At 8 p.m., white camouflage suits covering their British Army uniforms, the nine men skied away from the Fjøsbudalen cabin in silence. They were armed with five Tommy guns as well as pistols, knives, and hand grenades. In their rucksacks, they carried the explosives for the attack and everything they needed for their retreat into the Vidda: sleeping bags, rations, maps, and other survival gear.Few of them believed that they would have the chance to escape, and there were poison pills hidden in their uniforms, to be taken in the event of their capture. They understood only too well what became of those who were brought into interrogation by the Gestapo.Claus Helberg led the way. Hidden by low cloud, the moon shone dimly, and he had to navigate mostly by memory and a natural feel for the terrain. He kept a steady pace, sweeping around boulders and twisting through the scattering of trees in a way only one born to these hills could. The others followed closely behind, the cut of their skis barely a whisper through the snow. Each man knew what to do once they arrived at the target. Their leader had made it clear that no matter what unfolded, no matter whether he or anyone else on the team was killed or wounded, those able were to "act on their own initiative to carry out the operation." Destroying the heavy-water plant was paramount. Excerpted from Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy Hitler's Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.