

in which he explores why the men of Bomber Command have never

:15:35.:15:39.

received a campaign medal. And he joins us afterwards

:15:40.:15:41.

to discuss why Johnny Johnson may have been overlooked

:15:42.:15:44.

for a knighthood. It was by far the most dangerous

:15:45.:15:45.

campaign of the war. Half those who took off to bomb

:15:46.:15:53.

Germany never came back. Of those who returned,

:15:54.:15:57.

only a few, now mostly 57,500 RAF Bomber Command

:15:58.:15:59.

airmen were lost. Historians believe these aircrews

:16:00.:16:11.

were responsible for the deaths of a quarter of a million

:16:12.:16:13.

German civilians. Nobody doubts the bravery

:16:14.:16:16.

and sacrifice. But what did it achieve,

:16:17.:16:19.

and was it justified? It's still controversial today,

:16:20.:16:28.

and the reason perhaps Bomber Command never

:16:29.:16:30.

got its own campaign medal. Just this thin and nondescript

:16:31.:16:40.

class, grudging, 70 years later, given to Bomber Command veterans

:16:41.:16:43.

three years ago. Johnny Johnson, last of

:16:44.:16:45.

the British Dambusters, despises it. Disgusted is the best

:16:46.:16:49.

way I can describe it. I feel that there has been no

:16:50.:16:52.

attempt to recognise the sacrifice ARCHIVE: The largest convoy ever

:16:53.:16:55.

taken to Russia is feeling its way through the danger belt

:16:56.:17:09.

north of Scandinavia. The worst journey in the world,

:17:10.:17:11.

Churchill called it. The veterans of the Arctic convoys

:17:12.:17:15.

who took arms and munitions to Stalin's Russia were finally

:17:16.:17:18.

recognised at the same time. It gives me huge pleasure

:17:19.:17:20.

to give you that. They were given their own full-blown

:17:21.:17:23.

campaign medal, the Arctic Star. It has made the surviving bomber

:17:24.:17:28.

boys feel even more rejected and fuelled the arguments over

:17:29.:17:31.

what they did, arguments I do think the reluctance to issue

:17:32.:17:34.

a Bomber Command medal at this stage does reflect how controversial

:17:35.:17:47.

it is, and the possible upset it would cause

:17:48.:17:49.

in Germany if they do, oh, they're decorating these people

:17:50.:17:51.

who destroyed our parents' cities. There is an embarrassment

:17:52.:17:54.

and uncertainty about how we should The city was attacked

:17:55.:17:56.

nearly 80 times. And now they are going

:17:57.:18:07.

to reap the whirlwind. For years, it was the only

:18:08.:18:18.

way Britain that could Five million Germans

:18:19.:18:24.

lost their homes. But critics say Bomber Command's

:18:25.:18:31.

impact on the war effort was less than claimed,

:18:32.:18:35.

and the continued destruction of German cities when the war

:18:36.:18:37.

was nearly won unjustifiable. Johnny Johnson is

:18:38.:18:41.

having none of that. Do you think that one of the reasons

:18:42.:18:46.

that Bomber Command wasn't properly recognised was almost a sense

:18:47.:18:50.

of shame at the death and destruction that

:18:51.:18:52.

Bomber Command caused? But I am quite convinced that

:18:53.:18:58.

Bomber Command fought the war I have a better version for what I

:18:59.:19:12.

called retrospective historians. Were you personally aware

:19:13.:19:21.

of the circumstances The answer to both

:19:22.:19:29.

those questions is, no. Johnny Johnson had

:19:30.:19:36.

a troubled childhood. An ordinary boy swept up by the war

:19:37.:19:39.

into the most famous RAF Not a hero, he says,

:19:40.:19:42.

not brave really. You say your lack of fear,

:19:43.:19:46.

your lack of emotion I had the misfortune or tragedy

:19:47.:19:55.

of losing my mother a fortnight From my early youth,

:19:56.:20:09.

a lot of the emotion They flew into history on the most

:20:10.:20:12.

famous bombing raid of them all. He is the last one left in Britain,

:20:13.:20:24.

the last one who can I feel very satisfied that I did

:20:25.:20:27.

what I could during the war. And I feel, in fact,

:20:28.:20:45.

honoured to have had the chance to take part,

:20:46.:20:51.

certainly, and in A chance to do my bit

:20:52.:20:57.

towards the war effort. That, I think, is the one

:20:58.:21:02.

thing I feel a proudness. Yes, proud that I

:21:03.:21:05.

was able to do that. Michael, thank you for coming

:21:06.:21:08.

in to talk to us about this. What was it like to take

:21:09.:21:22.

