For their eyes only! Rare James Bond style gadgets used by British spies to ‘escape and evade’ capture in World War Two are set to fetch £5,000 at auction
A collection of rare James Bond-style gadgets used by British spies during the Second World War has been unearthed and is likely to fetch £5,000 at auction.
The array of impressive objects includes a smoking pipe with a detachable mouthpiece which pulls out to reveal a lethal steel dagger.
Other fascinating items which make up the collection include a pencil which has a thin removable blade hidden inside instead of lead.
All of the deadly tools would have been used by Special Operations Executive agents who were in do-or-die situations behind enemy lines.
This matchbox, which appeared to be a regular one made by J.John Masters & Co, actually had a secret compass underneath the matches
This ‘biscuit tin’ radio transmitter was used by a secret agent to receive messages behind enemy lines in occupied Belgium
Special Operations Executive agents would have used this pipe, which has a detachable mouthpiece which pulls out to reveal a lethal steel dagger
Once the mouthpiece of the pipe was removed, the agent would have been able to use the sharp steel dagger if they ever got into difficulty
This travel razor kit looks like an ordinary and regular piece of equipment. However, in the case there is a hidden spike
The ‘biscuit tin’ radio transmitter would have typically been kept inside a briefcase and would have been used by agents to receive messages
Meanwhile, a run-of-the-mill travel razor kit has a hidden spike blade in the case.
There is also a steel dagger spike which could be concealed in clothing and brandished in moments of strife.
The ‘escape and evasion’ items have been amassed by a collector of World War Two memorabilia over the years but have now emerged for auction and are expected to fetch £5,000.
Other ingenious items issued to SOE agents were matchboxes with a hidden compass inside and miniature message containers which could be concealed from prying guards.
One of the marquee lots in the sale is a ‘biscuit tin’ radio transmitter which was used by an agent to receive messages behind enemy lines in occupied Belgium.
Mathew Tredwin, of C&T Auctioneers of Ashford, Kent, said: ‘The pipe dagger in particular is quite interesting because it is designed to look like an everyday object and the last thing you would expect was for someone to have a dagger concealed in a pipe.
‘The pencil and razor kit are very similar and by the time you realised it was a weapon it would be too late.
‘Some of these weapons are quite chilling when you look at them now but they give you an immediacy of a kill or be killed scenario many of these agents woulds have faced.
‘You can imagine an SOE operative, many of whom were women, being cornered by a German soldier and all you had was a stealth weapon to fight your way out.
‘It was incredibly dangerous. If you were caught that was it, you would be executed.
‘These stealth weapons are few and far between. Once they were used by the secret agents they were often disposed of.
This ‘dagger pencil’ has a thin removable blade (pictured) which was hidden inside the wooden pencil, instead of lead which was traditionally used
A packet of razor blades was included in the travel razor kit which is part of the unique collection expected to fetch £5,000
This is another item which is included in the collection of Special Operations Executive gadgets used by agents in the Second World War
This is a fascinating message container which would have been used by a Special Operations Executive agent during WWII
This Royal Air Force miniature telescope is also in the collection which is likely to fetch around £5,000 when it goes under the hammer on Tuesday
This Detonator Crimping Tool is one of the James Bond-style gadgets used more than 70 years by British spies
‘They are very popular because of their rarity and the romanticism surrounding the secret service. Every one wants to be James Bond.’
The Special Operations Executive was a British organisation formed to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe against the Axis powers and to aid local resistance movements.
The organisation directly employed or controlled just over 13,000 people, about 3,200 of whom were women, although few people were aware of SOE’s existence.
It was an incredibly risky role as any spy caught by the Nazis was executed.