National Geographic: Untold Stories of World War II

Synopsis:
Year:
1998
9 Views

In a century riddled with unrest,

World War Two remains the epic tale...

an event of unparalleled impact.

Even now,

we are uncovering new information.

about secret weapons...

and villainous tactics,

about extraordinary heroism...

and boundless shame;

about a time when one life

or one bullet, or one bomb

separated infamy and glory...

defeat and victory...

tyranny and freedom...

untold stories of World War II.

On the 16th of July, 1945...

a bomb exploded in the American desert

a very different kind of bomb.

The furious energy of

the atom had been unleashed.

That power might have landed

in the wrong hands,

had a few brave men not waged a secret

war against Germany's atomic program.

At the height of the Second World War,

Germany's Nazi Party

marched toward global domination,

led by its ambitious,

remorseless leader.

Adolph Hitler had the will

to conquer the world.

All he needed was the weapon.

And he had found the means to make one

in the most unlikely place.

It was here,

in the snow-packed mountains of Norway,

that a handful of soldiers on

skis fought to stop Hitler's dream

of possessing the ultimate weapon.

Old men now,

they remember how they risked their

young lives for the cause of liberty.

They would stop at nothing

in order to conquer the world.

So the feeling that they had to be

stopped became very, very strong.

We were quite certain that

if we are caught by Germans,

we would all have been executed.

It would take three daring attempts

before they succeeded.

April 9, 1940.

German warships penetrated Oslo Fjord.

The blitzkrieg had come to Norway.

Within two months, the besieged nation

was forced to surrender.

Well, it took some time to realize it,

actually.

But when Autumn 1940 came,

and the darkness came in over Norway,

you certainly realized that it was not

the same Norway you had the year before

To understand it, you need to have

the experience of being occupied.

To live in an occupied country is

the most distressing thing you can do.

A vast occupying army flooded

the country.

The Nazis now controlled all aspects

of Norwegian life.

No actually war between each Norwegian

and each German.

We had to do the best out of it.

I think that was the common opinion.

Inside, of course,

most Norwegians hated them.

They introduced Gestapo in Norway,

when they understood that

resistance was coming

started arresting people,

torturing people,

killing people, et cetera et cetera.

And then we certainly understood

what an occupation meant to people.

Hitler's grasp extended

into every corner of the country.

In this remote Norwegian valley,

the Germans seized

a very special prize

the Norsk Hydro factory.

Surrounded by mountains,

the factory had been built on the face

of a cliff overlooking a deep

and impassable gorge.

For the Nazis,

it was an ideal location

for a wartime project difficult

to bomb and easy to defend.

But, to the generals in Berlin,

Norsk Hydro offered even more.

In 1940, it was the only

hydroelectric plant in the world

producing large amounts

of an extremely rare substance:

deuterium oxide,

also known as heavy water.

As soon as they took control

of the plant,

production went into high gear.

When word reached Great Britain,

a powerful sense of foreboding swept

through the allies.

As the most likely target

for a German A-bomb,

Britain faced the greatest peril.

Is it possible they do not realize

that we shall never cease

to persevere against them until

they have been taught a lesson

which they and

the world will never forget?

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