The heavy water war

The heavy water war

DVD - 2016 | Norwegian
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Depicts the harrowing true story from World War II of the Nazis' efforts to develop an atom bomb and the Allies' desperate struggle to prevent it from happening. The series starts in Stockholm in 1933 as the German scientist Werner Heisenberg is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, and although considered unreliable by the Nazis, he is allowed into the secret Nazi nuclear energy project, "Uranverein". Heisenberg's work reveals that an atom bomb can only be made with heavy, or hydrogen-laden water, which can be produced in sufficient quantities by the Norsk Hydro factory in Norway. Norwegian professor Leif Tronstad escapes to England to enlist Allied help in thwarting the plan.

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j
jimg2000
May 06, 2019

Dialogue primarily in German and English. **** Contains Spoilers (for references after the film)***

Now I'm going to tell you something that's even more secret than the fact that an object can be in two places at the same time women are unpredictable. Nothing in my scientific research indicates that a young, beautiful, intelligent and entertaining woman can't fall for a pale, underfed and quiet nuclear physicist.
===
Julie works in intelligence here. She's head of Norwegian operations.
-I'm currently setting up lines of communication in Norway, as well as training field agents.
Really, but you're a …
-Yes, I'm a woman. How very observant of you, Professor Tronstad.

j
jimg2000
May 06, 2019

And the new director of the factory?
-Bjorn Henriksen, Aubert's right-hand man. A wolf in sheep's clothing.
===
Mr Tronstad? We're at war. You're still playing at war.
===
They've hired you. Why? To front German culture? To see you make some interesting calculations on a blackboard? No, they've hired you because they want something in return. They want value for their money. Results. And ideally, something that explodes.
-Listen. We are working with creating energy.
Our moral obligations have never been bigger than they are now. And if you don't understand that… then you are either stupid, or very naive. And right now, both of them are equally dangerous.
===
This is a cyanide pill. You will each be given one. Keep it in your mouth for the last stages of the operation. In case of German capture, bite hard. It will ensure certain death within three minutes.

j
jimg2000
May 06, 2019

The operation goes under the name of Freshman. 41 specially trained commandos sent into the mountains in two gliders, each pulled by a Halifax bomber. 21 men in one glider, 20 in the other. Now, the Halifaxes take them as far as the Norwegian coast, then the gliders swoop down, unnoticed, and land on high ground. After that, our chaps slip down to the factory - and blow the damn thing to pieces.
===
Politicians come and go, majorities change, but science only moves forward. One discovery leads to the next.
===

Being enthusiastic is not the same as being ready. Wanting to do something is not the same as being able to do something. And being hungover is not being fit to fight.

j
jimg2000
May 06, 2019

Apparently, the Americans have been planning to bomb the factory for the last year.
=Can't be bombed. The building is too solid. There's seven floors of armed concrete They'll never get to the source.
===
What about Grouse?
-Await orders. We'll send another team.
My men are not prepared for winter. They don't have enough food…
-I am currently informing 41 families that they won't see their boys again. And you're concerned about what? Four Norwegian commandos. Can't they shoot?! Can't they live off the land?! You told me yourself how well prepared they are. So that shouldn't be a problem, should it?
===
I didn't know he (Julie’s husband) was missing in action.
-Lots of people are. The truth is, we argued all the time. I was glad when he was called up. I thought about absence making the heart grow stronger, and all that. Hmm! But he's been gone for such a long time … I think I've forgotten how to miss him.

j
jimg2000
May 06, 2019

I have 100 planes that are ready to go.
-The factory has seven floors made of armed concrete.
Yeah, so you keep saying. You sure you're not just worried about local casualties?
- I built this factory. We need someone to get the explosives into the basement. That's why it has to be a small group. A group of five people who know the area. Dropped above the mountain, heavily supervised, with only the heavy water plant as their target.
===
Right, some of you already know why you're here. Operation Gunnerside. Southern Norway. The target is the heavy water plant at Rjukan. From now on, whatever you do, you will do as a group. A unit. A team. No solo efforts. No individual heroics. We only care about what you manage to do as a team.
===
I should be with my family.
-Mm-hmm. I should be with my husband. I need a drink.

j
jimg2000
May 06, 2019

When we sent Freshman in, we doubled the numbers, divided the group into two. Two planes to increase the chances. They'd hardly tested the planes and there was no planned retreat. It was quite simply a one-way ticket. So in comparison, Gunnerside's a great success.
===
You didn't seriously think we could do this without any casualties?
-He was my friend.
Then give yourself a break. Hundreds of thousands of people will die. London was bombed every night for nine months, 200 bombs a night. 43,381 dead so far. 50,856 people seriously injured. 1,150,000 homes destroyed, just in London. And now we're going to bomb Germany again and create a mayhem that no-one in history has ever witnessed. And even if I cheer every bomb we drop, I'm still very aware of all the people we kill.

