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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Here's a few more...

As I said in my first post, the SOE Jack Knife/Dagger is an exceptionally rare item now, despite every SOE agent being issued with them.  The problem is that they were so useful and got used.  As such it's rare to find them at all now, but when you do, they are very damaged.  This one for example was issued and used well after the war by its owner, and probably by the owners son or grandson too.  They are so sought after that even this piece becomes valuable...

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/SOE/IMG_1554_zps7dpl3mt1.jpg



This is how it would have looked...

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/SOE/P1040092_zpsvj0kv002.jpg



Another this the SOE used were these field self-soldering rods.  The two wires being soldered together were placed into either end of the tube and the phosphorous part struck.  With some wiggling and kneading, the two wires would be solidly fixed together.  These examples are pristine after a sealed ammunition can was opened a few years ago which showed the contents as being untouched by time.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/SOE/IMG_1555_zpsb4ry2e3x.jpg



Communication security was always an issue, so SOE had many items used as dead letter drops.  This example is a classic.  An iron bolt that can be placed into a wooden post, or fixed into supports and walls.  Looks pretty innocuous, but the head can be unscrewed and messages placed inside.  There must be loads of these WW2 relics still scattered throughout Europe, slowly rusting away, and everyone walking past them would be none the wiser as to their importance 70 odd years ago.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/SOE/IMG_1556_zpsfchhlf3e.jpg

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/SOE/IMG_1557_zpsmxjv09bk.jpg

..................http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Of course, there were many Norwegians who served in the British military (and other forces, I would imagine) during the war. Two of the most famous were Per Bergsland and Jens Muller, RAF Spitfire pilots who were shot down and eventually sent to Stalag-Luft III POW camp. They not only participated in "The Great Escape" but were two of the three of escapers who managed to make a 'home-run' back to Allied countries.

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

There were also many people trained, in case of invasion to be the English resistance.
With weapons and explosives hidden around the country. I don't know much about it,
I'm sure others will know much more.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Before he died, my Grandad told me that one Tactic into fooling the Germans would be to bury normal Plates in the Ground, with the Tops showing so that any Patrols would think they were Land mines.

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

This is true.  They utilised itching powder too.  They'd gain access to the laundry and go rampant with it on the woolen underwear and outerwear.  In one town during Winter, it virtually immobilised their army  ajb007/lol

Now pay attention to my post up above.  It has piccies  ajb007/biggrin

..................http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

AlphaOmegaSin wrote:

Before he died, my Grandad told me that one Tactic into fooling the Germans would be to bury normal Plates in the Ground, with the Tops showing so that any Patrols would think they were Land mines.

Never heard that before. Simple but ingenious. Imagine how much that slows down a military?

Asp9mm wrote:

This is true.  They utilised itching powder too.  They'd gain access to the laundry and go rampant with it on the woolen underwear and outerwear.  In one town during Winter, it virtually immobilised their army  ajb007/lol

Another new one for me. Sometimes the simple things are the best. I heard that Napoleon employed Whoopee cushions during the Russian Campaign.

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Quite a lot I reckon. Fear is the biggest Weapon in Warfare.

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

I think the SOE gadgets shown in this thread are very interesting. Keep on posting! Personally I can't remember many of them being mentioned in what I have read about operation in Norway. The Welrod is dispayed in a museum documenting a guerilla base outside Bergen, but that's all. Suppressed Stenguns and limpet mines for ship sabotage were used, but there is no mention of the more exotic gadgets. Perhaps they were still secret after the war, and later they were't mentioned because the agents didn't want to be assosiated with the James Bond filmsand their portrial of a secrt agent

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

The dinner plate trick was used on a number of occasions. I read it was also used after WW2.

Then there was the exploding rat, exploding coal (both designed to demolish boilers - it was hoped that when a dead rat was found the boilerman would shovel it up & toss it into the flames - BOOM. Coal would be scattered amongst real coal & then end up in boilers, trains etc.)

Incendiary cigarettes. Grease which contained an abrasive compound would be placed where it would do most harm to machinery.

The list is as long as it is inventive.

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

As I read the Fleming novels in my youth and began researching the SOE, I also came to conclude that he used it as a basis for his fictional Secret Service. 
He came up with the idea of a character like Bond based on the commandos, Royal Navy frogmen and SOE agents he came in contact with.  This type of agent would fit in perfectly within the type of fictional SOE/Secret Service agency he invented in the novels.  It was more the size of the real SOE than MI6 and had "stations" in different countries just as the SOE did.  Instead of a Directorate of War Planning he invented the 00 Section and whereas the DWP would have had substantial personnel he inhabited his section with only a few special operatives.
It was a clever re-working and downsizing of the real MI6.

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Fleming also based many of his Villains on People he knew throughout his Life.

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

During Operation Postmaster, the agents involved were given 'O' numbers.

..................http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

CmdrAtticus wrote:

As I read the Fleming novels in my youth and began researching the SOE, I also came to conclude that he used it as a basis for his fictional Secret Service. 
He came up with the idea of a character like Bond based on the commandos, Royal Navy frogmen and SOE agents he came in contact with.  This type of agent would fit in perfectly within the type of fictional SOE/Secret Service agency he invented in the novels.  It was more the size of the real SOE than MI6 and had "stations" in different countries just as the SOE did.  Instead of a Directorate of War Planning he invented the 00 Section and whereas the DWP would have had substantial personnel he inhabited his section with only a few special operatives.
It was a clever re-working and downsizing of the real MI6.

