Op Gunnerside documentary from 1973 "The Saboteurs of Telemark"

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by dogs_bollox, Jan 22, 2013.

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  1. Came across this doco of the real 'Heroes of Telemark' made in 1973. The recent white stuff made me think about conducting ops in such conditions.

    It is a very low key, underplayed doco - something we used to do so well - rather than some inflated and glamourised rubbish that has a liberal sprinkling of the word 'extreme' and full of 20x20 hindsight and purporting to re-write history. A straightforward telling of what happened and all the more engrossing for it. At least to people over 40.

    It was filmed on location and with many interviews with some of the men who were on the mission. 2 were still serving in the Norwegian Army. All quiet spoken and modest men but obviously as hard as nails. A real demonstration of cool, quiet courage that some units in the British Army might learn from - but won't.

    I believe all of the participants are now in Valhalla and this is a fitting memorial to them. Norwegian and British.

    The Saboteurs of Telemark (BBC 1973) - YouTube
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  2. Thanks, very good stuff.
  3. Also mentioned on this thread with more background info ....http://www.arrse.co.uk/current-affairs-news-analysis/190433-101-one-hell-innings.html#post4808967

    Edited to add ... later in December I came across this linky ... BBC - Radio 4 - Telemark Heroes ...

    ... I have tried to play it a few times without success before posting on ARRSE ... problems after a couple of mins ... perhaps someone else could try ... I have a feeling the source file may be corrupted .
  4. Ray Mears did a very good doco about the raid a few years ago

    This outdoor centre in Southern Norway runs ski expeditions to re-create the route that the saboteurs took across the Hardanger plateau and into the same hydroelectric plant which is still there today.

    Civvy & military groups are catered for and the pilgrim bandits are regular visitors there for fund-raising jollies, place is run by an ex Cdo gunner who settled out there.

    Places are still available on this year's trips and its also the 70th anniversary of ops gunnerside & grouse this year.

    Heroes Of Telemark Expedition |
  5. Apologies for the duplication. I missed the earlier thread.

    Interestingly, one of the Gunnerside guys (Knut Haugland ) was on Thor Heyerdals Kon Tike expedition across the pacific. In fact, I think all of them on that balsa raft were ex-Norwegian Resistance lads. But I may be wrong !

    Wasn't a real fan of the Mears doc as it did the usual of trying to make us realise how tough the original blokes were because a group of modern Commandos couldn't replicate it.

    I believe that the Norwegians made a film in B&W of the story but never been able to track it down.

    I will drop in as part of my motorbike tour up to nordkapp and back in June. Going with a German mate and so making sure we visit the Tirpitz and Vermork museums :)
  6. I did a 2 week exercise in Norway back in the late 80's and I have to say, I have NEVER been so exhausted in my life. I used to do a lot of cross country skiing and winter munro bagging so I thought it would be a stroll in the park for me.

    Think again! The calories you burn just trying to stay warm is huge. Back then the kit was not great and certainly not on par with the civvy kit I used for my hill walking. Trying to operate in mitts, balaclavas, goggles and parkas is a bloody pain in the arse. Add to that silly mistakes like grabbing the barrel of a GPMG with bare hands that had been sat for several hours in -20 degrees and you end up very pissed off indeed.

    I would say the biggest battle was moral. Always wet, always cold, always hungry...no wonder the Norweigens drink!!
    • Like Like x 1
  7. No probs I was merely providing a link to more info .

    Many years ago I read the book The Kon-Tiki Expedition by Thor Heyerdahl ... and linking into another recent thread IIRC they used an Army 19 Set for their comms .

    The Norwegians did make a film in which some of the original team members particiapted ... linky to purchase DVD ... Robert's Hard to find Videos ... however no sub titles and PAL may not be suitable for UK .

    Could you try and download the BBC R4 broadcast detailed in my earlier post to confirm if their file is corrupted or the fault lies within my Laptop ?
  8. My work comp won't let me play the link on the BBC page - fecking spoilsports....... I'll try tonight and let you know. However, the file did come up with one of those icons that says it needs a programme my work comp doesn't have in order to play it .

    I'll also try that other link and buy the movie. Norwegian language or not, it has to be worth a watch as i'm sure it will be very accurate so thanks for that ! :)
  9. Cheers for that. If you are the bloke in the link you posted, you have been a very lucky guy to have met some of them.

    I wasn't aware that there were two other moves of the heavy water by the Germans that were not sabotaged ........ very strange.
  10. Not me but he is a friend, I've told him about this chat & will try & get him to sign up for arrse to spin the dit - he knew most of the key players & has been leading groups to meet them and re-create the routes of the saboteurs for years, even staying in the same cabins that they did while they were hiding out from ze germans

    I know this because I've stayed at his place a few times on my way up north - enjoy nordkapp, I reached it on the 1 may 08' after having skied for 122 days, setting out from the southern tip of Norway on new years eve - the view is spectacular and I believe that in the visitor centre at nordkapp is a film about the place where I make a cameo apperance.

    They were shooting it when I arrived, look for a guy skiing with a flag stuck out the top of his bergen

    Ha det bra!
  11. Seriously good effort there ! That's one hell of a feat. I used to do a lot of ski touring (with Telemark skis of course!) in Canadian Rockies and French Alps and never got fit enough to feel anything other than totally fecked all the time. But still had great times of course.

    The idea of re-tracing the route is fantastic. What better way to tour a battlefield . But no-one will ever repeat the feats done by the originals. Tough men raised on skis and definately inured to the hardships of the Norwegian climate. I suppose the Mears doco showed just how much fitter they were (in real terms and not gyms tests) than modern, soldiers ....
  12. I wouldn't say that about modern soldiers . . . just my opinion though. I think that better scientific understanding of human physiology and nutrition has allowed us to push the body even further if anything

    But they were Norwegians - some of whom can be hard as nails - and they were fighting to liberate their country which has got to be a pretty powerful motivator
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  13. That's a fair comment. Perhaps i should re-phrase to to say how much tougher they were due to upbringing, the times they lived in and the reality of their situation compared to an exercise. I'm not saying the modern soldier is not good of course ! And any real comparison is impossible to make. Definately a debate better to be had over a pint rather than an internet forum :)
  14. Thanks for that linky u_t never thought of checking on You Tube .... cheaper than buying ... in fact zero cost .