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The Real Heroes of Telemark: The True Story of the Secret Mission to Stop Hitler's Atomic Bomb [Hardcover]

Ray Mears
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2003
Sixty years ago, four men parachuted onto a Norwegian glacier, equipped with only the most basic equipment. Their mission was to prevent the Nazi regime from building an atomic bomb. Now, wilderness expert Ray Mears tells the true story of this gruelling campaign, showing how these men's ability to survive in extreme conditions influenced the outcome of the Second World War. The Telemark campaign was an example of the bravery and skill of the SOE trainees. The Norwegians transformed a military disaster into a triumph. This book will tell the full story for the first time.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd; First Edition / Fifth Impression edition (1 Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340830158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340830154
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.4 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 522,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'If Ray Mears isn't a Great Living Englishman, then goodness me, who is? Ray is a persuader, populariser and pragmatist in the Durrell-Attenborough-Bellamy tradition.' -- Robert Crampton, The Times Magazine 'Ray Mears is a bushman first and foremost and really can survive in any extreme environment. I can't think of a better companion in a crisis.' -- Tim Lewis, GQ Acclaim for BUSHCRAFT: 'Complete - and certainly aesthetically pleasing...it is sure to consolidate Mears' position as the foremost purveyor of bushcraft in the UK today.' -- Geographical Magazine

Book Description

Ray Mears shows how the success of a vital World War II mission depended on survival skills. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best raid ever! 17 Feb 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have always enjoyed Ray Mears TV programmes so I thought that this book would reflect Mr Mears easy going personal style and passion for survival in extreme physical conditions....I was not to be disappointed. This was a well written book from beginning to end...exceedingly enjoyable.

This is an amazing true story about one of if not thee most important covert military operation in WW2. The destruction of a heavy water plant in Norway becomes critical in the 'Nazi v Allies' race to develop a nuclear weapon during the war. Having limited options available to them and after a failed glider commando attempt the allies decided to send in a team of saboteurs to carry out an extremely perilous sabotage operation.

The fact that the team of Norwegian SOE trained agents parachuted in and carried out this task under the Germans noses without even losing a single man is only part of this amazing story. The epic escapes by the team, the pre & post operational hardships encountered by the team in an arctic environment and the subsequent sinking of a ferry a few months after the operation containing another shipment of heavy water is the other half of this narrative. Each operational phase is embedded with quite incredulous mini-stories reflecting the courage, daring and fortitude of the men involved.

A common thread that weaves through the exciting web of this book is the courage and daring of not only the raiding group but that of the Norwegian populous. That these actions were carried out by humble, modest but highly motivated patriotic Norwegians makes this book a compelling read. If you are Norwegian and you read this book you should stand in awe of your countrymen's achievements and contribution to the eventual allied victory in Europe. This book is a great advert for Norway and its people!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Hollywood rip-off corrected . . . 10 April 2007
Format:Paperback
A really interesting and inspiring read. It covers the real events that were the inspiration behind the film `The Heroes of Telemark'. This was the sabotage mission carried out on a power station in the Telemark region of Norway. It was carried out by patriotic and heroic Norwegians, who risked their lives and showed immense skill and outdoormanship. However, as with most things Hollywood gets their hands on, the story had to be `sexed up' for the big screen.

The only criticism I have from the book is that it seems to have an element missing that must have been in the BBC television series. From what I understand from the pictures in the book, Ray Mears must have attempted some of the feats carried out by Operations Grouse and Gunnerside. However, this is not commented upon in the book, which only focuses on the history and narrative story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An exciting story of true courage 28 July 2008
Format:Paperback
Having always regarded Ray Mears as an overgrown boy scout I started to read the book with some apprehension (why did his chubby face have to feature on the cover?) However after the first few lines I was hooked on the story of these true heroes. Mears gives a superb, detailed account of the build-up and action in destroying the heavy water stocks held by the Nazis at Rjukan. The account of the second, possibly more important operation, to destroy the ship that would transport the replenished Heavy Water stock to Germany seemed a little rushed and not so detailed, but I guess he was limited to the size of the paperback. In my opinion a book not to miss!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heros of Telemark indeed 5 Dec 2010
Format:Audio CD
This true story is indeed a TRUE STORY. I am pleased to say having met Joachim Ronneberg personally and heard him speaking of this operation, Ray Mears account is the most factual. Joachim explained all the difficulties that the team encountered, and never forgetting the many deaths from the British Glider Pilots who were meant to assist them, yet perished when they crashed, and the survivors killed by the Germans. The explanation of this most heroic operation is explained in detail, the dangers, the survival in most horrendous situations, more importantly the success of the whole operation with not one loss of life of the team who sabotaged the Heavy water Plant. Joachim and a few members of the team still survive. Joachim himself the team leader is now 93 years of age. We have so much to thank these men for, had they not succeeded on this operation then without doubt the Germans would have unleashed the Atomic Bomb on the UK and maybe another result to WWII would have ensued. Thank God for very brave men like these, and all others who fought to keep our freedoms, let us NEVER forget the sacrifices these men and women paid for Peace in the world. One day true accounts like these will nudge all to realise Peace only comes from respect for one another. A highly recommended DVD and very accurate account of a true incident. Rev. David Bennett (Chaplain)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling real story 20 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A well written story, setting right the misinterpretations of the fil version. Over-rates somewhat the real capacity of nazi Germany to produce an atom bomb, but otherwise a very interesting story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT 29 Jan 2014
By N
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have to admit I thought I was buying the DVD, but the book arrived instead. By along way the book is the best way to discover this remarkable true story. This is a difficult book to put down.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A well-told story of a daring and successful operation across some of th most difficult territory in the world in appalliing winter conditions. It keeps you engaged throughout.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A real hard to put down book
Amazing true story Norway has real war heroes to be so proud to call their own sons wives and own
Published 6 months ago by Michael Flynn
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of true hero's
An excellent account of a True daring mission, that destroyed the German plan's to create the atomic bomb. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Robert Charles Parry
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible story
An incredible true story of bravery and endurance by several young Norwegian men with extraordinary survival skills - operating in extreme conditions in the Hardangervidda - one of... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Bill.Mac
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story Well Told
I have not been a Ray Mears fan until I read this book about one of the all-time great covert raids of all times. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mike G
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for a Norwegian friend
Saw this and thought what a perfect present for a friend whose grandfather was actually there at the time. Not bad price and fast delivery too
Published 15 months ago by W Woo
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Am a big Ray Mears fan, and this book proved why. An excellent, informative and gripping read. A true story of the horrors of war and the lengths some people went through for their... Read more
Published 17 months ago by gozhawk
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I love Ray Mears and he does this subject justice very good read from start to finish, if you like history, WW2 books and Ray Mears this is a must
Published 20 months ago by Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars They were REAL heroes - a must read!
I read my first book from World War Two just 4 years after armistice when I was 13 - "The Wooden Horse". Read more
Published on 13 Dec 2011 by Charles
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Mears in the 1940s' Hardanger Vidda
For many years, I have watched Ray Mears' programmes on bushcraft and survival and enjoyed all of them; although I often watch wondering "why? Read more
Published on 6 Nov 2011 by RR Waller
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Heroes of Telemark
I had just ordered the book The Shetland Bus and this book was recommended to me as a "customers also bought". It is a really good read, and I read it over a two day period. Read more
Published on 30 Oct 2011 by Amazon Customer
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