Tuesday, March 28, 2017
The Winter Fortress by Neal Bascomb
In Nazi-occupied Norway, the Germans planned to exploit production of "heavy water" at one of the few plants in the world that produced it in order to use it as a stabilizer in a nuclear reaction. This book follows several brave Norwegians who escaped to Great Britain and volunteered to train as commandos to attempt to destroy the Norsk Hydro facility where the isotope was generated. Hitler ordered any captured commandos to be shot, and the Norwegians also had to contend with ferocious winter weather in the region where their raid was to take place. Bascomb's book is well-written and clearly explains the technicalities of the heavy water isotope. The participants in this operation are considered heroes in Norway, and they clearly deserve that title.