In May 1941, the Norwegian Section of SOE received a dossier warning of the dangers of a hydroelectric fertiliser plant in Norway. Vemork produced heavy water, an essential part of making plutonium for nuclear weapons. When the Germans overran Norway the entire stock had been smuggled out of the country, but the plant was intact and soon producing heavy water again, destined for the German nuclear programme.
Despite the difficulties of getting to and operating in such a remote, hostile area, SOE decided it had to destroy the plant. Six ski-borne commandos had the task of slipping past 300 heavily armed guards and passing through a ravine the Germans thought impassable.
Fully illustrated with stunning new commissioned artwork, this is the thrilling story of the daring Norwegian-led SOE raid that prevented Hitler from building an atomic bomb.>
Ever since the 15th century Switzerland had been exporting professional soldiers to serve as mercenaries for foreign monarchies. Napoleon, therefore, was not the first to make full use of the martial qualities of the Swiss and obtained Swiss agreement to expand the recruitment of regiments for service in the French Army. Napoleon would use Swiss troops on the battlefields of Italy and Spain, and in 1812 re-organize the four original regiments into a single division for the invasion of Russia, with each regiment having three full-strength battalions. In November of 1812, meeting up with Napoleon's main force retreating from Moscow at the Berezina River, the Swiss on the west bank guarded the approaches to the pontoon bridges from the Russian attack to the south. Just 1,200 Swiss out of the approximately 8,000 that entered Russia were left to face, along with 8,000 other remnants of other units, the 30,000-strong Russian army. The Swiss held their ground and when their ammunition ran out they charged the Russians with bayonets. This book reveals the proud combat history of the Swiss troops of Napoleon's army as well as the colourful uniforms they wore.