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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Where do I ask for this thread to be stickied? It is of great interest to both military historians & Bond fans alike, the latter by virtue of the fascinating gadgets which must have been an inspiration to IF.

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

stag wrote:

Where do I ask for this thread to be stickied? It is of great interest to both military historians & Bond fans alike, the latter by virtue of the fascinating gadgets which must have been an inspiration to IF.

You could ask any MOD to do this....

YNWA: Justice For The 96

The Joy Of 6

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Thank you gentlemen.

Here's a bit more info on the carrier pigeon message capsule, I posted earlier.  You'd think it was pretty boring and unimportant, but the truth is far more interesting.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/SOE/P1040109_zpsptpe8vqe.jpg

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/SOE/P1040108_zpsvxporqi2.jpg

They were used widely during both wars, especially during WWI of course.  During WWII, they were still very important.  SOE had pigeons dropped into occupied Europe in cardboard carriers much like our agents.... by parachute.  Our drop planes had special chutes adapted for them in the bomb bays.  These reinforced cardboard carriers were thrust down the chute and the static line would open soon after it left the plane.  The Nazi's used to use the captured pigeons to send false messages back, sometimes to confuse our intelligence by supplying bogus information.  In reality, the Axis troops used to send far more rude messages back telling us to go screw ourselves etc, but the majority of captured pigeons were eaten by cunning troops thinking of their stomachs more than their duty.

These lighter message tubes were made specifically for SOE and Marquis forces to put information in and send back to the UK, and were made more comfortable and lighter than the standard aluminium versions used previously.  All SOE agents were given full training in pigeon handling.  Many women tried to sneak to the back of the queue to avoid this, but it was a necessary skill, so they had to get over their fears.  Pigeons were an incredibly important intelligence courier service.   It was down to their importance that hawks and falcons were shot almost to extinction during the two great wars, as they were a greater threat to our intelligence gathering than the Nazi's were.  Even now seventy five years later their numbers are only just recovering in some species.  The pigeons thrive on, and many of their descendants can be seen in most towns and cities in the UK. 

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/SOE/pigeon%20capsule%202_zpsw8e9lm4o.jpg

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/SOE/pigeon%20capsule_zpsjx8i42ni.jpg

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

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Sir Miles wrote:
stag wrote:

Where do I ask for this thread to be stickied? It is of great interest to both military historians & Bond fans alike, the latter by virtue of the fascinating gadgets which must have been an inspiration to IF.

You could ask any MOD to do this....

Many thanks for that. This excellent thread deserves to stay where people can easily find it.

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The carrier pigeon was indeed a very important part of the war effort. Anyone remember the story of the remains of one which was found up a chimney a while ago? I think they handed the message to GCHQ who couldn't crack it!

Also I believe more Dikin medals were awarded to pigeons than any other animal.

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

stag wrote:

The carrier pigeon was indeed a very important part of the war effort. Anyone remember the story of the remains of one which was found up a chimney a while ago? I think they handed the message to GCHQ who couldn't crack it!

Also I believe more Dikin medals were awarded to pigeons than any other animal.

You know your stuff, that's for sure.  Animals were hugely important to our success.  I remember a SOE agent operating in Burma recounting his experiences.  The local Karen people were requesting a 'war dog' as they could pick up an odd scent from several miles away.  In fact, even long term SOE operatives living in the jungle could tell when a Japanese soldier relieved himself some miles away as their senses were enhanced through long term acclimatisation (something I experienced myself in Venezuela when on exped).  Anyway, we acknowledged the Karen request and along with an ammunition supply, sent a young Alsation bitch down the chute in a cardboard cage to assist in their efforts.  The static line failed to open the parachute.  I hate to think what that dog experienced tumbling in a box several hundred feet into the earth as it had no control of its fate.  Many people ignore the suffering of animals, but we're all part of the same eco system, and at least when we jump from planes, we comprehend whats happening.

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

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Agreed. Also the Germans were fully aware of the British use of pigeons & ordered their troops to shoot any they saw. I believe they (the Germans) also used birds of prey to kill pigeons for the same reason.

Many racing pigeons were 'conscripted' to serve in the war effort including champion birds.

