Churchill's ministry of ungentlemanly warfare

Boathook

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by Giles Milton.
Mainly factual and set during WWII. Goes into the history and development of the special 'weapons' made for the SOE plus some bits about SOE training in Scotland, etc. I found it very good reading with some humour and it by chance linked up with other books I have read, such as Maquis by George Millar.
 

KeithMD

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Seconded. Also, there's a chance the book will be made into a film.
Churchill's Notorious WWII Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare Finally Gets a Movie

By chance, the book was recommended to me by someone who grew up in Highworth. Where the Post Office was the "gateway" to the HQ of "Churchill's Secret Army", three miles up the road at Coleshill. The Auxiliary Units were part of the Ungentlemenly Warfare, and some of the AU personnel moved onto SOE.
See Churchill's Wartime Auxiliary Units, Special Duties, SOE and SAS | British Resistance Archive (staybehinds.com)

As children playing in the area in the 1950s, they would occasionally find stashes of weapons (Bren guns, grenades, etc) carefully stored in woods, barns, etc, and still in good order. They were quite upset their dad wouldn't let them keep them. :)
 

Wansworth

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Back in the early sixties we often dug up boxes of 303 amo on the beach at west wittering……..the police had no interest,so chucked them inthe hedgerow
 

KeithMD

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Back in the early sixties we often dug up boxes of 303 amo on the beach at west wittering……..the police had no interest,so chucked them inthe hedgerow
Different times, eh?
Nowadays I suppose a mile radius would be cordoned-off with ModPlod and Ordnance teams in attendance, and then the children would be given PTSD counselling.
 

Wansworth

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Different times, eh?
Nowadays I suppose a mile radius would be cordoned-off with ModPlod and Ordnance teams in attendance, and then the children would be given PTSD counselling.
Yes,west wittering was very near Thorney Island important base in ww2 ammowas probably ditched to help landing..maybe………bullets found about 2 foot down just at moat level for our sandcastles😂
 

Norman_E

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It was a book In read with great interest, and what I still do not know is whether my father was in one of the auxiliary units or in some other secret organisation. He would never speak about the war except to say that he left the Home Guard for other duties, and to tell about the times they were bombed out of houses. What I do know is that he was a telephone engineer in west London during WW2, and that my mother told me that he was frequently away, and that after the war he had a considerable quantity of explosives which neither the police nor the army were interested in taking from him. According to my mother the only explosives she saw were in a box containing cardboard tubes (dynamite?) which he took by train to the war ministry in London to persuade officials to remove the rest.
 

KeithMD

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The Q

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In the 1960s I found a few loaded belts of bullets for a machine gun , there were always bits of militaria around.
Even the council house my parents moved into ( with us) had been previously been painted with "liberated" stuff from the vehicle depot.
But that's not surprising as we lived on the edge of Salisbury plane where this happened..
BBC - WW2 People's War - Young Jim's Flight to Kill Hitler
Dad went to school with them..
 

DownWest

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Girl I knew's father was in the 'home defence' lot of saboteurs if the Germans got a foothold in UK. There was an underground room in the garden full of explosives and arms. She had no idea what happened to it.

At school in surrey, we were near the bush areas that were used as practice areas by the army. Every year we had plod come in and give us a lecture on what might be lying around still. There was a lot. Two of my classmates were killed when one picked up a landmine. Another time, the rest of us were very unamused when two pupils bought in 'trophys'. First we knew was brown jobs shooing us out of the building into the grounds. They had two live morter rounds in their desks...
 

DownWest

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My niece is involved with publishing, so my sister gets some good books.
Just read the book of the title in this thread. Quite amazing about the eccentric talents that were harnessed to produce effective weapons and the wide range of uses that were very effective in WW11, far more effective than convential warfare.
 

Pete7

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Back in the early sixties we often dug up boxes of 303 amo on the beach at west wittering……..the police had no interest,so chucked them inthe hedgerow
Having dived Thorney Channel, I can confirm there is an awful lot of dumped 303 belt ammunition just lying on the bottom, yard after yard of the stuff. Despite the mud on the shoreline the channel has a thin layer of sand on top of the mud so easy to see the belts.
 

KeelsonGraham

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Yes,west wittering was very near Thorney Island important base in ww2 ammowas probably ditched to help landing..maybe………bullets found about 2 foot down just at moat level for our sandcastles😂

And on Northam Burrows beach in the 70’s they found lots of live land mines just about at moat level for our sandcastles. Great fun watching them get blown up - by OD, not us!
 

st599

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Will be interesting to see how closely the new movie follows the book.
 
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