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(National Geographic)   75 years ago a small team of Norwegian commandos dealt a crippling blow to the Nazi atomic bomb program   ( relay.nationalgeographic.com) divider line
    More: Hero, Nuclear fission, AtomicBomb, daring sabotage mission, heavy water, Nazi-controlledheavy water, Nuclear weapon, Prize-winnerWerner Heisenberg, high barbed wire  
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2305 clicks; posted to Geek » on 01 Mar 2018 at 11:35 AM (19 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-03-01 10:13:32 AM  
And we celebrate it every 4 years by watching Norway dominate the bi-athlon in the Olympics.
 
2018-03-01 11:42:26 AM  
Operation Gunnerside.  Awesome name.
 
2018-03-01 11:51:44 AM  
awesome read subby, think I'll have to check out that book.
 
2018-03-01 11:52:38 AM  
I enjoyed The Heavy Water War on this very topic.  It appears like it is no longer on Netflix though, which is a shame since I can't imagine people will pay to watch it on amazon.

/warning: subtitles
 
2018-03-01 11:53:12 AM  
Norway that they did Nazi that coming.
 
2018-03-01 11:54:57 AM  
Asch main Gott, die commando!
NO WAY!
 
2018-03-01 11:55:36 AM  
Read that book on vacation last year. It's interesting, but a little dull (it's not a "war" book in the action sense).
 
2018-03-01 11:55:47 AM  
The obvious question is why didn't they just bomb the plant back into the Stone Age?
[Laughs.] That's what the Americans wanted to do in early 1942!


This kind of writing makes me angry
 
2018-03-01 11:57:52 AM  
Those commandos were world-class badasses.
 
2018-03-01 11:58:00 AM  

Uncle Eazy: Read that book on vacation last year. It's interesting, but a little dull (it's not a "war" book in the action sense).


The "World War II Action Mine" is getting a bit tapped out, over 70 years later, so, yeah, we'll see more and more about less and less, methinks.
 
2018-03-01 11:59:31 AM  

Meatsim1: The obvious question is why didn't they just bomb the plant back into the Stone Age?
[Laughs.] That's what the Americans wanted to do in early 1942!

This kind of writing makes me angry


[Nods approvingly]
 
2018-03-01 12:00:29 PM  

Lumber Jack Off: awesome read subby, think I'll have to check out that book.


The author gave a pretty good book talk on "The Winter Fortress" at the International Spy Museum, C-SPAN filmed it.

The Atomic Heritage Foundation has another really good article on Operation Gunnerside.
 
2018-03-01 12:01:08 PM  
The book is worth reading.
 
2018-03-01 12:02:05 PM  
Book bookmark
 
2018-03-01 12:03:10 PM  

Chris Ween: And we celebrate it every 4 years by watching Norway dominate the bi-athlon in the Olympics.


The Winter Olympics should make a tetrathlon, add climbing and explosives demolition phases to the biathlon.
 
2018-03-01 12:05:48 PM  
MacReady likes what the swedes did back then.
 
2018-03-01 12:06:46 PM  
My pops was in the military for 22 years and his job basically was to train special forces such as green beret, S.E.A.L., Blue Light, and a half dozen others including allies from around the world. His specialty was camouflage and sapper breaching. He said he trained some of the best of the best on this planet and the only two special forces he was truly terrified of were Norwegians and Australians.

I asked him why and he said "Australians are crazy motherfarkers. If you piss them off you're basically condemning yourself to a death sentence." when I asked about the Norwegians he said "They're basically like the Australians except they aren't crazy and you don't have to piss them off to condemn yourself to a death sentence."

He had some damn good stories about training those guys. Including how during down time the Australian guys decided to entertain everyone by reenacting the "Bruce" skit from Monty Python.
 
2018-03-01 12:07:02 PM  
I've been to that area. When you see how deep and steep the canyon is, you marvel at the bravery and skill the Norwegians had. Great story.
 
2018-03-01 12:08:43 PM  

Schmerd1948: I've been to that area. When you see how deep and steep the canyon is, you marvel at the bravery and skill the Norwegians had. Great story.


