SF HYDRO was a Norwegian steam powered railway ferry that operated in
the first half of the 20th century on
* 1 Usage * 2 Specifications
* 3 Sinking
* 3.1 Post war interest
* 4 Notes * 5 References * 6 External links
Main article: Tinnsjø railway ferry
The railway ferries operated a 30-kilometre (19 mi) route connecting
Tinnoset Line and
Hydro was the second ship delivered for the service; the initial ship, SF Rjukanfos , had been delivered in 1909 but soon proved too small for the service. Hydro was ordered from Akers Mek. Verksted on 19 July 1913 on a bid of NOK 268,000; in the end the cost was NOK 334,293. It was launched on 10 December 1914, but rebuilt and relaunched on 5 June 1915 as the original configuration used too much coal.
In 1929 Hydro was supplemented with a third ship, SF
Hydro was larger than its predecessor, at 53 meters (174 ft) with a capacity of 493.60 gross tonnes. Like all the railway ferries it had two parallel tracks, which merged at the front to allow a single track to enter the ship; total track length was 80 metres (260 ft), allowing twelve wagons weighing 300 tonnes as well as 120 passengers. It was equipped with two steam engines , each at 190 kW (250 hp), giving it a cruise speed of 8 knots (15 km/h).
Mæl Station and DF Hydro See also: Norwegian heavy water sabotage
German occupation of Norway
One of the byproducts at
The first attempt to halt the production from the resistance movement
was Operation Grouse in October 1942, which failed when the Germans
caught the plotters. As a consequence passenger transport after 7
April 1942 from
Ingolfsland Station to
The Germans decided to cancel production of heavy water at
To minimize the civilian losses, Kjell Nielsen at
That same evening two civilians,
Jon Berg and Oskar Andersen , were
guarding the Hydro. The saboteurs Alf Larsen ,
Knut Lier-Hansen , Rolf
According to Anthony Cave Brown in Bodyguard of Lies , Haukelid concluded after a trial run that the explosives would be most effective if placed in the bow. If holed near the bow, the ship's screws and rudder would quickly be lifted out of the water, leaving the captain and crew without control. Haukelid also determined that "he explosion had to be big enough to sink the ship, but not so severe as to cause casualties among the passengers and crew." He carried the bomb, made from eighteen pounds of Nobel 808 plastic explosive and two fuses fashioned from alarm clocks, on board in an old sack.
The timing was set to cause the ship to sink at the deepest part of the lake, but close enough to shore to allow any survivors a hope of rescue. The weather was calm; the temperature was −9 °C (16 °F). On 20 February 1944 just before reaching the lighthouse at Urdalen the bomb exploded; the ship immediately headed for land. The ship's crew failed to loosen all the lifeboats , and there were no instructions available for using the lifebelts . By the time the crew left the bridge, the ship had tilted so much that they could walk down the side. At 10:30 Hydro sank, settling on the bottom at 430 metres (1,410 ft) depth. Farmers from across the lake were soon in their boats and came to the rescue of the crew and passengers.
Unfortunately, despite all the efforts by the Norwegian resistance to minimize casualties and make survival and rescue as likely as possible for those aboard the Hydro, some loss of life could not be prevented. In all, eighteen people were killed; twenty-nine survived. The casualties comprised fourteen Norwegian crew and passengers and four German soldiers dead. Some of the Norwegian rescuers felt that the Germans should not be saved, but this attitude did not prevail and four German soldiers were saved. Eight days after the incident SF Rjukanfos went out to the place of the sinking for a memorial service.
POST WAR INTEREST
In 1948 the film The Fight Over the Heavy Water was made, depicting the various sabotage actions including the sinking of SF Hydro, featuring some of the original saboteurs. In 1965 a British-American film, The Heroes of Telemark depicted the same events, though in a less accurate way. In 2015 the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation produced the acclaimed 6-episode TV miniseries The Heavy Water War . Post war, a monument in memory of the dead has been raised near the location where the ship sank.
In the early 1990s the wreck of Hydro was found by a mini-submarine .
600 kg of heavy water were also found on board, leaving no doubt that
Hydro was indeed carrying the heavy water the day it was sunk. Two of
the barrels have been salvaged, and one of them can be seen at Norsk
* ^ Payton and Lepperød, 1995: 50–56
* ^ Payton and Lepperød, 1995: 84
* ^ Payton and Lepperød, 1995: 196
* ^ Payton and Lepperød, 1995: 102–04
* ^ Payton and Lepperød, 1995: 104
* ^ Payton and Lepperød, 1995: 105–06
* ^ Payton and Lepperød, 1995: 106–08
* ^ Payton and Lepperød, 1995: 108–09
* ^ Payton and Lepperød, 1995: 109
* ^ Brown, 1995: 375
* ^ Payton and Lepperød, 1995: 109–15
* ^ British Embassy in
* Payton, Gary & Lepperød, Trond (1995). Rjukanbanen på sporet av et industrieventyr. Rjukan: Maana Forlag. * Brown, Anthony Cave (1975). Bodyguard of Lies. Guildford, Connecticut: Lyons Press.
* Norwegian Home Fleet WWII