Tonight, BBC2, 21:00hrs, New five part TV series about SOE training and selection.

Re the pistols and Stens doesn’t this cover it:

Theatre and cinema.​
(1)A person taking part in a theatrical performance or a rehearsal thereof, or in the production of a cinematograph film, may, without holding a certificafe, have a firearm in his possession during and for the purpose of the performance, rehearsal or production.​
(2)Where the Defence Council is satisfied, on the application of a person in charge of a theatrical performance, a rehearsal of such a performance or the production of a cinematograph film, that [F1a prohibited weapon] is required for the purpose of the performance, rehearsal or production, [he] may under section 5 of this Act, if [he thinks] fit, not only authorise that person to have possession of [F1the weapon] but also authorise such other persons as he may select to have possession of it while taking part in the performance, rehearsal or production.​

I was more interested in where they got the dead rats from.
 
Through my SOE like powers of observation I noted that the STEN's had armoury numbers painted on them, which would indicate they came from a military armoury.

The pistols were 1911's, Colt 1903 or 1908 hammerless, and a Hi Power for the walk through range, using paint marker rounds.

The rat was a Mk III* High explosive rodent.
 
I was more interested in where they got the dead rats from.[/QUOTE said:
Most science equipment suppliers for schools and universities do rats in packs of ten and next-day delivery. You'll have to source your own plastique, though.
 
Not sure what they were using on the programme last night (I'll have another look on I-Player) but SOE preferred their agents to use "non-Allied" weapons for obvious reasons, hence Argentinian and Spanish "lookie-likie" pistols were provided. Having said that, the Spanish Star range of pistols looks at first glance like a Colt 1911.
Also there was a stock of captured German pistols that were "re-used" later on in the unpleasantness.
As I'm sure we are all aware, in 1940, the under equipped Home Guard resorted to unconventional methods to source weapons. This included local 'whip rounds' to collect up privately held firearms. Since licencing laws were considerably more lax than now, this resulted in a handsom collection of miscellaneous handguns and sporting rifles. Many of European origin and some of 'ladies calibres'. Early in 1941 there was a move to get all these 'on the books', supposedly to allow for accurate accounting and official ammunition issue. This certainly happened in the Home Guard armoury in Woodley near Reading, and probably in many other places. Shortly thereafter a visiting officer came and took away all the 'unsuitable' weapons never to be seen again. The Home Guard Section Commander had anticipated this (wiley old WW1 veteran that he was) and had kept a shadow ledger, not including all the weapons which might be wanted back after the unpleasantness was over. These were not taken away.

This (and I speculate a little here) had the result that:

1. SOE and others had a ready supply of denyable weaponry of worldwide origin. [speculation]
2. The, by then, Home Guard Captain whose cellar the armoury was in (the Home Guard hut and a 25yrd range were in his "garden"!), had a post war embarrassment of handguns and rifles, now unwanted by their original owners. [fact]
3. The young Mugg got the chance to play, aged 7, under strict supervision of an indulgent Uncle and Father, with a wide range of interesting stuff of Empire origin and WW1 bringbacks, still in the old steel cabinet. [blessed memory]

I've never seem it mentioned in any histories, and I've read a few, but it definitely happened. I have no idea what happened to the weapons after he died.

Oh, and thank you Uncle Bert.
 
Re the pistols and Stens doesn’t this cover it:

Theatre and cinema.​
(1)A person taking part in a theatrical performance or a rehearsal thereof, or in the production of a cinematograph film, may, without holding a certificafe, have a firearm in his possession during and for the purpose of the performance, rehearsal or production.​
(2)Where the Defence Council is satisfied, on the application of a person in charge of a theatrical performance, a rehearsal of such a performance or the production of a cinematograph film, that [F1a prohibited weapon] is required for the purpose of the performance, rehearsal or production, [he] may under section 5 of this Act, if [he thinks] fit, not only authorise that person to have possession of [F1the weapon] but also authorise such other persons as he may select to have possession of it while taking part in the performance, rehearsal or production.​

I was more interested in where they got the dead rats from.
They weren't dead, they were, err, resting. Or they were stunned. Norwegian blue rats stun easily.
 
Not sure what they were using on the programme last night (I'll have another look on I-Player) but SOE preferred their agents to use "non-Allied" weapons for obvious reasons, hence Argentinian and Spanish "lookie-likie" pistols were provided. Having said that, the Spanish Star range of pistols looks at first glance like a Colt 1911.
Also there was a stock of captured German pistols that were "re-used" later on in the unpleasantness.
Large numbers of hand guns were donated in 1940 by civilians in USA under a scheme organised by the National Rifle Association, perhaps these were allocated to SOE.
 
The over confident Dewhurst showed a photo of his dad in his Coldstream guards ceremonial uniform with NI medal, then stated the picture was taken at his dads Sandhurst graduation. Young Dewhurst clearly took little or no interest in Dads army career.
I think he said "just after..."

But I'm glad the arrogant twat got his marching orders...


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Inaccuracies and artistic license aside if the BBC does a half decent job with the rest of the series it might help awaken the current generation's interest to just what real heroism is. Given the odds and the end that could be expected these ordinary - extraordinary folks were brave beyond belief and then when the lucky ones came back most of them just melted into the background to live quietly among us.

Last night I watched a show about Krystyna Skarbek who worked for SOE in Poland and France. She had the brass to walk into Gestapo headquarters and bribe the heed bummer to let her companions go just prior to their execution. She succeeded in getting them out alive.
 
I think you mean this!

Escape photos:
View attachment 330319

View attachment 330320

View attachment 330321

View attachment 330322

I have more but four is probably enough.

The Gestapo, Luftwaffe, Abwehr etc might have been unpleasant but they weren’t feckin stupid. Downed US airmen were advised to surrender to Luftwaffe personnel if at all possible.
As told in (Texan) RCAF Spitfire pilot Bill Ash's book - Under The Wire. Badly beaten as a prisoner of the Gestapo he was 'rescued' by a determined Luftwaffe officer, mainly to encourage reciprocative fair treatment. Bill went to Frankfurt Dulag Luft or Transit Camp. Of course persistent nuisances and escapers were shipped out to harsher camps.

The Official History of the RAF and SOE, edited by John Grehan, is a good account of the RAF's support to SOE. ISBN: 9781473894136 .
 
Watching it now, dewhurst would receive a ******* nuclear throat punch if I ever met the dozy ******* ****.
 
Am currently catching up with episode number two, because I missed it on monday night.
The Senior Instructor of the DS seems to be a split arrse (a hard faced looking brunette with spectacles). Does any arrser know anything about her?
I understand that our very own Virobono is the 'OC' of the DS.
 
Watching it now, dewhurst would receive a ******* nuclear throat punch if I ever met the dozy ******* ****.
The Gestapo and two dummies, and the debrief...Johnny English all over.
 

CplFoodspoiler

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Dewhurst FFS. I'd have used him instead of a poor rat. Looked like he'd pucker up well enough to carry a large wad of plastic and detonator.
When he said "I fired a mini gun on a range in Vegas' - I was using some very nasty language and the good lady Mrs F poured me a large Highland Park and I calmed down.

As an aside; contrary to popular belief, in the ACC big red book of recipes (yes, it did exist) Rats were not an ingredient in ratatouille, honest.
 

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