From the WWII Files: A Norwegian Hero and an STG-44

RIP, Birger Stromsheim:

There was no Google Earth, no Gore-Tex and only a modest measure of hope on the February night in 1943 when six Norwegians parachuted into the remote and frigid Telemark region of their home country for an outdoor challenge like few others.

Birger Stromsheim

They had skis and explosives and a destination: the German-controlled Norsk Hydro facility, high on an isolated and snowy ridge. The Norwegians intended to destroy equipment inside that the Germans were using to produce what is known as heavy water, a crucial ingredient in making a nuclear weapon and one they feared the Nazis would use to build an atomic bomb. One of the demolitions experts on the team, Birger Stromsheim, died Nov. 10 in Oslo at 101.
Amazing story. Recommended reading is HERE, and HERE, and HERE. Forget the dumbass movie. Truth is always better then fiction.
The gun is called a Sturmgewehr 44, literally meaning “storm rifle,” and is the first “modern assault rifle ever made, eventually replaced by the AK 47 in 1947 by Russia, who copied the German design of the Sturmgewehr 44,” Officer Lewis Crabtree, one of the two officers who discovered the gun, told ABC News.

“It’s like finding the Babe Ruth of baseball cards,” said Officer John Cavanna. “The rarity, it was made for such a very short period.”

It sounds like they’re not going to confiscate it, which surprises me because this is Connecticut.

(Oh, and our so-called police experts are wrong– the ammunition does NOT have to be specially made. I do believe this will work quite well.)


  1. ETP0802 says:

    Will forward to my Norwegian relatives (who assuredly are already tracking it, but are thrilled when we Americans are).

    On a side note, I visited his birthplace of Alesund last May. An *amazing* place. Completely burned down in the early 1900s and was rebuilt in stone. It is a time capsule of all things Art Deco. Truly stunning place to visit:Ålesund

  2. Wilbur says:

    Bearing in mind the inaccuracy of the '60s movie about Telemark, surely it's time Hollywood told this story properly with a modern film.

    Anyway, frustrating Nazi WMD developments, and then living to be over 100…. that is impressive. R.I.P. Birger Stromsheim.

  3. MajW says:

    Nice BBC 1973 documentary here on Telemark Operation. Alot of the original men and officers still around at that point and speaking of the operation.

  4. bruno80 says:

    As a 2d generation Norwegian American I have a special place of honor for the Norwegians who continued to fight long after the Nzai's had taken over the country (My Uncle Jorgen survived 3 sinkings while sailing the North Atlantic and had trrible nightmares for the rest of his life lasting until his death in 1991 though he continued to go to sea ). One of the most amazing books I've read was about the ordeal of resistance fighter Jan Baalsrud who was the sole survivor of a raid back to the North of Norway – told in the book "We Die Alone". If you want to learn about real heroism and endurance- look this up- you won't be disappointed .

  5. Karen Dickerson says:

    My Grandmother’s brother was Tore Torsvik. He had a fishing boat up north which he used to carry people escaping the Nazis to other boats which would then take them to Iceland. He was captured by the Nazis and jailed. One day his wife, Elsie, went to visit him and he had been executed. No one knows where or how. Does anyone know of any books or articles about him I could read or get. Thank you so much for any information. Karen Rea Dickerson