The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb
The Winter Fortress explores a lesser known part of World War II: the attempts of the Nazis toward making an atomic bomb and the Norwegian soldiers who thwarted them. On April 9, 1940, Germany invaded Norway, sending the Norwegian King, Haakon VII, into hiding. Of particular interest to the Nazis was the Norsk Hydro plant in Rjukan and its production of heavy water, which German scientists needed to build their reactors. Learning of their intent, two groups of Norwegian men worked with the British to put a stop to the production of heavy water.
Author Neal Bascomb offers a look into some truly harrowing moments in the lives of an indomitable group of soldiers. This is an all-encompassing work covering a specific point in history minutely. The depth of detail can, at times, be daunting, and the pace is steady but not fast. For World War II history buffs this book will appeal because of its detail, but Bascomb provides enough detail and explanations of the surrounding issues to allow the average layperson to follow without confusion. The Winter Fortress is not to be confounded with light historical action reading, as the actual scenes of action are brief in comparison to the whole. However, for the persevering reader, it shines a light on a lesser known area of history and spotlights some truly talented and brave soldiers.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt