During second world war both the Axis and the Allies did research to bring forward the idea atomic weapons, and it was first after the war was over that the Allied found out that the German project had a long way to go before an actual breakthrough. But during the war the Germans had begun to transport heavy water from Telemark to Germany, and this created great concerns in the Allied high command. An action to stop the heavy water was necessary! After several actions against Rjukan they had delayed the production of heavy water, but not at all stopped it. The final action was launched 20.February 1944 when the ferry Hydro was about to bring heavy water and production equipment from Rjukan. 8,4 kg of high explosives was placed on the ferry, and when she had reached deep waters the explosives went off. Hydro sank quickly and 18 civilian people perished in the sinking. After the war it was debated if she had carried heavy water meant for Germany at all or maybe the Germans had found other ways to transport it to Germany? The truth was verified in the early 1990s when a ROV filmed the wreck. Inside the wreck several barrels of heavy water were identified, and three of them were raised. The wreck rest today on a depth of approx 400 meter in Tinnsj√łen west of Gaustadtoppen.

Former names:

172,6 x 31,5 x 10,6 f
Tons: Built: Home Port:
536 grt
Oslo ( N ) 1914 Rjukan ( N )

Picture: Hydro
Norsk Industriarbeider Museum

Pictures: Manufacturing gear for heavy water and
a barrel of heavy water recovered from the wreck
Nils Vik, private collection ( 2005 )