j
jimg2000
May 06, 2019

And cheers to Mussolini. You know they arrested him yesterday? The Americans think there'll be a truce with Italy by the end of the week. Then we'll get the Mediterranean back again.
- It's turning.
Mmm. Oh, you bet your arse it's turning! Give us a year. Germany won't be anything more than a pile of rubble.
===
I might go back to university, do another degree.
-That's a good idea. This country needs good bird-watchers.
It certainly does. It's going to be strange not to have a war.
===
===
What about the ferry?
-No, that's a passenger ferry.
Well, it's an option. How would we do it?
-Explosives below deck to make the ferry sink within a few minutes?
How deep is the lake?
-It's one of the deepest lakes in Norway. 400 metres at its deepest point. It's a passenger ferry.

j
jimg2000
May 06, 2019

I can guarantee if you give us the time and the men, we can go in and we can…
-You've had two chances! You've had two shots at it. You've blown both of them! Do you think we have an unlimited amount of time? We're running out of time! They're going to produce heavy water, they're going to get the bomb, and that's going to be it! You realise who these people are? They're not going to play nice. You think with what they did to London, it's going to be a walk in the park compared to what they're going to do if they develop heavy water and get a bomb, so think about that. 50 people? 500 million people will go. The world will end as we know it. And we're arguing about a valley in Norway!
===
911 bombs, and all they could do was knock out one of the generators at the power station? That will only take a week to fix! 21 people killed! And all this for what? Huh? To bomb a bridge? A few chemical factories and some railway wagons and a bloody unused bus shelter! Precision bombing?

j
jimg2000
May 06, 2019

***SPOILER ALERT***
Another attempt, another blast, another fuckload of people die.
-That's war. There's a price to pay for success.
But how successful were we, really? We lost 41 men with Freshman. We sabotaged the factory only to have the Germans rebuild it in two months, then listened to the Yanks and bombed the entire valley. All right. And now, we're about to blow up a passenger ferry. Very successful.
-It's war, Julie, you told me.
===
Sunshine? Yes, Operation Sunshine, the protection of power and dam installations in Southern Norway, to prevent the Germans from destroying too much before they surrender.
===

P.S. on screen texts at the end of series:
-Leif Tronstad never reunited with his family …
-Werner Heisenberg was arrested by the Americans on May 3rd, 1945. Germany capitulated four days later…
-Norsk Hydro continued to produce and sell heavy water until 1988. Today the company has 13,000 employees and a turnover of more than 65 biblion kroner.

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j
jimg2000
May 06, 2019

Latest adaptation of Norwegian heroism during WWII, as the British movie "The Heroes of Telemark 1965" with Kirk Douglas. Fast paced story, engaging characters and good war actions:

In a secret Norwegian laboratory, the Nazis are developing "heavy water," which is critical for making a nuclear weapon. Physicist Rolf leads a small team of commandos into the country to destroy the lab before it's too late. (Based on a true story.)

l
loulou2008
Dec 04, 2018

Excellent series!

a
akirakato
Aug 18, 2018

Produced by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation for TV miniseries, this 6-episode war docudrama depicts the German nuclear weapon project and the heavy water sabotage in Norway to disrupt it during the Second World War.
This film portrays real characters in these true events of an epic struggle, the outcome of which will determine the future of Europe.
If you're a World War II buff, this is a must-see.

g
goldenfran
Jun 06, 2018

Love to watch MHZ shows. The heavy water war chronicles the Nazi’s attempt to secure heavy water from Norway in their efforts to build a bomb during WW II. This series profiles Norwegians who escaped to England and worked with the British to thwart the Nazi efforts. Incredible true story and well done.

h
hedyhowe
Feb 07, 2018

Very well done film about a little know part of the war! You might want to read Andrew Gross's book 'Saboteur' which covers this story in a very readable fashion....historical fiction.

g
garycornell
Jan 07, 2017

Few of us are even aware of "Heavy Water" and how it could have changed the world in the hands of the Nazi's during World War II. Amazing scenes of destruction from the British bombing and the plight of the citizens of a small village in Norway. Few true stories will give as much information about the Allied success in World War II. If you believe that history matters, then you won't want to miss "The Heavy Water War".

l
lucca
Jun 01, 2016

Good TV show but the image quality is not good on a 50" Smart TV. Sometimes low resolution horizontal lines are very visible.
I don't have this kind of problem watching any other DVD or Blu-Ray on the same player and TV.

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