WORLD WAR II
SUPER AGENT KNUT HAUGLAND ALSO KNOWN AS N.7
BRITISH INTELLIGENCE FILES
102 pages of British Intelligence MI5 - Special Operations Executive files on Knut Magne Haugland. Knut Haugland (September 23, 1917 – December 25, 2009) was also known by the codenames N.7 and Primus. Haugland is best known for his role in Operation Gunnerside, which ended what the allies suspected to be a German nuclear bomb project. The 1943 destruction of the Nordsk Hydro plant in Telemark, Norway ended the manufacturing of heavy water for use in German projects. Heavy water can be used in one type of reactor, in which plutonium can be bred from natural uranium.
The World War II era files contain reports on Haugland's special operations training, his conduct and accounts of his two escapes from the grasp of the Gestapo. The files contain personal letters from Haugland and his report on the technical aspects of Operation Grouse and Operation Gunnerside.
Haugland was born on September 23, 1917 in Rjukan, Telemark, Norway. He became a radio engineer in the Norwegian Army. In June 1940, Germany occupied Norway after it was defeated in the Norwegian Campaign. Haugland went to work at a radio factory in Oslo and joined the Norwegian Resistance. The German occupation Norwegian puppet government's state police, the Statspolitiet, arrested Haugland in 1942. He escaped from custody and fled to England. He spent the next two years training in England and caring out missions in Norway.
The British lead the way in ending the German supply of heavy water from the Nordsk Hydro pant. Operation Grouse was launched on October 18, 1942, when Haugland and three commandos parachuted into Norway. The second phase of the operation called for two gliders to bring in more commandos. Both gliders missed their landing spot and crashed. The survivors were tortured, and then executed by the Germans.
Haugland and the three others spent the next 4 months trying to survive the winter. When they could not capture a reindeer, they ate oatmeal mixed with moss and lichen that they scraped from rocks. Haugland was able to communicate back to Britain using a radio he had to modify with a car battery and stolen fishing rods.
The British launched Operation Gunnerside on February 27, 1943 by sending in 6 more commandos. The Germans had increased defenses around the plant. The plant was now secured by mines and floodlights and was only accessible by a single-span bridge traversing a deep ravine. The commandos lowered themselves into the ravine and waded through a freezing cold river. They then climbed up a steep hill and entered the plant grounds though a cable tunnel, then entered the plant through a window. They planted explosives that blew-up the heavy water producing cells.
Three-thousand German soldiers were tasked with hunting down the commandos. Four members skied hundreds of miles to get to Sweden. Haugland and the others remained in Norway to do resistance work.Haugland hide in the mountains for two months before going back to Oslo.
He twice made sea crossings to Scotland and back for training and supplies. In November 1943, he was captured by the Gestapo and escaped.
On April 1, 1944 he was located in a Norwegian hospital, where he had set up radio equipment. Despite the fact that the hospital was surrounded by German troops, Haugland was able to shot his way out of the hospital and evade capture. Haugland returned to England, where he remained for the rest of World War II.
Haugland was twice awarded Norway's highest decoration for military heroism, the War Cross with sword, once in 1943 and again in 1944. The British awarded him the Distinguished Service Order and the Military Medal.