Lead: In the early 1940s it became clear that it was possible to construct a nuclear bomb. While proceeding with their own atomic research, the allies set-out to destroy German efforts to build the bomb.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Essential to the construction of a nuclear device was a sustained and controlled atomic reaction. To obtain that the Germans relied on the use of heavy water to moderate the progress of the reaction. Heavy water, a substance extracted from ordinary water at great cost was made in sufficient quantities in only one place, the Norsk Hydrogen Electrolysis plant at Vemork, Norway. Soon after Germany occupied Norway in 1940, the allied command began making plans to take out that that plant. At first high altitude bombing was rejected since it would was sure to cause numerous casualties among Norwegian civilians.

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