Joachim Rønneberg, saboteur who wrecked Nazi nuke program, dies at 99


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Always be punching nazis!



Maybe Clint Eastwood could try to redeem himself by playing a real man.

Edit: that doesn’t make any sense. The movie would have to be of this man’s actions when he was young. But there is quite a resemblance.


Precise, surgical war that destroys psychotic facists’ wartoys rather than hordes of living souls. That’s war I can get behind (you know, if we must have it at all…). Man, this makes me want to replay Commandos…And gives me motivational material to imagine when I’m cross-country skiing through the park.


Here is a good Futility Closet episode about Operation Gunnerside.


Scott Eastwood? You could structure the biopic so that Clint’s doing the BBC interviews decades later, as a frame story.


There is a decent film about the raid.

You can’t go wrong with Kirk Douglas or Richard Harris.


In a better world, stories like this man’s would serve as inspiring reminders that fascism is to be fought at all turns, the earlier the better. In our world, though, the president* of the U.S. would probably see some of the Nazi officers commanding the 3000 troops chasing down the saboteur as “very fine people”.


So the Nazis finally got him. . . .


Totally. That’s the right answer. Clint does some cameos to frame, and Scott does the action, in a remake of The Heroes of Telemark. I’d go see it.


The story of the Telemark raid is one of many incredible stories in Richard Rhodes’s magnificent ‘The Making of the Atomic Bomb’ which should be on every BBer’s bookshelf.


Just when I thought today’s black ops and spy stuff would be far too much inspired by decades of bad films, including the bloody Mission Impossible franchise and James Bond villainy, there comes along a reminder that WWII had some of the real shit.


I didn’t know that. And while expect some hyperbolic statements to be contained in the narrative, and the reasons why the NaIs didn’t succeed in building an A-bomb to be a bit more multi-factorial I am deeply impressed and hope these guys had a very good life afterwards. They would have deserved it.


@beschizza, according to Wikipedia his name was Joachim. I was wondering about the Roachim, but first thought “that’s Norway for you…”

FTR, this guy. He has no German-language Wikipedia entry. I say!



A tremendous hero!


The things this man and people like him were able to accomplish and endure is just about impossible for me to wrap me head around.

Survivors of the previous mission lived in the mountains on lichen and moss while evading the Germans for months, and these people skied 200 miles while being pursued. This weekend I got cranky when I had to wait an extra hour to eat lunch, and sometimes my back gets sore from sitting too much.


Let me tell you about this one time I misplaced my passport…


Rhodes also notes that the reason the Nazis were pursuing heavy water was that they had blown the experiments with graphite, and believed that it would not be a good moderator. The correct results, achieved by Fermi in Chicago, were effectively our first nuclear secret.


Good on him.

Always RESIST.


Punch’em in the Nukes!


Not that Heavy water wouldn’t work. Some reactor designs rely on it today.

The counterfactual that I like to think about is not “What if the Nazis got the bomb,” but rather “What if the U.S. didn’t” It was a HUGE undertaking, not just some eggheads in Los Alamos. What would we have done instead? More bomber or tank factories? More graving docks for a bigger fleet? It possible that we could have brought Japan to a military defeat earlier? Given their unwillingness to accept surrender terms that were acceptable to us,If they were functionally defeated before the war with Germany ended, we might have settled on a starvation blockade to end the ware rather than an invasion.