“Riveting and poignant . . . The Winter Fortress metamorphoses from engrossing history into a smashing thriller . . . Mr. Bascomb’s research and, especially, his storytelling skills are first-rate.”—The Wall Street Journal “Weaving together his typically intense research and a riveting narrative, Neal Bascomb’s The Winter Fortress is a spellbinding piece of historical writing.” — Martin Dugard, author of Into Africa and co-author of the Killing series In 1942, the Nazis were racing to complete the first atomic bomb. All they needed was a single, incredibly rare ingredient: heavy water, which was produced solely at Norway’s Vemork plant. Under threat of death, Vemork’s engineers pushed production into overdrive. If the Allies could not destroy the plant, they feared the Nazis would soon be in possession of the most dangerous weapon the world had ever seen. But how would the Allied forces reach the castle fortress, set on a precipitous gorge in one of the coldest, most inhospitable places on earth? Based on a trove of top-secret documents and never-before-seen diaries and letters of the saboteurs, The Winter Fortress is an arresting chronicle of a brilliant scientist, a band of spies on skis, perilous survival in the wild, Gestapo manhunts, and a last-minute operation that would alter the course of the war. “A taut and peerlessly told adventure story full of thrills, derring-do and heart-stopping tension.” — Seattle Times “Told with both historical and scientific accuracy . . . this book has rocketed into my pantheon of the top suspense-filled stories about [World War II], along with The 900 Days and The Colditz Story.” — Ethan Siegel, Forbes
From the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of Hunting Eichmannand The Perfect Mile, a World War II spy adventure set in Norway that draws on top-secret documents and memoirs of the saboteurs"
Author: Neal Bascomb
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Release Date: 2016-05-05
It's 1942 and the Nazis are racing to build an atomic bomb. They have the physicists, but they don't have enough 'heavy water' – essential for their nuclear designs. For two years, the Nazis have occupied Norway, and with it the Vemork hydroelectric plant, the world's sole supplier of heavy water. Under threat of death, its engineers push production into overtime. For the Allies, Vemork must be destroyed. But how could they reach the plant, high in a mountainous valley? The answer became the most dramatic commando raid of the war: the British SOE brought together a brilliant scientist and eleven refugee Norwegian commandos, who, with little more than parachutes, skis and tommy guns, would destroy Hitler's nuclear ambitions. Based on exhaustive research and never-before-seen diaries and letters, The Winter Fortress is a compulsively readable narrative about a group of young men who survived the cold of a Norwegian winter and evaded the clutches of the Gestapo, to save the world from destruction.
A stunning adventure involving Nazis, nukes, fighting, failure, and everyday heroes, from the author of the award-winning The Nazi Hunters. Neal Bascomb delivers another nail-biting work of nonfiction for young adults in this incredible true story of spies and survival. The invasion begins at night, with German cruisers slipping into harbor, and soon the Nazis occupy all of Norway. They station soldiers throughout the country. They institute martial rule. And at Vemork, an industrial fortress high above a dizzying gorge, they gain access to an essential ingredient for the weapon that could end World War II: Hitler’s very own nuclear bomb. When the Allies discover the plans for the bomb, they agree Vemork must be destroyed. But after a British operation fails to stop the Nazis’ deadly designs, the task falls to a band of young Norwegian commandos. Armed with little more than skis, explosives, and great courage, they will survive months in the snowy wilderness, elude a huge manhunt, and execute two dangerous missions. The result? The greatest act of sabotage in all of World War II.
Author: Per F Dahl
Publisher: CRC Press
Release Date: 1999-01-01
Heavy water (deuterium oxide) played a sinister role in the race for nuclear energy during the World War II. It was a key factor in Germany's bid to harness atomic energy primarily as a source of electric power; its acute shortage was a factor in Japan's decision not to pursue seriously nuclear weaponry; its very existence was a nagging thorn in the side of the Allied powers. Books and films have dwelt on the Allies' efforts to deny the Germans heavy water by military means; however, a history of heavy water has yet to be written. Filling this gap, Heavy Water and the Wartime Race for Nuclear Energy concentrates on the circumstances whereby Norway became the preeminent producer of heavy water and on the scientific role the rare isotope of hydrogen played in the wartime efforts by the Axis and Allied powers alike. Instead of a purely technical treatise on heavy water, the book describes the social history of the subject. The book covers the discovery and early uses of deuterium before World War II and its large-scale production by Norsk Hydro in Norway, especially under German control. It also discusses the French-German race for the Norwegian heavy-water stocks in 1940 and heavy water's importance for the subsequent German uranium project, including the Allied sabotage and bombing of the Norwegian plants, as well as its lesser role in Allied projects, especially in the United States and Canada. The book concludes with an overall assessment of the importance and the perceived importance of heavy water for the German program, which alone staked everything on heavy water in its quest for a nuclear chain reaction.
Author: Thomas Gallagher
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date: 2010-06-01
“An exciting and dramatic episode.”—Library Journal “Cliff-hanging suspense.”—Christian Science Monitor Assault in Norway is the classic account of a legendary raid on the Nazi war program. By 1942 Germany had a seemingly insurmountable lead over the Allies in developing an atomic bomb. Contributing to this situation was its access to a crucial ingredient: “heavy water,” found in great abundance at a fortresslike factory in occupied Norway. Allied hopes of stalling the Nazi nuclear program soon focused on sabotaging the cliffside plant—a suicidal mission. But a team of brave Norwegian exiles, trained in Britain, infiltrated their homeland and, hiding in the wilds, awaited the opportunity to launch one of the war's most daring commando raids. Basing his gripping narrative in large part on interviews with the commandos themselves, Thomas Gallagher recounts in vivid detail the planning and execution of Operation Gunnerside. Assault in Norway recalls the intrigue found in such wartime classics as David Howarth's We Die Alone and The Sledge Patrol, and the mission it recounts inspired the 1965 Hollywood film The Heroes of Telemark.
