A top secret manual for spies has surfaced recently dating from the 1940’s authored by the SOE or Special Operations Executive detailing various ways to conduct black bag “wet work” operations (assassinations, murder) against the Nazis in WWII. Everything from cyanide laced cigarettes to exploding bottles of Chianti nothing was out of bounds it would seem for these spies.
One section instructed spies on various methods to use the carcasses of dead rats as bombs. The theory was first developed in 1941. The objective apparently was to blow up the enemy’s boilers by lying the dead rat near German boiler rooms.
Enemy soldiers were expected to shovel the carcass into the flames to avoid disease – the the hidden bomb’s fuse would then be lit. But they were never used, as the first consignment was seized by the Germans, blowing the secret. Some suspect the exploding rats were discovered by hungry German soldiers interested in a quick snack – by BBQ them on a fire and one exploded in a soldiers face – this however is unconfirmed.
You read this stuff and it makes you wonder what depths men will go to murder and kill each other in a time of war? One former spy I talked to recently said it contained “dozens of devilish ways to kill your enemy” – indeed that it does.
Another section of the manual, which will be published next month in November 2014 also delves in disguises, make up kits and how to transform yourself into almost anyone, from a homeless bag lady to a disheveled farmer…
Other sections covered microfilm coded “stilettos” and exploding handbags.
All par for the course if you were a member of the SEO or Special Operations Executive during WWII.
Note: The SOE was created in 1940 on the expressed order of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and kept secret from parliament, and by the end of the Second World War it had led to the destruction of Hitler’s nuclear program and the capturing of Nazis, some of whom would work on the British equivalent of the Manhattan project – to build the world.
The Special Operations Executive (SOE) was an elite British World War II spy organization. Following Cabinet approval, it was officially formed by Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton on 22 July 1940, to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe against the Axis powers, and to aid local resistance movements. And it did this well.
It was initially also involved in the formation of the Auxiliary Units, a top secret “stay-behind” resistance organisation which would have been activated in the event of a German invasion of Britain.
Few people were aware of SOE’s existence at the time. To those who were part of it or liaised with it, it was sometimes referred to as “the Baker Street Irregulars“, after the location of its London headquarters. It was also known as “Churchill’s Secret Army” or the “Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare”.
For security purposes, various branches, and sometimes the organization as a whole, were concealed behind names such as the “Joint Technical Board” or the “Inter-Service Research Bureau”, or fictitious branches of the Air Ministry, Admiralty or War Office.
SOE operated in all countries or former countries occupied by or attacked by the Axis forces, except where demarcation lines were agreed with Britain’s principal allies (the Soviet Union and the United States). It also made use of neutral territory on occasion, or made plans and preparations in case neutral countries were attacked by the Axis. The organization directly employed or controlled just over 13,000 people, about 3,200 of whom were women.
It is estimated that SOE supported or supplied about 1,000,000 operatives worldwide.