If Germany had succeeded in developing an atomic bomb, it would have changed the outcome of the war. This is the story of the attempt to destroy the plant in Norway that was supplying the Nazis with large quantities of heavy water, an integral part of the weapon. Perched atop a 600 foot cliff and accessible only by a narrow and heavily-guarded suspension bridge, the building was nearly impregnable. Easily rivaling the best fiction thrillers, this book is an Icily (in every sense) suspenseful account of one of the most daring and crucial missions of World War II. — Alden Graves
“Riveting and poignant . . . The Winter Fortress metamorphoses from engrossing history into a smashing thriller . . . Mr. Bascomb’s research and, especially, his storytelling skills are first-rate.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Weaving together his typically intense research and a riveting narrative, Neal Bascomb’s The Winter Fortress is a spellbinding piece of historical writing.” — Martin Dugard, author of Into Africa and co-author of the Killing series
In 1942, the Nazis were racing to complete the first atomic bomb. All they needed was a single, incredibly rare ingredient: heavy water, which was produced solely at Norway’s Vemork plant. Under threat of death, Vemork’s engineers pushed production into overdrive. If the Allies could not destroy the plant, they feared the Nazis would soon be in possession of the most dangerous weapon the world had ever seen. But how would the Allied forces reach the castle fortress, set on a precipitous gorge in one of the coldest, most inhospitable places on earth?
Based on a trove of top-secret documents and never-before-seen diaries and letters of the saboteurs, The Winter Fortress is an arresting chronicle of a brilliant scientist, a band of spies on skis, perilous survival in the wild, Gestapo manhunts, and a last-minute operation that would alter the course of the war.
“A taut and peerlessly told adventure story full of thrills, derring-do and heart-stopping tension.” — Seattle Times
“Told with both historical and scientific accuracy . . . this book has rocketed into my pantheon of the top suspense-filled stories about [World War II], along with The 900 Days and The Colditz Story.” — Ethan Siegel, Forbes
About the Author
NEAL BASCOMB is the national award–winning and New York Times best-selling author of The Winter Fortress, Hunting Eichmann, The Perfect Mile,Higher,The Nazi Hunters, and Red Mutiny, among others. A former international journalist, he is a widely recognized speaker on the subject of war and has appeared in a number of documentaries. He lives in Philadelphia. For more information, visit http://nealbascomb.com or find him on Twitter at @nealbascomb.
“Weaving together his typically intense research and a riveting narrative, Neal Bascomb’s The Winter Fortress is a spellbinding piece of historical writing.” —Martin Dugard, author of Into Africa and coauthor of the Killing series
“Neal Bascomb’s The Winter Fortress is a riveting, high-action World War II thriller with nothing less than the fate of planet Earth on the line. Just imagine the horror if Hitler had gotten the atomic bomb? Writing with great verve and historical acumen, Bascomb hits the mark of excellence. Highly recommended!” —Douglas Brinkley, New York Times best-selling author of The Great Deluge and Cronkite
“What would have happened if Hitler had managed to develop nuclear weapons? In The Winter Fortress, Neal Bascomb brilliantly tells the extraordinary true story of arguably the most important and daring commando raid of World War II: how an amazing band of men on skis made sure Hitler never got to drop the ultimate bomb.” —Alex Kershaw, New York Times best-selling author of The Longest Winter
“Brilliantly written, The Winter Fortress cinematically captures a commando team’s efforts to destroy one of the most important secret facilities of World War II. Bascomb’s riveting prose puts the reader into one of the more daring missions of the war and the Allies’ efforts to sabotage a crucial aspect of Germany’s nuclear program. An excellent read.” —Patrick K. O’Donnell, best-selling author of First Seals and Washington’s Immortals
“This well-told and deeply researched account sheds light on an aspect of World War II that is little known or remembered, creating a valuable history that will be beneficial for most collections.” —Library Journal
“An exciting, thorough account . . . Featuring excellent characterization and exquisite detail concerning a theater of the war (Norway) not well-mined, this will make a terrific addition to World War II collections.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review