Author: Raymond Mears
Release Date: 2004
Genre: World War, 1939-1945
Sixty years ago, four men parachuted onto a Norwegian glacier, carrying only the most basic equipment. Their mission was to prevent the Nazi regime from building an atomic bomb. Now wilderness expert Ray Mears tells the true story of this gruelling campaign, showing how these men's ability to survive in extreme conditions influenced the outcome of the Second World War. The Telemark campaign was an example of the bravery and skill of the SOE trainees. The Norwegians transformed a military disaster into a triumph. This book tells the full story for the first time.
Author: Alec Wahlman
Publisher: University of North Texas Press
Release Date: 2015-10-15
In an increasingly urbanized world, urban terrain has become a greater factor in military operations. Simultaneously, advances in military technology have given military forces sharply increased capabilities. The conflict comes from how urban terrain can negate or degrade many of those increased capabilities. What happens when advanced weapons are used in a close-range urban fight with an abundance of cover? Storming the City explores these issues by analyzing the performance of the US Army and US Marine Corps in urban combat in four major urban battles of the mid-twentieth century (Aachen 1944, Manila 1945, Seoul 1950, and Hue 1968). Alec Wahlman assesses each battle using a similar framework of capability categories, and separate chapters address urban warfare in American military thought. In the four battles, across a wide range of conditions, American forces were ultimately successful in capturing each city because of two factors: transferable competence and battlefield adaptation. The preparations US forces made for warfare writ large proved generally applicable to urban warfare. Battlefield adaptation, a strong suit of American forces, filled in where those overall preparations for combat needed fine tuning. From World War Two to Vietnam, however, there was a gradual reduction in tactical performance in the four battles.
Author: David Howarth
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date: 2007-06-01
A World War II chronicles of Jan Baalsrud's escape from Nazi-occupied arctic Norway. We Die Alone is an astonishing true story of heroism and endurance. Like Slavomir Rawicz's The Long Walk, it is also an unforgettable portrait of the determination of the human spirit.
In 1945, at the end of World War II, Adolf Eichmann, the head of operations for the Nazis' Final Solution, walked into the mountains of Germany and vanished from view. Sixteen years later, an elite team of spies captured him at a bus stop in Argentina and smuggled him to Israel, resulting in one of the century's most important trials -- one that cemented the Holocaust in the public imagination. THE NAZI HUNTERS is the thrilling and fascinating story of what happened between these two events. Survivor Simon Wiesenthal opened Eichmann's case; a blind Argentinean and his teenage daughter provided crucial information. Finally, the Israeli spies -- many of whom lost family in the Holocaust -- embarked on their daring mission, recounted here in full. Based on the adult bestseller HUNTING EICHMANN, which is now in development as a major film, and illustrated with powerful photos throughout, THE NAZI HUNTERS is a can't-miss work of narrative nonfiction for middle-grade and YA readers.
Author: David Kilcullen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-02-25
Genre: Islam and state
2014 has the potential to go down as a crucial year in modern world history. A resurgent and bellicose Russia took over Crimea and fueled a civil war in Eastern Ukraine. Post-Saddam Iraq, in many respects a creature of the United States because of the war that began in 2003, lost a third of its territory to an army of hyper-violent millennialists. The peace process in Israel seemed to completely collapse. Finally, after coalescing in Syria as a territorial entity, the Islamic State swept into northern Iraq and through northeastern Syria, attracting legions of recruits from Europe and the Middle East. In short, the post-Cold War security order that the US had constructed after 1991 seemed to be coming apart at the seams. David Kilcullen was one of the architects of America's strategy in the late phases of the second Gulf War, and also spent time in Afghanistan and other hotspots. In Blood Year, he provides a wide-angle view of the current situation in the Middle East and analyzes how America and the West ended up in such dire circumstances. Whereas in 2008 it appeared that the U.S. might pull a modest stalemate from the jaws of defeat in Iraq, six years later the situation had reversed. After America pulled out of Iraq completely in 2011, the Shi'ite president cut Sunnis out of the power structure and allowed Iranian influence to grow. And from the debris of Assad's Syria arose an extremist Sunni organization even more radical than Al Qaeda. Unlike Al Qaeda, ISIS was intent on establishing its own state, and within a remarkably short time they did. Interestingly, Kilcullen highlights how embittered former Iraqi Ba'athist military officers were key contributors to ISIS's military successes. Kilcullen lays much of the blame on Bush's initial decision to invade Iraq (which had negative secondary effects in Afghanistan), but also takes Obama to task for simply withdrawing and adopting a "leading from behind" strategy. As events have proven, Kilcullen contends, withdrawal was a fundamentally misguided plan. The U.S. had uncorked the genie, and it had a responsibility to at least attempt to keep it under control. Instead, the U.S. is at a point where administration officials state that the losses of Ramadi and Palmyra are manageable setbacks. Kilcullen argues that the U.S. needs to re-engage in the region, whether it wants to or not, because it is largely responsible for the situation that is now unfolding. Blood Year is an essential read for anyone interested in understanding not only why the region that the U.S. invaded a dozen years ago has collapsed into utter chaos, but also what it can do to alleviate the grim situation.