Growing up, I remember watching all those famous World War Two movies with my dad like Kelly’s Heroes, Where Eagles Dare, Force 10 from Navarone, etc. But one that always stuck out was The Heroes of Telemark with Kirk Douglas. When I got a little older and started reading more about WW2, I found out that this movie depicted one of the most daring and important raids of the war -SF
The night of February 28th, 1943, an explosion threw the Nazis’ plans to build a nuclear bomb into disarray. The explosion took place in a small factory named Vemork, perched at the top of a hundred-meter–tall waterfall in Norway, and it went off so quietly that it was several minutes before anyone realized that disaster had struck.
This disaster was no accident: it was the product of months of careful planning by Allied forces, and was just one scene in a secret war which was being fought across Scandinavia to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Third Reich. That particular scene was led by Joachim Rønneberg, a second lieutenant in the Norwegian special forces, Knut Haukelid, his second-in-command, and four more men who had parachuted into enemy territory to perform this one specific act of sabotage.
Today, Rønneberg is 96 years old, Norway’s most decorated war hero, and a retired sub-editor at the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. Haukelid died in 1994, after a distinguished military career. Both of them have shared their stories, and thanks to them, we have a fairly complete picture of just how this secret war was fought: with the courage of people both ordinary and extraordinary, with far more humanity and care for life than you would expect, and with the horrible knowledge of what might happen if they failed perpetually in the background.
Read the Remainder at Medium