The Heroes of Telemark Overview:

The Heroes of Telemark (1965) was a Action - Drama Film directed by Anthony Mann and produced by Benjamin Fisz.

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Anthony Mann's The Heroes of Telemark

By Rick29 on Jan 7, 2019 From Classic Film & TV Cafe

If not for a small band of Norwegian commandos, Adolf Hitler might have had an atomic bomb before the U.S.--leading to a very different outcome for World War II. The Norwegians' exploits form the basis for the fascinating premise of Anthony Mann's The Heroes of Telemark (1965). The film opens in ... Read full article


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The Telemark of this movie's title refers a county district in the region of Østlandet (East Country / Eastern Norway) in Norway. The county was formerly known as Bratsberg amt up until 1919. Telemark borders the Norwegian counties of Vestfold, Buskerud, Hordaland, Rogaland and Aust-Agder. Telemark is the county where the real life World War II mission to raid the Vemork hydroelectric heavy water plant in the town of Rjukan (located in Tinn, a municipality in Telemark) took place and which forms the basis for this movie.
Although this movie takes liberties with some historical facts, some technical details are surprisingly correct given that it was made 20 years after the war: The car used by the Norwegians is fitted with a "generator" converting wood to natural gas. As petrol was in short supply, civilian cars were not allowed to run on real petrol.
The book 'The Special Operations Executive 1940-1946' by Foot, M.R.D. states that Operation Gunnerside, one of the three and most successful of the three missions that this film is based on, was later labeled by the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) as being the most successful act of sabotage in all of the Second World War. This raid was given the highest military priority and it dealt a serious drawback to the Nazis' development of an atomic bomb in World War II.
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