Second World War British / Commonwealth Forces Escape and Evasion Compass, Blue Gillette Blade ’Visor Knife’ Razor Blade form. Comprising ‘Made in England’ Patent marked ’Blue Gillette Blade’ housed in its two piece brass sheath. Extremely Rare.
Condition: Fair Condition.
During World War Two, the Department 9 of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence (M.I.9 - Escaped British Prisoners of War/POW, Debriefing, Escape and Evasion) developed a great number of secret means to conceal tools and instruments in harmless looking objects for everyday use. The means the pilots carried with them during the air raid were called pre-capture. These comprised many items like uniforms or shoes, that could easily be converted in civilian plain clothes but also see saws, food, etc. This department also sent to the POW's in the Offizierslager, short Offlagpost-capture). About one in 5 parcel contained such materiel concealed in tooth-brushes, pencils, playing cards, etc. The "empty" ones were called dove and the "hot" ones naughty. The mastermind behind the invention and production planning of these gadgets wrote his story in Official Secret, Clayton Hutton, 1961.
In this form the razor blade was a magnetic needle. It had to be laid on the surface of a liquid (like water in a glass) and would then turn around to point north.