WW2 SOE British 1 Shilling Coin with Concealed Blade Dated 1940.
WW2 SOE Escape & Evasion 1 Shilling Coin and blade. Carried by SOE Operatives and. British Diplomats in the field.
These coins concealed a curved blade that could be used if the agent was captured, to cut through bindings.
This coin is in super condition, it’s blade is still very sharp.
A fabulous piece of SOE, Spy and Escape & Evasion history.
Setting Europe Ablaze.
In June 1940, a new volunteer force - the Special Operations Executive (SOE) - was set up to wage a secret war. Its agents were mainly tasked with sabotage and subversion behind enemy lines. They had an influential supporter in Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who famously ordered them to 'set Europe ablaze!'
SOE's director of operations was Commando officer Brigadier Colin Gubbins whose interest in irregular warfare originated from his service during the Irish War of Independence (1919-21). Gubbins had also been involved in planning to establish a sabotage force to work behind the lines during any German invasion of Britain.
Gubbins’s approach to warfare included blowing up trains, bridges and factories, as well as fostering revolt and guerrilla warfare in enemy-occupied countries.
After completing a gruelling training regime, SOE agents were parachuted into occupied Europe and the Far East to work with resistance movements. Many were serving soldiers, often with Commando training, but others joined directly from civilian life.
Women also joined up. Some were enlisted in the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) to disguise their secret work. These were the only women permitted a combat role during the Second World War.
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