During World War II, the United Kingdom had to cope with widespread food shortages and rationing that left sugar in short supply and chocolate almost unheard of. Which made Nazi boobytrap chocholate bombs all the more insulting, as Nick Higham reports for BBC News.
Drawings of exploding candy bars, bombs disguised as cans of motor oil and other “unpleasant weapons” were recently rediscovered after 70 years, writes Higham. Intended to be used as a warning to British forces looking to take the bite out of booby traps, the drawings give an intriguing glimpse into the world of WWII espionage.
'Chocolate bomb' among WW2 boobytraps http://t.co/LDD7Lyzkb7— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) September 30, 2015
The drawings of these odd German weapons were made by a man named Laurence Fish who worked for MI5's counter-sabotage unit. They were meant as a field guide to German booby traps, to teach agents how to diffuse these strange bombs if they encountereted them.
Fish’s widow discovered 25 of the drawings after her husband’s death, but they were put in storage until they were recently discovered by the daughter of Victor Rothschild, who commissioned the drawings. (Gloustershire Echo has more information about their recovery.) Though a plot to kill Winston Churchill using the cruel candy has been known since a secret letter was uncovered in 2009, the drawings have not been made public until now.
Not to be outdone by a few bombs, the British engaged in several ingenious acts of espionage and deception during the war. But it wasn’t all cool booby traps and clever ruses. The Brits’ ultimate act of trickery was one that occurred in plain sight — Operation Fortitude, a huge fake army made of inflatables and wood that diverted Axis attention from key landing sites that would enable the Allies to land at Normandy and take back Europe.