Was this stuff ever really taken seriously ?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by BounceBanana, Nov 25, 2011.

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  1. Fairbairn's Unarmed Combat Training, WWII - YouTube

    I hope the link works.

    Recently I saw some pictures on Facebook of young men in their 30s on a martial arts seminar learning knife defences. And with a view to working as bodyguards. Under one picture is the comment "Knife defence Cass Magda style yeah !"

    I thought ruddy hell. That Sifu fella must have looked into his wizardy bird bath crystal ball and seen how we trained 41 years ago in basic police training. And it was a load of bollocks then (But at least the instructor told you it was all bollocks just do it to pass the course).

    Then I got to thinking back and on the chats I have had.

    One was with old Jack who had been in Glider Pilot Regiment in 44/45. Don't know what he did before that but he had a Fairbairn Sykes commando knife. And he told me he had done all that Shanghai bollocks training but that he had been lucky. Being a Jew from the East End a cockney soldier had said to him "Listen Jack you don't want the Jerries getting hold of you wot wiv you being a snipcock so I'll bring you in wot you need and teach you to use it"

    Jack thought the cockney lad was having a laugh as he brought in a hand hold nicked from a London underground carriage. The billiard ball sized grip on a thong with a captive spring around it to stop it swaying about. The cockney had modified it so it bent back and latched on a trigger handle. So now it is like a door closing spring. And when "Fired" it launched the billiard ball grip like a cannon ball. "Hit 'em ten times harder than Joe Louis wiv dat " said the cockney. "Just get to learn where to hold yer hand when you creep up behind em and pull the trigger. Ether. Puts em out first time every time. That way you don't alert em by touching or grabbin em see. Then do the surgery when they can't fight back"

    Another chap I chatted with years ago was an engineer. Bill started the war as a private in Suffolk Regiment and ended up years later as a lecturer at RMCS. He was an engineer and was oiked out of the infantry. Eventually in the civil service he was involved in designing nuclear weapons and also in the air system for East Grinstead burns unit.

    One of his tasks during the war was to take part in reverse engineering a German radar station. I think it was a raid by 2 Para but not sure. The way they started was to have the Paras from the raid visit and recall where they were when bits of the German installation were liberated. To try to rebuild the layout. And Bill was surprised at what pleasant men these paras were. So asked how they had coped with silent killing etc.

    The paras told him that side of things was taken care of by their mate with a yoyo. And claimed he could ptch his yoyo round corners and it would wrap around a sentry's neck and garotte him. Bill was having his leg pulled.

    But oddly enough there does appear, apart from the underground hand grip "Ether", to have been another English squaddie street weapon actually called a yoyo. Made from an enamel mug with its handle cut off, a length of threading or a stout saucepan handle, two bolts, four nuts and a length of wire rope.

    It got me thinking whether in the war the ORs politely listened to all the Shanghai Fairbairn Sykes bollocks but did things in their own way on the QT anyway ?
  2. I always thought the whole fairbairn sykes thing, from the length of the knife itself (long enough to penetrate the heart from the back) simultaneously deflating a lung was a quick quiet despatch.

    Hitting Jerry with your billiard ball would be anything but quiet if he was wearing a helmet.

    The dehandled enamel cup wouldnt be heavy enough to travel any distance, simultaneously untangling the wire rope, again, I think Jerry would be screaming, "Sarge, some ***** throwing cups at me"

    It could well have happened though.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. The shovel, with appropriate sharpening, was a WW1 weapon of choice I believe, while the billiard ball in a sock is probably as good a way of achieving a skull fracture as any.
  4. Well royal marines place a very high place on it. I think "they" do as well. The best thing to do is bite off yer opponents nose and run like ****.
    Even the policers need tasers and gas sprays today.
  5. IIRC the old-style hand-holds on London Underground carriages were indeed removed and modified as coshes for special forces - it was done officially.

    On the whole, I imagine that taking out sentries and "silent killing" was more the preserve of SOE agents and specialist SF - AFAIK, every para and commando op was fairly loud. I doubt most ordinary ORs were ever in the position of needing to make an unarmed kill - they had bayonets right up to Mike fire missions to use instead....
  6. Oddly enough, I was in the pub last night earwigging a couple of blokes discussing sword fighting. One was waxing lyrical about parrying and such and I thinks to myself that I haven't seen that many overweight, bespectacled fencing proponents who look like they still live with their parents. One of them starts going on about two-handed techniques - which I'm pretty sure the various international fencing bodies would frown upon - and the other concurs with the observations made. By this point I'm thinking Sealed Knot or some other lunatic fringe weekend pastime. That was until one of them mentioned the word 'dungeon' and the penny dropped. ******* PC gamers! Sad, sad, sad.

    I thought the springy ball grab handles on ubahn carriages were a '60s innovation; leather straps being used previously. I'm either wrong, or there's a bunch of improvised SF weaponry walts out there. Probably the former.
  7. And also used to good effect in Cyprus as well!
    • Like Like x 3
  8. My great grandfather left me his cosh from the WW1. It was a foot long truncheon with a steel bit over the end. Not sure if he ever used it but it felt quite lethal.
  9. Did he make you play with it? Did sticky stuff come out of the end after a while?
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I said my grandfather not yours.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Schaden

    Schaden LE Book Reviewer

  12. Have a close look at it;about 6-8 inches up the shaft. If there's a tide-mark of fecal matter and **** hairs, it really belonged to your great grandmother.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. 12"? you wish!
  14. As a realy young boy I knew neighbours who had been in the trenches. They would have described your "cosh" as a "dommy knocker"

  15. Incest is best and all that...