COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway on Monday mourned World War II saboteur Joachim Roenneberg, who led a five-man team which daringly blew a plant generating heavy water, depriving Nazi Germany of some crucial ingredient it might have used to create nuclear weapons.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg stated Roenneberg, who died Sunday in 99, was”among our greatest opposition fighters” whose”courage contributed to that which was known as the very prosperous sabotage effort” in Norway.
Roenneberg, afterward 23, has been exploited by the Special Operations Executive, or SOE — Britain’s war-time intelligence gathering and sabotage unit — to ruin key pieces of their heavily protected plant in Telemark, in southern Norway, in a raid in February 1943.
At a 2014 Norwegian documentary in relationship with his 95th birthday, Roenneberg stated the bold performance went”like a dream” — a reference to the fact that not one shot has been fired.
Parachuting onto snow-covered hills, the group has been joined by a few additional commando soldiers prior to skiing to the destination. Then they penetrated the fortress-like heavy-water plant to blow off its manufacturing line.
Roenneberg stated he left a last-minute choice to lower the distance of his fuse out of a few minutes to minutes, ensuring that the explosion could happen but which makes it more challenging to escape. The team skied hundreds of km (miles) across the hills to escape and Roenneberg, wearing a British uniform, finished up in neighboring neutral Sweden.
Operation Gunnerside was recounted in books, documentaries, movies and TV series, such as”The Heroes of Telemark,” starring Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris.
“We shouldn’t overlook what he stood and has passed on to us,” explained Eva Vinje Aurdal, mayor of his hometown of Aalesund, 380 km (235 kilometers ) northwest of the capital, Oslo.
The city ordered flags to fly half-mast Monday and flowers were laid at the base of a sculpture of Roenneberg, revealing him at a uniform, walking up a rocky path. Inaugurated at 2014 from Roenneberg, the granite island includes the titles of all of the guys who participate in the World War II raid.
This story was adjusted to the group consisted of five guys, maybe four.