I'm not doubting what you say, but I believe that Fleming combined this with the way his work in the Kemsley newspaper group was organised. Some of their operatives ended up in his novels (I'm thinking of YOLT here).

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CmdrAtticus wrote:

As I read the Fleming novels in my youth and began researching the SOE, I also came to conclude that he used it as a basis for his fictional Secret Service. 
He came up with the idea of a character like Bond based on the commandos, Royal Navy frogmen and SOE agents he came in contact with.  This type of agent would fit in perfectly within the type of fictional SOE/Secret Service agency he invented in the novels.  It was more the size of the real SOE than MI6 and had "stations" in different countries just as the SOE did.  Instead of a Directorate of War Planning he invented the 00 Section and whereas the DWP would have had substantial personnel he inhabited his section with only a few special operatives.
It was a clever re-working and downsizing of the real MI6.

I'm not familiar with the Dirctorat of War Planning. What was it and do you have a link?

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Thunderpussy wrote:

There were also many people trained, in case of invasion to be the English resistance.
With weapons and explosives hidden around the country. I don't know much about it,
I'm sure others will know much more.

These were known as the Auxiliaries & were part of the Home Guard. They were made up of volunteers who would act as stay behind saboteurs/assassins in the event of invasion. They were highly trained & the whole project was above top secret. Some of their bunkers still exist. Indeed one was unearthed some years ago & it still contained (in perfect condition) all the firearms & explosives to be used by the Auxiliary unit who would have fought from it.

They had no connection to SOE.

I've just gone away & had a look on the net & found this great link:

http://www.coleshillhouse.com/

Last edited by stag (20th Mar 2015 07:56)

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The history and set up of the Auxilliary Units is fascinating.  They do have one strong link with SOE and that was Colin Gubbins.  There's a great private museum that opened a few years back jammed full with old AU equipment.

There is a very well hidden bunker with tunnels on private property by me.  No one goes there as it's deep in woodland on private land and I only found it by accident as I had permission to survey for adders there back in 2010.  There isn't any equipment there, but there are used rat packs dated 1941 scattered about.  Unfortunately two of the main spaces have collapsed.  It's a large bat roost now so I don't go in there too often, but I've always wanted to run a metal detector around the area to see what turns up.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/24-25Feb20118.jpg

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/24-25Feb20119.jpg

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/24-25Feb201110.jpg

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/DSC09723.jpg

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Bushcraft%202012/02Mar201223.jpg

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Bushcraft%202012/02Mar201224.jpg

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Bushcraft%202012/02Mar201230.jpg

..................http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Brilliant  ajb007/cheers  How far do those Tunnels go?

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

A few hundred metres of tunnels network that part as far as I can make out, but many have been cut off by cave-ins, especially the larger 'room' areas.

..................http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............

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Great photos! Get the metal detector out ASAP! ajb007/wink Re Gubbins you are correct. If anything the Auxiliaries were even more a closely guarded secret than SOE. I have a great book on the subject.

For those who don't know the bunkers were self contained bases from which the Auxiliaries would fight. They were underground & built so as to be completely invisible. The average life expectancy of each cell being just two weeks. The task of each unit was sabotage & assassination of both Germans & collaborators. Indeed many cells were issued with a 'hit list' of locals they would have to kill if the enemy came into their area. Being part of the Home Guard didn't mean these men were 'Dads Army' in 1940 they had their pick of the very best weapons & were trained to a far higher standard than any regular troops.

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Here's some viewing on the subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32wz5BGzyfM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7QHAdK6kD8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn4Rm0bo6-M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VlhGbCOMSk

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Im quite surprised that there are no green trainers outside the front  ajb007/biggrin

Cool pics ASP  ajb007/martini

Trust No One

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Number24 wrote:
CmdrAtticus wrote:

As I read the Fleming novels in my youth and began researching the SOE, I also came to conclude that he used it as a basis for his fictional Secret Service. 
He came up with the idea of a character like Bond based on the commandos, Royal Navy frogmen and SOE agents he came in contact with.  This type of agent would fit in perfectly within the type of fictional SOE/Secret Service agency he invented in the novels.  It was more the size of the real SOE than MI6 and had "stations" in different countries just as the SOE did.  Instead of a Directorate of War Planning he invented the 00 Section and whereas the DWP would have had substantial personnel he inhabited his section with only a few special operatives.
It was a clever re-working and downsizing of the real MI6.

I'm not familiar with the Dirctorat of War Planning. What was it and do you have a link?

Here is the link:

http://www.eliteukforces.info/mi6/

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Interesting. Thank you!

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Here's a little gem and a favourite in my collection.  MKII British Sten gun with SOE grip.  SOE used this hand grip as the gun could be more easily concealed.  This can be taken off quickly and the barrel unscrewed, leaving three parts, well, four including the mag.  Broken down the mag was the longest part and a broken down Sten could easily be concealed in pockets or even a hand bag.  Not only did SOE use these, but also Flemings 30 AU and various Commando Units.  Fleming himself fired many a Sten on the range.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/SOE/IMG_1575_zpshzilpphr.jpg



We dropped the standard T-Stock and Skeleton Stock versions to Resistance groups throughout the world, and from the MK II onwards they were in fact excellent and accurate weapons.  The stories about them jamming were mainly due to incorrect handling as untrained shooters would use the magazine as a handle instead of the barrel grip.  Stens were famously manufactured in many toy factories throughout Britain, the parts were also farmed out to hundreds of factories for production, so bombed factories wouldn't damage rate of production that was desperately needed during those years.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/SOE/MKII%20STEN_zpssdefkvd8.jpg

..................http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Brilliant  ajb007/cheers

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger