Book Review: The Winter Fortress

51L7oEtzclL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_During WWII the Nazis invaded the small country of Norway and took over the heavy water plant in Vemork. The Nazi’s were intent on using the heavy water to develop a nuclear bomb to destroy the UK. Hitler was nearing success and the entire course of history was about to change.

The heavy water plant was designed by Dr. Leif Tronstad. Upon the Nazi invasion, Dr. Tronstad fled to London where he informed the Allies of Hitler’s atomic bomb plans. Tronstad became involved in special forces operations against the Nazis in Norway. The sabotage of the Vemork plant was his primary target.

This is a story of brave men, commandos who became saboteurs, intent on contaminating the heavy water with castor oil and destroying the plant. The men were dropped by parachute into Norway where they hid on the Norwegian Hardangervidda (Vidda), a wide open plateau, about 1321 square miles. While holed up in a small cabin for months before the operation began, awaiting their orders, these men lived through blizzards, extreme cold, and starvation.

The orders came to proceed; at that point the pages turn quickly.

Some portions of the book I didn’t want to put down while other chapters were tedious with lots of names (Norwegian) and technical facts.

The details of Norway’s important contribution and this part of WWII were unknown to me. I’m glad I read it. I respect these men, many of whom sacrificed their lives (and their families) so the world might be free.


  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (May 3, 2016)
  • Publication Date: May 3, 2016
  • Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


Author: pastor roger

Pastor Roger is retired Executive Director of Hope Now For Youth. Hope Now is a Christian rescue organization. The ministry helps young gang members get out of the gang life and into a job. He is a licensed pastor in Hope Now Bible Church where he preaches on various Sundays throughout the year and leads an adult Bible study during the week. He serves on the Board of Directors and assists the new executive director as the organization’s Director of Communications and Director of Cambodia Ministries. He graduated with High Honors from Moody Bible Institute with a Bachelors degree in Biblical Studies. He attended Riverside Community College, Biola College (University), and he received his certificate in Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing from Babson College. Roger was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard in the early 70s. In 1980 he began a 24-year career with Berean Christian Stores (now Lifeway Christian Stores). In 2000 he became president of the company and served in that position for four years. He became Executive Director and CEO of Hope Now For Youth in 2004 and retired from that position in 2018. He has traveled to Antarctica, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, South Pacific Islands, Cambodia, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Jordan and Israel. In 1975 he married Carol and has two married daughters and eight grandchildren (Six grandsons and two granddaughters). He believes in the U.S. Constitution and supports all efforts to defend it. Roger enjoys learning how to be a better writer, coffee (not tea) reading, playing golf, watching (soon to be World Champions Dodgers) baseball, and hanging out with his grandkids.

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