Wednesday 22 May 2019

Norwegian hero behind sabotage of Nazi plant dies aged 99

Joachim Roenneberg led a four-man team which destroyed key parts of a heavy water plant which could have produced nuclear weapons.

Joachim Roenneberg (AP)
Joachim Roenneberg (AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Second World War saboteur Joachim Roenneberg, who headed a four-man team which blew up a plant producing heavy water which Nazi Germany could have used to produce nuclear weapons, has died at the age of 99, Norway’s prime minister said.

Erna Solberg said Mr Roenneberg was “one of our finest resistance fighters”, whose courage “contributed to what has been referred to as the most successful sabotage campaign” in Norway.

Mr Roenneberg received a number of national and international honours in recognition of his wartime service (AP)

Mr Roenneberg, then 23, was tapped by the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) – a war-time intelligence gathering and sabotage unit – to destroy key parts of the heavily guarded plant in southern Norway in February 1943.

The operation – during which not a single shot was fired – has been recounted in books, documentaries, films and TV series.

Ms Solberg posted her tribute on Facebook, hours after Mr Roenneberg’s death.

Press Association

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