Second World War British / Commonwealth Forces Escape and Evasion Compass, miniature ‘pill box’ rotor type form concealed inside a shaving brush whose base unscrews. War Department marked, dated 1944. An exceptional example of type. Extremely Rare.

£475.00
Availability: IN STOCK
Product ID: CMA/32371
Condition: Fair Condition.
Description:

Second World War British / Commonwealth Forces Escape and Evasion Compass, miniature ‘pill box’ rotor type form concealed inside a shaving brush whose base unscrews. War Department marked, dated 1944. An exceptional example of type. Extremely Rare.

Condition: Fair Condition.

This extremely rare miniature ‘pill box’ rotor type of compass is concealed with the bakelite base of a mundane looking shaving brush which unscrews. The base is marked ‘Warranted Bristle and Horsehair’ and ‘Sterilised Halex Ltd. 1944’ and also bears the War Department broad arrow mark. The compass is hidden inside the grip and is still covered by is original rubber wrap.

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.

The pill box compass was also produced in sizes under 0.25” (6,35 mm) diameter. Such compasses, which have become extremely rare, were concealed inside pencils, pens, and other mundane objects. The one shown here has a 0.15” (3,7 mm) high case with a slightly protrodung domed-shape glass cover