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Hunting Hitler's Nukes

The Secret Race to Stop the Nazi Bomb
Written by: Damien Lewis
Narrated by: Greg Wagland
Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
Categories: History, Europe

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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of true military classics Zero Six Bravo, The Nazi Hunters and Churchill's Secret Warriors.

In the Spring of 1940, as Britain reeled from defeats on all fronts and America seemed frozen in isolation, one fear united the British and American leaders like no other: the Nazis had stolen a march on the Allies towards building the atomic bomb. So began the hunt for Hitler's nuclear weapons - nothing else came close in terms of priorities. It was to be the most secret war of those wars fought amongst the shadows. The highest stakes. The greatest odds.

Prior to the outbreak of the war, the massive German chemicals conglomerate I. G. Farben - the future manufacturers of Zyklon B, the gas used in the Nazi concentration camps - had started producing bulk supplies of deuterium oxide - heavy water - at the remote Norwegian plant of Vemork.

This was the central target of three separate missions over the ensuing four years: Operations Grouse, Freshman and Gunnerside. As Churchill commented, 'The actual facts in many cases were equal to the most fantastic inventions of romance and melodrama. Tangle with tangle, plot and counterplot, ruse and treachery, cross and double-cross, true agent, false agent, double agent, gold and steel, the bomb, the dagger and the firing party were interwoven in a texture so intricate as to be incredible yet true.'

Damien Lewis' new best seller intercuts the hunt for the scientists, the raw materials and the plant with the cloak-and-dagger intelligence game being played in the shadows. This relied in part on Enigma intercepts to guide the SOE's hand. Lewis delves into some of the most extraordinarily inventive and Machiavellian innovations at the SOE and their related research and training schools, whereby the enemy were tricked, deceived, framed, blackmailed and double- and triple-crossed, all in the name of stopping the Reich from getting the bomb.

©2016 Omega Ventures Limited (P)2016 WF Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Suicidal bravery, untold moral courage and awe-inspiring survival. An utterly compelling read." (Bear Grylls)

What members say

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  • JohnA
  • 30-01-17

Gripping story of an epic endeavour

Well constructed account of a remarkable feat of a band of extraordinary men. Having skied on the Vidda in Spring one can only marvel at how they managed to survive in such harsh conditions. Let's not forget the whole band from each of the operations. From the sappers to the SOE personnel they were all heroes. Well read if a little matter of fact at times the harshness of the environment was well described.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. Alan R. Jenkins
  • 11-05-17

Telemark Heros

Where does Hunting Hitler's Nukes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best so far. Superb authorship with corresponding narration. Absolutely stunning story.

What did you like best about this story?

Having, like so many no doubt who have watched the Richard Harris and Kirk Douglas film "Hero's of Telemark" the book expands on many of those scenes albeit in different occurrence within the film; however, what the film lacked, the book more than outlines the sheer resolute and heroism of those that played so an important part in the prevention of the Nazi regime from acquiring the Atomic bomb before the conflict in Europe could be won for the allies. What a story.

Which character – as performed by Greg Wagland – was your favourite?

Greg played his part to illustrate verbally the people where appropriate come to life within your imagination without losing the plot or intensity of the characters.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The tragic consequences of the operations, and the hardship the men suffered once in occupied Norway, in climate conditions that no human should have survived and yet perform the ultimate aim of the operation through to its end and nonetheless not experience the gallant rewards by being executed in such a cruel manner.

Any additional comments?

This is a outstanding book telling the beyond heroic efforts of all those involved in the operations aimed at denying the Nazi regime gain their ultimate weapon of World War II. Everyone should listen or read the book to understand what human sacrifice can done for the good against evil.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Douglas
  • 09-12-16

Superb

A gripping and thrilling account of this true ww2 story of real heroism excellently narrated

10 people found this helpful

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  • Tuffers
  • 23-03-17

great history

riveting story and will be looking at other books by this author and others like him

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-02-17

greatly enjoyed the book

would absolutely recommend this book. easy to listen to. well narrated and a incredable story

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-12-16

A true story of Heroism.

Hitler was very close to having the ability of producing the first atomic bomb, the acts of bravery and fortitude by so few men undoubtedly changed the outcome of the war.

6 people found this helpful

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  • A. DONALDSON
  • 23-01-17

excellent book well read

Other than the heroes of telemark film I knew little about the SOE raids in Norway. This book gives a gripping account of several missions which were in the main successful to deny the third reich it's heavy water from Norway. It gives good descriptions of the characters involved and reads like a novel. Well read by the narrator I thoroughly enjoyed it.

10 people found this helpful

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  • SirChutney
  • 30-06-19

The brave men who saved the world

Damien Lewis’s book lays out how close Hitler came to developing nuclear weapons. Even now, this prospect makes me shudder.

The action in this book focuses on Operation Freshman, Grouse and Gunnerside. These bring home the sacrifices and the incredible bravery shown by the men involved.

The production of heavy water was judged to be a serious enough threat that at least five separate attacks were launched during World War II.
:: On 18 October 1942, four Norwegian SOE (Special Operations Executive) agents were parachuted in on a reconnaissance operation code-named 'Grouse'.
:: On 19 November 1942, Operation Freshman was conducted by the British as a Combined Operation involving the RAF and the Army. This used two Halifax bombers, each towing a glider. Three of these aircraft crashed. The survivors were captured and executed by the Germans.
:: In February 1943, SOE's Operation 'Gunnerside' parachuted another six Norwegian agents into the area. They joined forces with the four from 'Grouse'. They successfully attacked the Rjukan electrolysis plant on the night of 28 February-1 March 1943. This resulted in the loss of 500kg of heavy water and destruction of the heavy-water section of the plant.
:: On 16 November 1943, an American air raid took place, but there was minimal damage to the electrolysis building.
:: On 20 February 1944, a successful attack by Norwegian resistance sank the ferry "D/F Hydro" that was taking a shipment of heavy water to Germany.

Damien Lewis has an easy writing style. This means that it never feels like you’re reading a textbook . One complaint is that sometimes Damien tries to overbuild the tension. But that's a minor issue and does not detract from enjoying the book.

All in all an incredible story of the bravery of a handful of men who may well have saved the world. Brilliantly told with amazing detail. You can almost feel the cold and the deprivation they suffered while preparing for their raids. Describing the harsh and harrowing reality of war too, when men are sent on desperate missions with little or no chance of survival.

We salute them.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-11-19

Cut from a different cloth.

Absolutely a gripping story of Men who were of another level. Damien Lewis ☆☆☆☆☆Epic

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-07-19

Not Really hunting for Nukes!!!

Title is very misleading. Not really hunting nukes, i had expected that this was about hunting the labs etc within Germany during and towards the end of the war and even after the war, when in fact its all about the destruction of the heavy water plants in Norway, 90% is.
However this is a good listen, if like me you have watched the old war film "The Heroes of Telemark" as a child this goes into detail about that raid and tells the true storey of the very brave people.

1 person found this helpful