We all remember 221B Baker Street as the famous address of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, but 64 Baker Street was the actual address of the Special Operations Executive. They didn’t let the coincidence escape them, either. One of their nicknames (after the street urchins who sometimes hung around Sherlock) was The Baker Street Irregulars. My favorite one is “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare,” both because it aptly described the large number of women involved, and the guerrilla tactics used to fight the Nazis.
I mean, come on, one of their devices was exploding rats–rat bombs! They’d cure the skin of rats and basically stuff them with explosives. how crazy (and gross) was that?
“Look Klaus, there’s a rat in the corner.”
And that bottle of Chianti that Hannibal Lecter enjoys? Also cleverly filled with explosives.
Other inventions ranged from foldable bikes that could fit into your backpack, cigarette lighters that carried cryptic messages, and even one-man submarines that had a 400 mile range and could hit a capital ship.
Some of these things you’ll catch in The Tower’s Alchemist (sorry, I just couldn’t do the rat bombs though), and of course, I keep SOE’s Baker Street address.
Seriously, if you get a chance to peruse WWII history, especially concerning SOE, you have got to check out the players, their equipment and tactics, because those things in themselves would make an interesting story 🙂