The Germans didn't guard it because they thought it was impossible to climb in the winter.
 
2018-03-01 12:16:37 PM  

Polish Hussar: Schmerd1948: I've been to that area. When you see how deep and steep the canyon is, you marvel at the bravery and skill the Norwegians had. Great story.

The Germans didn't guard it because they thought it was impossible to climb in the winter.


Kind of like leaving the exhaust chute unguarded, with similar results.
 
2018-03-01 12:18:25 PM  
HD Trailer - Norwegian Ninja (English Subtitles)
Youtube 4wNVjI9bJIk

^ Obligatory
 
2018-03-01 12:37:02 PM  

Nick Nostril: Polish Hussar: Schmerd1948: I've been to that area. When you see how deep and steep the canyon is, you marvel at the bravery and skill the Norwegians had. Great story.

The Germans didn't guard it because they thought it was impossible to climb in the winter.

Kind of like leaving the exhaust chute unguarded, with similar results.


Point of order. The Empire did not know about the exhaust chute, or at least that it was a major weak point (See: Rogue One).
 
2018-03-01 12:56:27 PM  
There is an older book on this subject that I've read called Assault in Norway:  Sabotaging the Nazi Nuclear Program by Thomas Gallagher that I've read and recommend highly.  He was able to interview some of the commandos and has some of their pictures as well.  The most amazing part to me, beyond climbing the unclimbable rock face of course, the commandos had to escape the town on skis and split up to make it harder to capture the whole group.  One of them got shot in the leg by pursuing soldiers and knew he couldn't get far.  So once he eldued them, he turns himself in at the next village, saying he was trying to chase those commandos for the Nazis when one of them shot him.  Since the villagers all knew everyone all around, they weren't fooled, but the Germans were, so after a few weeks recovering while they covered for him, he was able escape again.  It would make such an amazing film because the details are so incredible there would be no need to exaggerate at thing.  The Heroes of Tellemark doesn't begin to do the story justice.  Of course, we'll see Mousetrap! The Motion Picture and Pirates of the Carribean 14: Johnny Depp Needs Money long before Hollywood would consider an original script over a sequel or marketing tie-in.
 
2018-03-01 12:58:50 PM  

Polish Hussar: Schmerd1948: I've been to that area. When you see how deep and steep the canyon is, you marvel at the bravery and skill the Norwegians had. Great story.

The Germans didn't guard it because they thought it was impossible to climb in the winter.


Then during the chase, Germans suddenly found out otherwise.
Must have been an executive decision, which one doesn't question. Otherwise some sergeant would have had a little contest to test the idea.
 
2018-03-01 01:08:33 PM  

Uncle Eazy: Nick Nostril: Polish Hussar: Schmerd1948: I've been to that area. When you see how deep and steep the canyon is, you marvel at the bravery and skill the Norwegians had. Great story.

The Germans didn't guard it because they thought it was impossible to climb in the winter.

Kind of like leaving the exhaust chute unguarded, with similar results.

Point of order. The Empire did not know about the exhaust chute, or at least that it was a major weak point (See: Rogue One).


Not to be critical, but you were bored by a book about real life heroics, but know every details of a fantasy war. That's fine, but it makes me worry all the smart people will give up on reality and leave it to the Trump brigade.
 
2018-03-01 01:19:56 PM  

Schmerd1948: Uncle Eazy: Nick Nostril: Polish Hussar: Schmerd1948: I've been to that area. When you see how deep and steep the canyon is, you marvel at the bravery and skill the Norwegians had. Great story.

The Germans didn't guard it because they thought it was impossible to climb in the winter.

Kind of like leaving the exhaust chute unguarded, with similar results.

Point of order. The Empire did not know about the exhaust chute, or at least that it was a major weak point (See: Rogue One).

Not to be critical, but you were bored by a book about real life heroics, but know every details of a fantasy war. That's fine, but it makes me worry all the smart people will give up on reality and leave it to the Trump brigade.


