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OSS Weapons


digi-shots

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According to Colt factory records, this Colt model 1903 was shipped to the OSS in Rosslyn, Virginia on September 26, 1944. It was in shipment #4420 and was one of 900 units shipped.

 

In this photo, it is shown along with a map of Europe, a garote and a couple of German stamps. These stamps are forgeries and were part of Operation "Cornflakes". They were printed and distributed by the Morale Operations Branch of the OSS for propaganda purposes. The OSS objective for Operation "Cornflakes" was to create the appearance of a large organized resistance movement within Germany by distributing anti-Hitler propaganda to German citizens through the mail. American aircraft flying missions over German cities, industrial centers and train yards, dropped "German mail bags" each containing 500 to1200 letters, many of which were addressed to the families of fallen German soldiers.

 

 

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The Morale Operations Branch also operated in the Pacific Theater....

 

Here, the Colt 1903 is shown with counterfeit Japanese Invasion Money printed by the OSS. Beginning with the captue of the Philippines, the Japanese military confiscated all hard currency, replacing it with locally printed notes bearing the name of the issuer, "The Japanese Government".

 

The Morale Operations Branch of the OSS produced and disseminated "black" propaganda in all areas of operation. Product included leaflets, radio broadcasts and counterfeit money. The first million counterfeit notes were printed in Washington, DC. The notes were flown to the Philippines in December of 1943 and distributed to six different guerrilla groups.

 

An interesting note... it was a letter dated October 15, 1943 from General MacArthur - no friend of the OSS - that requested that steps be taken to reproduce, for use inthe Philippines, 10 million Pesos of Japanese occupancy currency. By air asap... balance by water transport.

 

 

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Yep, museum stuff! This is an interesting picture that shows a couple of OSS guys with 4" revolvers. The one on the right does not appear to have a lanyard loop so it is probably a Colt Commando.

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Kevin,

 

Very nice..! The finish on both of them look very good.

 

Thanks for sharing!

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Both the United States military and the British had a wide variety of firing devices designed for booby traps and demolition. The OSS undertook its own procurement and improved on many of them.

 

Surrounding the OSS "drop knife" are a couple of devices.. the device in the top center is a US pressure fuze M1A1 and was used for antipersonnel mines and booby traps.

 

The one on the far right is an OSS pressure firing device with antenna mounted and ready for use. It is a small metal box with a hinged lid which activates a percussion cap when 40 to 50 pounds of pressure is applied. This was a direct copy of a British device with minor modifications. It had various uses... It could be placed under a chair or bed. With the antenna extended it could be hidden in a railroad rock bed. It could be used with or without the 2-part "antenna" - which gives a range for adjustment. The first requisition was made for 10,000 of these pressure switches (February 18, 1943).

 

The device on the left is a standard Army Engineers Release fuze which were also used by OSS field teams

 

 

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Shown here are three more firing devices...

 

The top right is a standard Army Engineers "pull" firing device which was also used by OSS field teams.

 

Below is an OSS 'release" firing device made up of a metal housing with a hinged lid. The housing and lid have extended lips that project and fit closely together so that the device may be inserted into narrow cracks or under objects. The first requisition was for 10,000 release switches, dated February 18, 1943. Both the OSS and the British SOE used similar devices.

 

The "pull" device on the left side is very similar to the OSS pull type and is made up of a cast metal housing containing a spring loaded firing pin. The device has a ring at one end for attaching a trip wire which will fire the device at a pull from 3 to 6 lbs. The first OSS requisition for these was made on February 18, 1943 and was for 10,000 switches.

 

The knife shown in the photo is an OSS contract Stiletto and was manufactured by Landers, Frary and Clark of New Britain, Ct. Each knife was individually tested for hardness and all original OSS Stilettos show the Brinell hardness test dot on the blade near the hilt. Those that were originally rejected, rehardened and retested have two test dots. As a note... this Stiletto shows two tests dots on one side and one test dot on the other. Regular issue of OSS Stilettos appears to have begun in late 1943 or early 1944 (Brunner, OSS Weapons, p. 70)

 

 

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Liberator pistol.

 

 

robinb.... nice Liberator - I knew someone had to have one ! Also Iooks like it has the floorplate - so many times they are missing.

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Kevin, very cool video! The suppressor attachment and drilled barrel is interesting!

 

I had heard of booby trap trigger mechanisms but had not seen one or an explanation of how it worked. I wonder how many of them are sitting in piles of junk stuff!

 

Great video post!

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This is not my gun but I wanted to include it in this thread. The UD M42 was designed by Carl G. Swebilius of High Standard. (It is interesting how many products High Standard designed for the OSS.) I think the M42 was used exclusively by the OSS or furnished by the OSS to resistance fighters in Europe.

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Here's another one of my Smith & Wesson Victory models.... this one also shipped to the OSS warehouse in Rosslyn, Virginia on December 21, 1943.

 

These handguns were not only used by OSS operatives but were supplied to various Allied resistance groups. There's no way of knowing the travels that this Victory made during WWII, but it does have postwar stampings on the backstrap and was most likely used as a postwar police gun in Germany. There are no import markings on the gun.

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  • 2 weeks later...
digi-shots

Here is a photo of 9mm ammo that was procured by the Ordnance Department primarily for the Office of Strategic Services.

 

Some great information can be found in a book co-authored by W.H. Woodin on US Ammunition: "The OSS used this caliber ammo in a conversion for the M3 Sub-machine gun. The M1 9mm Ball would also function in most foreign pistols and sub-machine guns chambered for this caliber. Most of the contract manufacture of this round was with the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. and Western Cartridge Co."

 

If anyone else has some "OSS" ammo, please feel free to post some pics!

 

 

 

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Great stuff again, digi. Earlier you posted the .38 Super ammo that was loaded for the Super .38 pistols bought by the OSS. At the end of the war all those pistols, over 1M rounds of metal-cased ammo like you posted and 1,000 round of "Hi-Speed, Mushroom" ammo was stored at the Letterkenny Ordnance Depot.

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Wow! I've never seen a "dog-bone" box like that before!

 

It almost looks like a standard WWII brown box with a color lithographed label glued over it.

 

Thanks for posting!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here are a few crossbow bolts. Pictured are four of the six I have... enjoy.

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Does anyone know the answer or do they prefer not to get involved due to legality of the item?

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