Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Military, Scientific, and Technological: The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler's Atomic Bomb

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Military, Scientific, and Technological: The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler's Atomic Bomb

Article excerpt

Military, Scientific, and Technological The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler's Atomic Bomb BY NEAL BASCOMB. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, 400 pp.

At the heart of this book is the story of the heroic and successful efforts of a small group of Norwegian patriots who sabotaged a German-controlled hydroelectric plant in Vemork, Norway, in February 1943. At the time, the plant was the world's only source of heavy water, a component of the uranium enrichment process. This was not the first or last attempt to deny Germany access to heavy water. In this authoritative account, Bascomb also describes how a few months before, there had been a calamitous mission undertaken by British commandos, which failed when their gliders crashlanded far from their target; the Germans later executed the surviving soldiers. …

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