The Edersee
The Edersee Dam is a hydroelectric dam constructed between 1908 to 1914 across the Eder river, near the small town of Waldeck in northern Hesse, Germany, it lies at the northern edge of the Kellerwald...

is a hydroelectric
Hydroelectricity is the term referring to electricity generated by hydropower; the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy...

A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. Hydropower and pumped-storage hydroelectricity are...

 constructed between 1908 to 1914 across the Eder
The Eder is a 177 km long river in Germany, and a tributary of the Fulda River. It was first mentioned by the Roman historian Tacitus as the Adrana in the territory of the Chatti....

 river, near the small town of Waldeck
Waldeck, Hesse
Waldeck is a small town in Waldeck-Frankenberg district in northwestern Hesse, Germany.-Location:Waldeck lies on the Edersee, a man-made lake...

 in northern Hesse
Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, it lies at the northern edge of the Kellerwald
The Kellerwald is a low mountain range reaching heights of up to 675 m in the western part of northern Hesse, Germany.Its assets include Germany's largest contiguous beech woodland and it contains Hesse's only national park, the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park.- Geography :The Kellerwald lies in...

. The dam is primarily used hydroelectric power generation and to regulate water levels for shipping on the Weser river.

In World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the dam was as part of Operation Chastise
Operation Chastise
Operation Chastise was an attack on German dams carried out on 16–17 May 1943 by Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron, subsequently known as the "Dambusters", using a specially developed "bouncing bomb" invented and developed by Barnes Wallis...

, destroyed by special bouncing bomb
Bouncing bomb
A bouncing bomb is a bomb designed specifically to bounce to a target across water in a calculated manner, in order to avoid obstacles such as torpedo nets, and to allow both the bomb's speed on arrival at the target and the timing of its detonation to be pre-determined...

s dropped by British Lancaster
Avro Lancaster
The Avro Lancaster is a British four-engined Second World War heavy bomber made initially by Avro for the Royal Air Force . It first saw active service in 1942, and together with the Handley Page Halifax it was one of the main heavy bombers of the RAF, the RCAF, and squadrons from other...

 bombers of No. 617 Squadron RAF
No. 617 Squadron RAF
No. 617 Squadron is a Royal Air Force aircraft squadron based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland. It currently operates the Tornado GR4 in the ground attack and reconnaissance role...

 in the early morning of May 17, 1943, creating massive destruction and loss of life downstream. Through the breach in the dam, 70 metres (229.7 ft) wide and 22 metres (72.2 ft) deep, water emptied at the rate of 8000 m3/s into the narrow valley below, a total of about 160 hm³. A flood wave of 6–8 m (19.7–26.2 ft) in height roared through the river valley as far as 30 kilometres (18.6 mi) downstream, before it diminished in the widening floodplains of the lower Eder, the Fulda and the Weser. About 70 people died (some non-German sources erroneously cite an early total of 749 for all foreigners killed in all POW
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 and labor camp
Labor camp
A labor camp is a simplified detention facility where inmates are forced to engage in penal labor. Labor camps have many common aspects with slavery and with prisons...

s downriver of the Möhne dam as casualties at a supposed POW or labor camp just below the Eder Dam.)

The dam was rebuilt within months by forced labor drawn from the construction of the Atlantic Wall
Atlantic Wall
The Atlantic Wall was an extensive system of coastal fortifications built by Nazi Germany between 1942 and 1944 along the western coast of Europe as a defense against an anticipated Allied invasion of the mainland continent from Great Britain.-History:On March 23, 1942 Führer Directive Number 40...

 under the command of Organisation Todt
Organisation Todt
The Todt Organisation, was a Third Reich civil and military engineering group in Germany named after its founder, Fritz Todt, an engineer and senior Nazi figure...

, and the lake today is a major summertime recreational facility. Its capacity of 199300 cubic metres (260,674.6 cu yd) makes it the third largest reservoir in Germany.

At low water, in late summers of dry years, the remnants of three villages (Asel, Bringhausen, and Berich), along with a bridge across the original river bed, that were submerged when the lake was filled in 1914, can be seen, and descendants of people buried in the now submerged cemeteries go to visit the graves of their ancestors.

Popular culture

  • The 1954 film, The Dam Busters
    The Dam Busters (film)
    The Dam Busters is a 1955 British Second World War war film starring Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd and directed by Michael Anderson. The film recreates the true story of Operation Chastise when in 1943 the RAF's 617 Squadron attacked the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe dams in Germany with Wallis's...

    chronicled the British attack on the dam.
  • In the game Call of Duty, the player, an SAS operator must destroy the dam, as the Germans rebuilt it. He must also sabotage AA guns and disable its electric generators. The dam returns in Call of Duty 3
    Call of Duty 3
    Call of Duty 3 is a World War II first-person shooter and the third installment in the Call of Duty video game series first released on November 7, 2006. It has been released for all three seventh generation video game systems: the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii...

    as a multiplayer map.

External links

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