Insieme all'articolo del Telegraph vi suggerisco la lettura di un testo in francese e inglese sul ricevitore Olga, utilizzato dai partigiani in Norvegia, e un resoconto del viaggio del Kon Tiki raccontato attraverso i collegamenti radioamatoriali con l'imbarcazione, salpata con l'obiettivo di dimostrare la teoria di Heyerdahl della colonizzazione delle isole del Pacifico a partire dal Sud America (teoria dimostrata poi insostenibile dall'analisi del DNA mitocondriale). A bordo, insieme a Haugland, c'era Torstein Raaby, altro ex partigiano e operatore radio. La stazione del Kon Tiki era contrassegnata dal call LI2B.
Knut Haugland, the Norwegian commando and explorer who died on Christmas Day aged 92, took part in two of the most adventurous and celebrated exploits of the last century – a daring raid on a suspected Nazi atomic weapons plant in war, and Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki expedition in peace.
Haugland, who was the last survivor of the six-man Kon-Tiki crew, had met Heyerdahl in 1944 at a special forces training camp in England, and was selected to join the expedition on the basis of the experience he acquired during the conflict as a radio operator.
Knut Magne Haugland was born on September 23 1917 at Rjukan in the Norwegian province of Telemark. After qualifying as a military radio operator, in 1940 he saw action against the Germans near Narvik as part of the Norwegian campaign.
After the Germans had overrun his country, Haugland found work in the Hovding Radiofabrik in Oslo, where he started covert work in the Norwegian resistance movement, but in August 1941 he was briefly arrested by Quislings, escaped and fled via Sweden to England.
Haugland joined the so-called Norwegian Independent Company, formed to carry out commando raids in occupied Norway, which became one of the most decorated military forces during the Second World War.
He was selected by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) to train with three others for Operation Grouse, the raid on a hydroelectric power station near his hometown where the Allies suspected that heavy water, a key component in the atomic weapons process, was being produced in order to build a Nazi atom bomb.
Haugland hid on Hardangervidda for two months before going to Oslo to train radio operators for the Norwegian resistance. Despite being known to the Gestapo, he twice used the clandestine sea crossing known as "the Shetland bus" to reach Scotland. In autumn 1943 he visited London for supplies and training in new code techniques and returned by parachute.
In November 1943 he was arrested, only to escape, and his luck and courage held firm again the following year, when, on April 1, one of his transmitters, hidden inside a chimney at the Oslo Maternity Hospital, was located by direction-finding techniques. "The whole building was surrounded by German soldiers with machine-gun posts in front of every single door," Heyerdahl wrote later. "The head of the Gestapo was standing in the courtyard waiting for Knut to be carried down.