Max Manus standing on the deck of the SS Donna which he and his team sank and which was was raised in 1952 for scrap
My current cruise around the Norwegian Fiords piqued my interest in a book I first read when I was thirteen called Underwater Saboteur — more on that and a fantastic life hack named after the author that works in any country.
Max Manus, born Maximo Guillermo Manus on December 9, 1914, in Bergen, Norway, was a legendary figure in Norwegian resistance during World War II. He is renowned for his bravery, audacity, and unwavering commitment to liberating Norway from German occupation.
Early Life and Military Service
Max Manus grew up in Bergen, where he developed a passion for adventure and a love for the sea. He joined the Norwegian merchant navy at a young age and sailed across the globe, gaining valuable experiences that would shape his future.
At the outbreak of World War II, Manus was serving as a crew member on a Norwegian merchant ship. When German forces invaded Norway in April 1940, Manus was on a voyage to South America. Determined to fight for his country, he joined the Norwegian Navy and participated in various naval operations, including the defense of Narvik.
After Norway capitulated to Germany in June 1940, Manus refused to accept the occupation and became actively involved in the underground resistance movement. He formed the Oslo Gang, named after the Norwegian capital, along with a group of like-minded individuals, including his close friend Gregers Gram.
Manus and the Oslo Gang carried out numerous daring acts of sabotage against German forces, targeting ships, factories, and infrastructure critical to the German war effort. In addition, they were involved in intelligence gathering and disseminating anti-Nazi propaganda. Their audacious actions earned them a reputation for fearlessness and effectiveness.