I'm unsure about this but I think I read somewhere that RAF bombers may have carried pigeons so, in case of crash landing in enemy territory, they could release the bird along with a message to inform the powers that be of their fate?

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Thats if the Pigeon had not been killed during the Crash.

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)

If Pigeons interest you, you should try to find out as much as possible about Flight Lieutenant Richard Melville Walker and his "The Pigeon Service Special Section, B3C". Same unit also deployed falcons to take down any german spy pigeons.

"I mean, she almost kills bond...with her ass."
-Mr Arlington Beech

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

AlphaOmegaSin wrote:

Thats if the Pigeon had not been killed during the Crash.

Yes that's what I thought at the time - also assuming the crew hadn't met the same fate! I'm sure I read this somewhere though. I remember seeing a photo of the container they were kept in, it was designed to protect the bird in the event of a forced landing (of the plane not it!). It's a long time ago so I may be altogether wrong.

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

I've just had a look on the net & found this. Seems my old memory wasn't playing tricks on me after all:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-t … l-17138990

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Asp9mm wrote:

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


Continuing on from this post, I was lucky enough today to secure a silenced MKII Sten.  It's well documented that Fleming experienced shooting one of these as he commented on how impressed he was by the noise reduction in one of his letters to Boothroyd when discussing silencers.  I've been after one of these for a while as an old spec deac, so it's a great coincidence that my patience paid off after posting this.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/SOE/Suppressed%20Sten_zpson4zgql0.jpg

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

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Nice piece....lucky you  ajb007/martini

YNWA: Justice For The 96

The Joy Of 6

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Great to see that this excellent thread has been made a Sticky.  ajb007/smile  ajb007/martini

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"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

I watched a good programme this evening called 'State Secrets'. I delved a little into the SOE archive. One item I thought good was Hitlers passport, as produced by the SOE forgery section. It had been made as an in joke for the SOE top brass. It was a perfect copy of a ,then, German passport & showed the holder as Adolf Hitler, SOE had seen fit to print a large J on the face of the document which marked Hitler out as a Jew. The stamps said that he had travelled to Palestine & the story to back it up said he had emigrated there in 1941 after converting to Judaism.

It also mentioned Ian Fleming & the fact that SOE was an inspiration for his Gadgets.

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Those Sten guns are functional but strangely beautiful...  ajb007/insane

"How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."

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Stenguns were produced by the resistance in occupied Norway. The different parts were produced on seperate locations and most workers didn't know what they were making. Only obvious parts like the barrel had to be produced in absolute secret. I believe stenguns were produced in other occupied contries too.

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

I remember some time last century a member of the public found a live, fully loaded Sten gun in a public phone box along with a bag containing (I think) about £30,000. They reported it to the police. Perhaps for obvious reasons, the owner of the gun & money never came forward to collect them!

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

The Sten in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt70ilN_PgU

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Silenced Sten gun in action:

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

The acoustics of the range are as such that it perhaps doesn't give an accurate representation of the noise generated.

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

I have to admit, target shooting looks fun.  ajb007/wink
Couple of nice videos Stag.  ajb007/martini

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Thunderpussy wrote:

I have to admit, target shooting looks fun.  ajb007/wink
Couple of nice videos Stag.  ajb007/martini

One day I want to visit that indoor gun range in Las Vegas where you can fire practically any gun you can imagine. Remarkably, my wife fancies doing it too!

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Sounds like she's setting up an alibi.  ajb007/shifty   ajb007/lol

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."

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Number24 wrote:

Stenguns were produced by the resistance in occupied Norway. The different parts were produced on seperate locations and most workers didn't know what they were making. Only obvious parts like the barrel had to be produced in absolute secret. I believe stenguns were produced in other occupied contries too.

Yes, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Norway and even Germany made copies of the Sten from scratch from reversed engineered MK II's.  Norway, Finland and Denmark also made copies of the MKV.  Obviously most came from Britain, and Canada made them too.  These were dropped in their thousands to various resistance movements.

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

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Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Is it a sten gun that Bond fires at Blofeld, in Blofeld's office in OHMSS
Or a similar gun. ?

"Let his death be a particularly unpleasant and humiliating one."