Johnny Johnson back to Germany? From my point of view,

:21:23.:21:25.

a real privilege. Living history, the last

:21:26.:21:27.

remaining British Dambuster, of the most famous bombing mission

:21:28.:21:34.

of the war, any war. To actually go back with him

:21:35.:21:38.

to the very point where That's so patronising,

:21:39.:21:40.

but really bright as a button. And to be there, you can see what it

:21:41.:21:49.

meant to him, see it in his eyes. You don't get the emotion,

:21:50.:21:54.

he is of that generation. As a television viewer,

:21:55.:22:00.

or being there, the emotions going through his mind

:22:01.:22:06.

even if he wasn't, even if his As journalists, we have

:22:07.:22:08.

to keep out of politics. But what do you think

:22:09.:22:12.

about this honours business? Well, his point of view

:22:13.:22:17.

is that he would love a knighthood. On behalf of all the people who lost

:22:18.:22:20.

their lives in Bomber command. And all those who went

:22:21.:22:26.

through it all and survived And they never got this

:22:27.:22:29.

campaign medal for all sorts And he feels, I think, as a lot

:22:30.:22:32.

of people running this campaign, if he got a knighthood, this would

:22:33.:22:44.

be the recognition that has so far A higher casualty rate

:22:45.:22:48.

than any other units in the war. A lot of people feel

:22:49.:22:53.

they weren't recognised, Then, the human cost

:22:54.:22:55.

of it, in Germany. We could do a moral maze programme

:22:56.:22:58.

about this, couldn't we? They bombed Bristol, bombed,

:22:59.:23:05.

Coventry, that kind of stuff. It was the only way we could hit

:23:06.:23:13.

back for a large portion of the war. I think it becomes more morally

:23:14.:23:17.

questionable when you get to the end of the war,

:23:18.:23:19.

when this huge bombing campaign was going on,

:23:20.:23:22.

and it was not particularly precise, Anyway, we were winning the war,

:23:23.:23:25.

should it have gone on so long, should so many more

:23:26.:23:35.

have been killed. Some morally questionable

:23:36.:23:37.

areas there. But Johnny wasn't

:23:38.:23:38.

having any of that. From his point of view,

:23:39.:23:40.

you had to be up there When Points West started

:23:41.:23:43.

going on air, this would What you brought out of your film

:23:44.:23:46.

was a beautiful moment, this sense Yes, the other thing

:23:47.:23:52.

that was interesting, in Germany, We haven't got one,

:23:53.:23:58.

they have got one there! The chap who runs the Dambusters

:23:59.:24:03.

Museum who came to see us, he thinks Johnny ought

:24:04.:24:07.

to get a knighthood. He thinks Bomber Command

:24:08.:24:10.

ought to be recognised. If the Germans think that,

:24:11.:24:13.

there is the interesting argument that perhaps we should

:24:14.:24:15.

think that too. Welcome back to the west,

:24:16.:24:17.

what was it like to come back? I came down White Ladies

:24:18.:24:22.

Road, and it all came You are welcome at any

:24:23.:24:28.

time, just don't ask to present the news,

:24:29.:24:32.

Michael! I did ask to present

:24:33.:24:35.

the news all those years ago and they turned me down,

:24:36.:24:38.

I'm afraid. And you can watch even more

:24:39.:24:41.

of Johnny's journey back to Germany She is in London tonight. If Michael

:24:42.:25:09.

would have asked to do the weather, he would have had a cracking

:25:10.:25:12.

picture. Some of them sum up the day. Here it

:25:13.:25:18.

is, blue sky with Cloud pushing towards us. Stretching all the way

:25:19.:25:23.

back to the Atlantic which means normally you have some rain in the

:25:24.:25:27.

forecast. That is what is happening in the next few hours, a rain band

:25:28.:25:32.

pushing in, and a warm front bringing milder air. We see a tangle

:25:33.:25:38.

of other fronts. Downhill in terms of the weather but uphill as it work

:25:39.:25:44.

in terms of temperatures. As the rain pumps in tonight, it boosts the

:25:45.:25:48.

temperature up to 11 degrees tomorrow morning. A different start

:25:49.:25:55.

to this morning. But the continued to see more rain.

:25:56.:25:59.

Flight and patchy through the day, some hill fog. Drier interludes

:26:00.:26:03.

particularly in Gloucestershire before further rain by the end of

:26:04.:26:08.

the day. Look at these temperatures, it will feel like spring even though

:26:09.:26:14.

you have some rain, 13 degrees. The rain pushes away tomorrow night.

:26:15.:26:18.

Into Thursday, a ridge of high pressure builds in, meaning we are

:26:19.:26:25.

looking at a cracking day on Thursday. Some cloud at first. Some

:26:26.:26:31.

breaks in the clouds from the north in the afternoon, sunny and bright

:26:32.:26:36.

styles coming through. On the breezy side but not significant winds. 14

:26:37.:26:44.

Celsius. It will feel very nice. Friday, continuing to hold onto the

:26:45.:26:49.

milder air. There could be some patchy rain at times. Bright spells

:26:50.:26:56.

at weekends. Colder at the start of next week.

:26:57.:26:58.

Thank you so much for being on tonight.

:26:59.:27:00.

You've been watching a special edition of Points West.

:27:01.:27:02.

Thank you for your company this evening.

:27:03.:27:04.

We leave you tonight with just a few images of Britain's last

:27:05.:27:08.

Dambuster George "Johnny" Johnson on his emotional return to Germany.

:27:09.:28:13.

I could be a boxing champ, AND build your computer.

:28:14.:28:17.

I am more than just the beard or the nation's favourite dish.

:28:18.:28:21.

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS