Allied Commandos Blow Up Atomic Plant in Nazi Norway

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Globalization41
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Allied Commandos Blow Up Atomic Plant in Nazi Norway

Post by Globalization41 » 25 Jul 2013 22:27

London, Special Cable to The New York Times, Saturday, April 3, 1943: "Heavy water," derived by an electrochemical process from ordinary water, with hidden atomic power that can be used for the deadly purposes of war as well as the happier pursuits of peace, apparently has become the source of anxiety for those Allied leaders who plan attacks against enemy targets. [Albert Einstein had previously pointed out to F.D.R. that the latent energy of matter if instantly released could be equal to mass times the speed of light squared. ... An illustrative example might be a small asteroid of several miles in diameter traveling at 30,000mph. Moving in the void of outer space it exhibits no energy. If it smashed into the earth, the latent energy instantly released could wipe out civilization.] ... Reports reaching Norwegian circles in London cite German sources as having announced on Wednesday as the result of "saboteurs," a big electrochemical plant at Rjukan, Norway, had been blown up in what was said to have been one of the three recent raids against that enemy-occupied country. ... The importance of Rjukan as a target for destruction is that it is a huge plant on a wild river, from the waters of which [a] queer chemical known as "heavy water," the discovery of which won a Nobel Prize in 1934 for Professor Harold Urey of Columbia University, is produce, and it can be used in the manufacture of terrifically high explosives. ... Heavy water, or more correctly heavy hydrogen water, is believed to provide a means of disintegrating the atom that would thereby release a devastating power. While it is not believed here that the Germans, even with all their expert chemical knowledge, have developed some fantastic method of hurling the shattering force of split atoms at Britain, it is known that heavy water, when added to other chemicals, gives a powerfully destructive force, just as it can help in the production of gasoline, new sugars, new textiles, and numerous other utilitarian as well as medical developments. ... Consequently, Norwegians living in London studied with interest the report emanating from Stockholm Wednesday that Rjukan had been so heavily attacked by "saboteurs" that the Germans had declared a state of emergency. They considered that if the plant had been destroyed the Germans had suffered a severe loss in the output of ammunition. ... At Rjukan one quart of heavy water can be produced by 6,000 gallons of ordinary water by an electrochemical process, the formula for which was given to the world by American scientists. ... Rjukan is just south of a 3,500 square-mile [59x59] area in a barren mountain plateau region known as Hardangervidda, which the Germans shut off to all civilians April 1. Recent German reports have said that R.A.F. transport planes towing gliders have dropped parachutists in that area.

Patten Attacks East of El Guettar in Tunisa, North Africa

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Re: Allied Commandos Blow Up Atomic Plant in Nazi Norway

Post by phylo_roadking » 26 Jul 2013 00:07

And?
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Re: Allied Commandos Blow Up Atomic Plant in Nazi Norway

Post by Globalization41 » 26 Jul 2013 02:15

Hello Phylo Roadking. ... I'm unclear as to the antecedent to your question. ... ... My posts are designed for supplementary purposes only. The transcription of the article on the possibility of atomic weapons was due to the fact that in 1943 the atomic bomb project was top secret, yet the Times printed an article about splitting the atom while hinting the alleged atomic plant was strategic enough to sabotage. I doubt if Hitler was close to getting the bomb, but the Allies were nervous about it and did not have the benefit of 20-20 hindsight. ... The link at the bottom of the post contains the article quoted along with other articles from April 3, 1943. If the link were to time out, the post would still remain available as a supplementary reference.

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Re: Allied Commandos Blow Up Atomic Plant in Nazi Norway

Post by phylo_roadking » 26 Jul 2013 20:14

OP, the Telemark/Ryukan Raid is REMARKABLY well known...at least on this side of the Atlantic ;)

But the article reveals another facet of the race for the Atomic Bomb...that the Allies made a very deliberate decision NOT to wholly remove ALL comment with regards to an/the Atomic Bomb from the press/public awareness. If they had...Allied newspapers etc. were still available - perhaps just not on the day of publication! - from third-party Neutral nations...the wily Germans would have realised SOMETHING was afoot.

So there continued a low-level, "sensationalist" dribble of information reaching the press about an Atomic Bomb, and Allied steps to stop the Germans possessing one.

Read the article again - and you'll see exactly how little it says about the Bomb...as late as 1943! -
"Heavy water," derived by an electrochemical process from ordinary water, with hidden atomic power that can be used for the deadly purposes of war as well as the happier pursuits of peace...
We all know this is NOT what "heavy water"was to be used for; it didn't provide atomic power itself, its potential use was as a moderator in a nuclear reactor.
The importance of Rjukan as a target for destruction is that it is a huge plant on a wild river, from the waters of which [a] queer chemical known as "heavy water," the discovery of which won a Nobel Prize in 1934 for Professor Harold Urey of Columbia University, is produce, and it can be used in the manufacture of terrifically high explosives.
That makes it look as if Allied knowledge hadn't progressed beyond the "Einstein's letter" level! :wink: Which, after all, was couched in only semi-scientific terms to allow FDR to grasp the full ramifications.
Heavy water, or more correctly heavy hydrogen water, is believed to provide a means of disintegrating the atom that would thereby release a devastating power....
THIS is close to the mark...given its potential role in a nuclear reactor, but then THIS -
While it is not believed here that the Germans, even with all their expert chemical knowledge, have developed some fantastic method of hurling the shattering force of split atoms at Britain, it is known that heavy water, when added to other chemicals, gives a powerfully destructive force, just as it can help in the production of gasoline, new sugars, new textiles, and numerous other utilitarian as well as medical developments.
...is complete misleading balderdash! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Allied Commandos Blow Up Atomic Plant in Nazi Norway

Post by Globalization41 » 27 Jul 2013 04:52

Thanks for the info Phylo. I only happened onto the Ryukan-incident article by accident while looking for contemporary reports on Soviet-Polish relations, which I'll be resuming shortly. ... I vaguely remember later Hollywood versions of the Norway raid, but due to "balderdash" and blatant attempts at "thought control" I have great difficulty in suffering through them. ... The Atomic Bomb was so top secret at the time that Truman didn't even know about it when he later became Vice President and wasn't even told until after he was sworn in as President. ... As I understand it, Stalin was aware of the American attempts to produce the Bomb from early on, but did not make the production of the Soviet Bomb a priority until after the successful test explosion in New Mexico. From what I've heard (and please don't be shy about correcting me if my memory plays tricks on me), the Soviets had already set up an intelligence-gathering operation in New Mexico in the late 1930s for the purpose of assassinating Trotsky in Mexico. By pure luck, after Trotsky was liquidated in 1940, the Soviets were already in position to monitor the Atomic Bomb project, later taking place in New Mexico. ... Roosevelt of course would have been familiar with the complicated logistics of fabricating the Bomb, but he seems to have been clueless about Soviet spying, though his Vice President, Wallace (Truman became V.P. in 1945), and many in the Administration were pals (or sympathisers) with Stalin. Logically, F.D.R. probably felt the Nazis didn't have the resources available to build the bomb. ... Who knows, maybe Roosevelt wouldn't have really cared if the Soviets got the Bomb due to his ideological disposition of desiring a United Nations, or "One World" utopia. ... As it developed by the late 1970s, however, the Soviet-U.S. demarcation line from Norway to Turkey bristled with nukes and missiles. Behind that, warplanes armed with nukes were on red alert, ready to launch at a moment's notice. Submarines cruised beneath the ocean waves, ready to launch nukes. B-52s loaded with nukes throughout the continental United States were on alert, but the world would have already been a cinder by the time they reached their targets. Nuke-capable missiles in underground silos throughout the vast American homeland were ready to go too. ... I've heard it speculated recently that the U.S. military deteriorated rapidly after the Vietnam war, but that was only someone's dream. ... The U.S. has never been lacking for dreamers. After all, Crosby, Stills, and Nash (a popular and talented singing group) were dreaming in the early 1970s about the B-52s turning into butterflies.

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Re: Allied Commandos Blow Up Atomic Plant in Nazi Norway

Post by bronk7 » 31 Jul 2013 18:07

one of the great commando raids and stories of the war!! I read where a German scientist was mistaken about graphite, or incorrectly calculated wrong, about it being used as a moderator<>so they went with the heavy water.....has any1 else seen this???

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Re: Allied Commandos Blow Up Atomic Plant in Nazi Norway

Post by phylo_roadking » 31 Jul 2013 18:22

( There was actually nothing wrong with Heavy Water as a moderator if the reactor was designed properly AND there were other cooling/emergency systems; a heavy-water moderator was IIRC at the heart of the 1946 Canadian nuclear project at Chalk River, the Zeep Reactor...which but for a bit of imaginative disruption {impolite to use the term "sabotage" between friends...} by the U.S. in 1943, the Canadians could have had running and enriching uranium much earlier ;) )
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Re: Allied Commandos Blow Up Atomic Plant in Nazi Norway

Post by Globalization41 » 31 Jul 2013 18:37

I've always wondered about the U.S.S. Indianapolis which carried the first A-bomb to the Pacific theatre. It delivered the weapon, but was sunk by a Japanese sub shortly thereafter. Given that Stalin knew all about the A-bomb project, maybe he gave the Japanese a heads up. It certainly wasn't in Stalin's interest for a successful detonation. Stalin might have liked Roosevelt, but he couldn't stand Truman.

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Re: Allied Commandos Blow Up Atomic Plant in Nazi Norway

Post by phylo_roadking » 31 Jul 2013 19:19

Nah, that one was covered decades ago; Hashimoto had been stooging around the Guam-Leyte shipping lane for three days looking for trade, thinking it would be busier than it was....having already failed to happen across any targets off Okinawa. It was Indianapolis' misfortune to be in the wrong place at Hashimoto's right time...
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Re: Allied Commandos Blow Up Atomic Plant in Nazi Norway

Post by Globalization41 » 31 Jul 2013 20:47

You're probably right, but nevertheless Stalin was definitely a sneaky fellow. He had the motive and the means. He most likely would have known the shipping details and departure date. There would have been time to send a courier after the Potsdam Conference, avoiding any radio transmissions. After all, we still don't know what happened with Kirov.

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Re: Allied Commandos Blow Up Atomic Plant in Nazi Norway

Post by phylo_roadking » 31 Jul 2013 21:04

Stalin knew far more about MANHATTAN courtesy of Klaus Fuchs etc. than he ever learned "officially" at Potsdam ;) Given that - he could have had Hashimoto on the RIGHT route 16th-26th of July...rather than a completely different route four days later ;)
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Re: Allied Commandos Blow Up Atomic Plant in Nazi Norway

Post by jeger » 10 Jan 2014 18:12

Just for the record, they were alle Norwegians(Norwegian Ind Company) working for the British SOE
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Re: Allied Commandos Blow Up Atomic Plant in Nazi Norway

Post by ruiterproductions » 04 Sep 2019 13:05

A Now & Then of the Vemork heavy water production factory.

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