Skip to comments.Hero of the Telemark Raid dies aged 101
Posted on 12/10/2012 5:00:50 PM PST by the scotsman
'One of the last two survivors of the legendary Second World War 'Heroes of the Telemark' raid, which helped thwart Hitler's plans to build a Nazi nuclear bomb, has died aged 101.
Just 31 at the time, Norwegian Birger Stromsheim was the oldest member of the team who successfully destroyed the hard water production facility at the Norsk Hydoelectric plant in Telemark, southern Norway.
The raid, which is regarded as one of the most successful acts of sabotage in World War II, was also remarkable for the fact all the team managed to escape by cross country skiing 250 miles into Sweden.'
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Hard water? I think the writer meant “heavy water”.
I saw an account of that raid many years ago on TV. Those guys really were about as heroic as they come.
A true adventure story of the greatest degree.
If they’d only been muslims, it would have been a snap to get to Sweden.
RIP Mr. Stromsheim, you are a true hero.
I was working for a Swiss machine supplier in Switzerland and I met a potential new client from England in Oslo in 1988 and we drove 3 hours to Rjukan so that he could see our systems in operation in a production environment with an established client of ours. Before we left back to Oslo the Norwegian client took us to the hydro-electric power plant for a tour. He was very proud of the Norwegian effort to stop Hitler’s atomic development program.
1973 BBC documentary:
RIP Mr. Stromsheim
Interesting side-bar: the nazi’s needed heavy water as a moderator in their potential reactors to produce bomb-quality fissionable material (plutonium, I think).
But they could have used graphite instead (the way we did) - unfortunately for them, they miscalculated the neutron-absorbing properties of the carbon in graphite, so they were left relying on electricity-intensive heavy water production, which left them vulnerable to heroic Norwegians.
Now if the morons hadn’t driven out all their Jewish scientists, they probably wouldn’t have screwed that up - but if they hadn’t run off those Jews, they wouldn’t have been nazis, would they.
Thanks for the post. also in the Daily Mail is an article about the German Pilot that let a badly damaged B-17 fly on home. He said it was a mattor of honor not to shoot down such a badly damaged [enemy] plane which obviously had wounded on board. incident happened on Dec 20, 1943 after a US air raid on Bremen, Germany
Thanks for the ping. Very few commandos live anywhere near that long. May he rest in peace.
Also, may that German pilot rest in peace. Very few pilots on either side thought it a matter of honor to not shoot down a badly damaged enemy plane.
Thanks for the post.
I remember during the Lillehammer Winter Olympics in 1994 General Norman Schwarzkopf presented one of those “Olympic moments” about the Telemark raid. Probably the single best ever Olympic story piece done (next to the PLO murdering Israelis in Munich.
Learned a lot about the Telemark raid then....Schwarzkopf was a great narrator. When I went to Norway earlier this year, visiting the various museums, there is still quite a lot of mention about Telemark
Surprised even then that a liberal CBS would have a US Army (Ret) General on an Olympic broadcast....and do a piece about war sabotage.
That was a wonderful story about the Nazi pilot who didn’t shoot down the damaged plane. Thanks to FR we get to read about them.
Hogan’s Heroes - Go Light on the Heavy Water - 1965
Thanks for posting this! I had always thought that the destruction of Germany’s heavy water production was defeated by air, specifically by bombing the dams that supplied the water to the hydo power plant producing the heavy water. I remember seeing a movie years ago about this effort. The first attempts to destroy the dams failed and the British came up with an unique bomb (spherical). They flew in low over the water and released the bombs and the bombs would skip over the water right into the dams. Maybe my memory is wrong?
All Bombing with the skip on the water bombs were in or near Germany.
Yes, your memory is fading ...
The bombing raid with the bouncing bombs was to destroy industrial dams on the Rhine.
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