Yes. Because enjoying a movie series and remembering a major plot point and finding a book dull (even if a true story) are totally things that can be compared.
 
2018-03-01 01:22:34 PM  

Samsquantch: One of them got shot in the leg by pursuing soldiers and knew he couldn't get far.  So once he eldued them, he turns himself in at the next village, saying he was trying to chase those commandos for the Nazis when one of them shot him.  Since the villagers all knew everyone all around, they weren't fooled, but the Germans were, so after a few weeks recovering while they covered for him, he was able escape again.


That was Claus Helberg. He wasn't wounded in the gunfight with the German soldier on skis, but he did break his arm when he skied off a cliff that night.

From his Wiki page:
"After skiing for hours, an exchange of shots occurred between Helberg and the soldier; the latter was wounded and Helberg, though exhausted, finally got away from the patrol. Because it had gotten darker, he skied off a cliff and broke his arm. He continued to ski for another twelve miles and avoided yet another patrol of German soldiers near Mogen. After receiving help from Norwegians in Mogen and Rauland, he went to the Germans and was able to convince them that he had broken his arm while working for the Germans searching the Hardanger Plateau for the saboteurs. The soldiers believed his story and took him to the German field doctor, and then on to Dalen. Then he went to a hotel and was able to get a room.

Soon after he arrived, Josef Terboven, commissioner of occupied Norway, arrived at the same hotel and demanded that a local woman have dinner with him. She refused, and Terboven ordered that everyone in the hotel be arrested and sent off to Grini concentration camp for questioning and possible internment. Helberg knew that if he was arrested and his identity as a resistance fighter discovered he would be executed. He jumped out of the bus that was being used to transport everyone from the hotel to the camp. As a result of the jump he re-injured his arm, but was able to escape."
 
2018-03-01 01:44:52 PM  

cgraves67: Those commandos were world-class badasses.


At least two of those involved, Knut Haugeland and Torstein Raaby, went on to be the radio operators on Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki expedition.
 
2018-03-01 01:47:13 PM  

Polish Hussar: Chris Ween: And we celebrate it every 4 years by watching Norway dominate the bi-athlon in the Olympics.

The Winter Olympics should make a tetrathlon, add climbing and explosives demolition phases to the biathlon.


I might actually watch the winter olympics then
 
2018-03-01 01:47:25 PM  

Chris Ween: And we celebrate it every 4 years by watching Norway dominate the bi-athlon in the Olympics.


Yeah, well, it was Finland that took the gold in full contact team biathlon the last time it was played, at the 1940 Winter Games.
 
2018-03-01 01:50:15 PM  

Nick Nostril: Polish Hussar: Schmerd1948: I've been to that area. When you see how deep and steep the canyon is, you marvel at the bravery and skill the Norwegians had. Great story.

The Germans didn't guard it because they thought it was impossible to climb in the winter.

Kind of like leaving the exhaust chute unguarded, with similar results.


Foolish empire should have put some sort of shielding on it in order to make the shot nearly impossible to make.  Oh, wait....
 
2018-03-01 02:06:04 PM  

dittybopper: Chris Ween: And we celebrate it every 4 years by watching Norway dominate the bi-athlon in the Olympics.

Yeah, well, it was Finland that took the gold in full contact team biathlon the last time it was played, at the 1940 Winter Games.


I'm pretty sure they got Silver, as they lost territory to the Soviets as a result.
 
2018-03-01 02:09:38 PM  
I see the same article about this every five years.  "Sixty years ago...." "Sixty five years ago...." Etc.
 
2018-03-01 02:14:34 PM  

gophurt: dittybopper: Chris Ween: And we celebrate it every 4 years by watching Norway dominate the bi-athlon in the Olympics.

Yeah, well, it was Finland that took the gold in full contact team biathlon the last time it was played, at the 1940 Winter Games.

I'm pretty sure they got Silver, as they lost territory to the Soviets as a result.


Finland won on points.
 
