16 January 2019
One of the Raid series from Osprey focuses on one of the greatest and most successful SOE operations of WWII – the destruction of Germany’s heavy water production facilities in Norway.
Author: DAVID GREENTREE
Reviewed by: Duncan Evans
One of the Raid series from Osprey focuses on one of the greatest and most successful SOE operations of WWII – the destruction of Germany’s heavy water production facilities in Norway. However, it didn’t get off to a promising start, as two gliders of Commandos crashed, killing numerous occupants, injuring others and leading to the survivors being captured. The Gestapo executed one group almost immediately and tried to interrogate the second. Of these, they then shot the injured and sent the ones left alive to a concentration camp.
Once they had confirmed the plan to destroy the plant at Vemork the remaining Commandos were also executed.
Even though the Germans knew they were coming, SOE launched a second operation, with Norwegian agents and used local informers on the ground to find their way to the plant. Of course, they also sank the passenger ferry carrying the remaining heavy water destined for Germany.
There are maps showing routes, period photos, dramatic illustrations and while the copy might seem a little terse in places – this is only 80 odd pages after all, it does convey the danger and bravery of those involved.
• Osprey Publishing
• 82 pages • Softback • £12.99
As reviewed in The Armourer January 2019
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