Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
Gadgetman!

RIP Joachim Rønneberg

Recommended Posts

The raid on Vemork is right up there with the raid on St. Nazaire. Anyone who participated in it rightly deserves to be called a hero.

 

Horrible hindsight fact about Gunnerside, and its failed predecessor Operation Freshman, is that it never needed to happen. Recent analysis of production records and the testing of a recovered barrel of heavy water from wartime production show that the heavy water was nowhere near as pure as it needed to be, and even if the plant was operating at maximum output it would have taken a couple more years before the Germans could have managed to get a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor running using it. And that's only the first step to making the bomb. And from what I understand, it's the easy step. Controlled criticality is a B.

Edited by Unruly
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hindsight is always 20:20.   

 

Even if the Germans 'only' managed to get a reactor running, nothing else, it could have prolonged the war as it would have given them an extra source of Electricity.   

And in 1943 no one knew how long the war was going to continue. They had to assume the worst.  

 

Incidentally, Rønneberg never called himself a hero, and didn't like to be called one. He considered the ones who died the real heroes. 

 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I said, horrible hindsight fact. WW2 is full of them, honestly.

 

As for being called a hero, it's my understanding that that's generally how most old soldiers react to it. Doesn't make their actions any less heroic, though.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The true heroes are generally the ones that don't run around saying, "look at how big a hero I am!" 

RIP

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll definitely go and read up on him. Thanks for the information. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a book 'Tungtvannssabotøren' (The Heavy water saboteur) that focuses on Rønneberg, but I don't think it was ever translated into English.

(It was approved by Rønneberg on the condition that part of the proceeds to to the local tourist board to help pay for upkeep of a cabin up in the mountains where he spent most of his time until 1945. )

 

I advice everyone to see the 1946 movie about the operation

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040504/?ref_=tt_trv_cnn

While Rønneberg was played by an actor, some of the other saboteurs and key persons did play themselves.

 

It may be found as 'operation swallow' on YT...

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×