2018-03-01 02:18:18 PM  

dittybopper: gophurt: dittybopper: Chris Ween: And we celebrate it every 4 years by watching Norway dominate the bi-athlon in the Olympics.

Yeah, well, it was Finland that took the gold in full contact team biathlon the last time it was played, at the 1940 Winter Games.

I'm pretty sure they got Silver, as they lost territory to the Soviets as a result.

Finland won on points.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_​W​ar

Finland: 25,904 dead or missing
USSR: 126,875-167,976 dead or missing

The USSR was winning so hard they lost at a bare minimum 5 times as many soldiers as the Finns, and perhaps more than six times as many.
 
2018-03-01 02:24:27 PM  

dittybopper: gophurt: dittybopper: Chris Ween: And we celebrate it every 4 years by watching Norway dominate the bi-athlon in the Olympics.

Yeah, well, it was Finland that took the gold in full contact team biathlon the last time it was played, at the 1940 Winter Games.

I'm pretty sure they got Silver, as they lost territory to the Soviets as a result.

Finland won on points.


judges always favor the russians
 
2018-03-01 02:35:56 PM  
YOU ARE JIMMY PATTERSON!
 
2018-03-01 03:36:19 PM  

Copperbelly watersnake: Nick Nostril: Polish Hussar: Schmerd1948: I've been to that area. When you see how deep and steep the canyon is, you marvel at the bravery and skill the Norwegians had. Great story.

The Germans didn't guard it because they thought it was impossible to climb in the winter.

Kind of like leaving the exhaust chute unguarded, with similar results.

Foolish empire should have put some sort of shielding on it in order to make the shot nearly impossible to make.  Oh, wait....


It was no bigger than a Womp Rat. You'd practically have to have some magical force guiding you to hit it with proton torpedoes.
 
2018-03-01 04:01:47 PM  

Raoul Eaton: I see the same article about this every five years.  "Sixty years ago...." "Sixty five years ago...." Etc.


Plant Rights Activist: dittybopper: gophurt: dittybopper: Chris Ween: And we celebrate it every 4 years by watching Norway dominate the bi-athlon in the Olympics.

Yeah, well, it was Finland that took the gold in full contact team biathlon the last time it was played, at the 1940 Winter Games.

I'm pretty sure they got Silver, as they lost territory to the Soviets as a result.

Finland won on points.

judges always favor the russians


No, you're thinking of Ecclesiastes.  Or Ephesians.
 
2018-03-01 04:38:12 PM  

FormlessOne: Uncle Eazy: Read that book on vacation last year. It's interesting, but a little dull (it's not a "war" book in the action sense).

The "World War II Action Mine" is getting a bit tapped out, over 70 years later, so, yeah, we'll see more and more about less and less, methinks.


There's a lot of other wars to tell stories about:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-02​/​long-tan-veteran-and-hollywood-actor-s​et-to-play-him-onscreen/9499426
 
2018-03-01 06:01:44 PM  
I've also been under the impression the Germans also miscalculated how much heavy water they'd need, especially after ignoring all those Jewish physicists. Can any Fark historians shed some light on this?
 
2018-03-01 06:28:37 PM  
They prevented development of a dangerous nuclear weapon and talked the Americans out of a bombing attack that would kill many civilians and wouldn't necessarily solve anything.

Good thing we learned our lessons, there.
 
2018-03-01 06:49:35 PM  

Polish Hussar: Samsquantch: One of them got shot in the leg by pursuing soldiers and knew he couldn't get far.  So once he eldued them, he turns himself in at the next village, saying he was trying to chase those commandos for the Nazis when one of them shot him.  Since the villagers all knew everyone all around, they weren't fooled, but the Germans were, so after a few weeks recovering while they covered for him, he was able escape again.

That was Claus Helberg. He wasn't wounded in the gunfight with the German soldier on skis, but he did break his arm when he skied off a cliff that night.

