The Rjukan Offensive 2013 (Rjukan Ice Fest Meet)
Fantastic climbing on the new icefest wall, Rjukan © Smiler Cuthbertson
Planned attack date - January 20th 2013.
Expected success date for routing the enemy - a mere eight days’ campaign with two days in and out, and with no civilian casualties expected, except maybe Torbjørn and Frank from the Gjestegård Hostel (friendly fire they suggested but it was not proven).
The Gore-Tex clad team of Climbers’ Club assassins dropped in behind enemy lines and re-grouped at the Gjestegård hostel for re-briefing.
Over the next seven days the Climbers’ Club Meet became truly international, a brave UN Peace Keeping force against the aggressive offensive known as the Rjukan Hit Squad (the really bad boys of the Vermork Bridge, Ozzimosis, Krokan and the various hideouts in the Rjukan Gorge itself. The 1st Battalion assault squadron resolutely ignored the low temperatures (-17c? Piffle! They’d seen -27c on previous assaults) and the supposedly poor weather conditions (a touch of snow here and there was not going to stop them). It became a touch more tricky when the price of alcohol was uncovered, our kit bags yearning for a cheaper and rapid re-supply, but in true British style, the upper lip stayed relatively dry.
At this point, the CC members hadn’t to forget their allies in arms, Shawn, Lars and Jonas from the Danish Advanced Brigade, and Johan, a lone undercover operator of the 3rd battalion of Oslo, sent in by ‘The Sleeper’ aka Ben C.K. to bring in the new battle maps.
Their presence, just in time, made the pincer movement a success.
Intelligence hinted they would have to move fast, with temperatures were
dropping, bad weather on the way, but chipping away at defences using the most modern arms (Nomics were much better than the old fashioned Exocets) but even so, older weapons still did as good as they always had.
The landing was sweet, noticed only by few and they were civilians, cheering them on. Some regiments had been delayed by storms so eventually approaches had to be taken through the Norwegian countryside in daylight, rather than the Moose-ridden and snow-clad roads.
‘The Sleeper’ Ben Campbell Kelly, had a history of campaigns that was legendary in the Officers’ mess. Ben had sent Johan, his envoy, to join the allied team. He had promised our section leader a copy of the latest Arctic warfare manual, called ‘Hemsedal Routs in Seven days’, which would drop nicely alongside the already in-hand (and also brand new) manual of ‘Setesdal Campaigns’ ledger. His small bunker, Asher, was hardly out of the way of the movement to the Front and it would be provide a good reason to chat and drink real English tea with this famous character. The stories of world-wide battle campaigns he had done over the 70s and 80s with that Special Services demon, Ed Ward-Drummond, would keep any recruit happy until the Mess huts was out of booze.
The CC Campaign Commander’s planned attack was to include a complete and competent battalion of the Oslo regiment, and these members would form a joint offensive with us this year, but unfortunately there were several other battles going on in the areas at the same time, but at least the front line was bolstered by this skilful and local agent.
The Home forces knew Ben C.K was doing well in campaigns as he was a Brigadier of the 2500 strong Elite OCC, although no-one knew what the letters stood for, perhaps a relic of some successful battle or two. He was, as well on the board member of the Norwegian Military Corps, an equivalent of the SAS.
The strike force gave better than it got. Fragments of ice battered faces for days on end, until the weaknesses showed. Friday night was pub time. It was a diversion few of the enemy could avoid. And so the enemy weakened and finally dispersed rapidly
The assault Force struck with superb action, toppling any remaining opposition, and on 28th January, a day earlier than expected, the Allies drove victoriously through the crowded streets of Rjukan, and made their was east to the helicopter pick-up point at Oslo Gardermoen. Unused ammo restored in cases, Bergens full of gifts from the gratified locals and it was off back to barracks in Germany and Arbroath, after some joyous celebrations with the Danish team, and Johan, the Sleeper’s envoy’.
The successful campaign was over; Maggie personal thanked each and every one of the team with a special gift, a glass of whisky and soda.
Got your own ice, she asked?
Smiler Cuthbertson - February 2013