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"The Heavy Water War, 75 Years On"

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"The Heavy Water War, 75 Years On"

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 January 17, 2018 Marines’ Memorial Club

5:30 PM Registration | 6:00 PM Program
Marines' Memorial Club & Hotel, 609 Sutter Street, SF

75 years ago Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt committed British, Norwegian and US forces to seemingly suicidal missions in mountainous Norway to prevent Hitler from obtaining “heavy water,” essential to the German method of manufacturing an atomic bomb.

Brigadier (retired) Roderick Macdonald is a mountain and arctic warfare trained British army commando. He was part of a British Commando team that carried out a TV reenactment of the raid over the winter of 1982/83. They parachuted onto the Hardangervidda in Norway and skied and climbed following the path of the ultimately successful Norwegian raiders. He had the unique opportunity to talk with and learn from the then surviving brave Norwegian commandos. He will tell a story of extraordinary bravery, sacrifice, setback, loss and then ultimate success of a mission that would prevent Hitler from altering the course of World War II.

This is the gripping story of ski borne Norwegian commandoes who became known as, “The Heroes of Telemark”. 

Roderick (Rod) Macdonald is a consultant with CORE Corporate Consulting who serves as a Board Member of Pakistan Cables in Karachi Pakistan. He is regular lecturer with the US Marine Corps, Marines Memorial Association and San Francisco bay area business groups. From 2001 to 2013 he was Executive Vice President for Global Sales & Business Development for General Cable (NYSE: BGC), at that time, one of the largest wire and cable manufacturing companies in the world with annual revenues at that time that exceeded $7 billion along with 57 manufacturing plants in 26 different countries and commercial operations in over 120. He began his full-time civilian business career in 1994 with Commonwealth Aluminum Corporation.  In 1997, he assumed the role of President of Alflex Corporation prior to moving to General Cable Corporation in 1999.

Macdonald began his career in military and government service.  He joined the British Army at aged 16 and learned to ski, survive and fight in the mountains with the Norwegian Army. After graduating from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1968, he served for 25 years as a Royal Engineer officer in the British Armed Forces in parachute, armored and commando forces with 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines. As an infantry commander, he led British forces in active service in Northern Ireland in multiple tours throughout the 1970s and led 59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers in combat in 1982 in the Falklands War where he was Mentioned in Dispatches. Macdonald is a mountain and arctic warfare specialist who spent five winters in Norway from 1980 to 1985 working with Royal Marine Commando, Norwegian Army and NATO units. He ended his distinguished military career in 1993 in the rank of Brigadier when he immigrated to the United States.

Macdonald holds a Bachelor of Science degree (honors) in Auto-Mechanical Engineering from the Royal Military College of Science and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in the UK, a registered (Chartered) engineer in the UK and a licensed Engineer (EurIng) in Europe. He was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, Military Division, (MBE) in the UK in 1983. He lives in Napa California with his wife Deborah, a lawyer and founder of “CORE Corporate Consulting” and the design company “Textured Design”.