From his Wiki page:
"After skiing for hours, an exchange of shots occurred between Helberg and the soldier; the latter was wounded and Helberg, though exhausted, finally got away from the patrol. Because it had gotten darker, he skied off a cliff and broke his arm. He continued to ski for another twelve miles and avoided yet another patrol of German soldiers near Mogen. After receiving help from Norwegians in Mogen and Rauland, he went to the Germans and was able to convince them that he had broken his arm while working for the Germans searching the Hardanger Plateau for the saboteurs. The soldiers believed his story and took him to the German field doctor, and then on to Dalen. Then he went to a hotel and was able to get a room.

Soon after he arrived, Josef Terboven, commissioner of occupied Norway, arrived at the same hotel and demanded that a local woman have dinner with him. She refused, and Terboven ordered that everyone in the hotel be arrested and sent off to Grini concentration camp for questioning and possible internment. Helberg knew that if he was arrested and his identity as a resistance fighter discovered he would be executed. He jumped out of the bus that was being used to transport everyone from the hotel to the camp. As a result of the jump he re-injured his arm, but was able to escape."


Clearly it has been a few years since I read the book, so thanks for posting the correction.  While I only remembered part of the story correctly, the big thing that always impressed me was the decision to turn himself in and go underground that way.  It's clever, but it would take nerves of steel to pull it off, and he did.  Which is why I still don't understand why this story isn't more widely known.  That was one badass commando unit.
 
2018-03-01 06:51:05 PM  

Polish Hussar: Chris Ween: And we celebrate it every 4 years by watching Norway dominate the bi-athlon in the Olympics.

The Winter Olympics should make a tetrathlon, add climbing and explosives demolition phases to the biathlon.


BBWWAAAAHHHMMMM!
ekladata.comView Full Size
 
2018-03-01 07:19:18 PM  

Fano: YOU ARE JIMMY PATTERSON!


Came for "Medal of Honor" reference. Leaving marginally satisfied.
 
2018-03-01 08:25:59 PM  
Here's the non-mobile version for those that want it:

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2​0​16/06/winter-fortress-neal-bascomb-her​oes-of-telemark-nazi-atomic-bomb-heavy​-water/

Subs need to stop linking to mobile versions lol.
 
2018-03-01 09:15:39 PM  
What little (but still substantial amount) of heavy water that was produced there was eventually loaded onto a ferry (the "Hydro") crossing Lake Tinn to be transferred to the German Navy and taken back to the homeland.  Word had leaked to the Norwegian resistance and they managed to blow up the ferry, which still sits on the bottom of Lake Tinn.

Even though they had set time bombs, a couple of the saboteurs actually were on-board the Hydro when the bomb went, as they were prepared to set the bombs off manually in case the timers didn't work.  Some gutsy mother farkers for sure.
 
2018-03-01 09:43:02 PM  

Slam Bradley: I enjoyed The Heavy Water War on this very topic.  It appears like it is no longer on Netflix though, which is a shame since I can't imagine people will pay to watch it on amazon.

/warning: subtitles


The one on the kids of Nazi leaders was sad, interesting, yet shocking.
Especially Ms. Himmler..
 
2018-03-01 09:44:24 PM  
i came to this thread only to suggest this book : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mak​i​ng_of_the_Atomic_Bomb

it gets a bit technical, so some chapters took a lot longer for me to get through than others, but it's a really good read. cromulent to this article because the downfall of the nazi nuclear program basically came from the efforts of (if i recall) Otto Hahn to convince hitler that the "heavy water" based reactor was the most efficient way to process fissionable material. he knew it wasn't, and he knew that allies in england were working on a more efficient cyclotron process.

Otto was brave enough and smart enough to fudge the results from his lab to convince the nazi's that heavy water was the best option, knowing they wouldn't have sufficient resources to fund more than one direction of research. by the time the norsk hyrdo plant was blown up (and all the containers of the existing heavy water were stolen from the port!!) it was too late for the nazi's to reinvest in other methods, and they could only double-down on the heavy water process.

interesting stuff!
 
2018-03-01 10:02:27 PM  
Sabaton - Saboteurs + Lyrics
Youtube 73XIZ5I6BLw
 
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