I just don’t know how the war would have gone if the Germans had succeeded with these bombs.
Giving a new meaning to the dessert name “death by chocolate”, The German bomb makers created explosive devices with a coating of thin layer of rich dark chocolate, then packaged it in expensive-looking black and gold paper.
Arguably the most unconventional bomb was the chocolate bar bomb was intended to be smuggled into the Royal household with the purpose of assassination. None of the chocolate bars reached Britain, but British authorities did capture some in places as far away as Turkey. A secondary use for the proposed disguised chocolate bar was as an emergency hand grenade
The Germans had planned to use secret agents working in Britain to discretely place the bars, branded as Peters Chocolate, among other luxury items taken into the dining room used by the War Cabinet during the conflict.
But the British intelligence service did a decent job of uncovering these plots. And Victor Rothschild, the head of MI5’s very small counter-sabotage unit, wanted to document what the British had found.
Lord Rothschild, a scientist in peace time as well as a key member of the Rothschild banking family, immediately typed a letter to a talented illustrator seconded to his unit, asking him to draw poster-size images of the chocolate to warn the public to be on the look-out.
His letter to the artist, Laurence Fish, is dated May 4, 1943 and was written from his secret bunker in Parliament Street, London.
It was unearthed by Mr Fish’s wife, journalist Jean Bray, as she sorted through his possessions after the artist’s death at the age of 89 in 2009.
The letter, marked “secret”, reads:
“Dear Fish, I wonder if you could do a drawing for me of an explosive slab of chocolate.
We have received information that the enemy are using pound slabs of chocolate which are made of steel with a very thin covering of real chocolate.
Inside there is high explosive and some form of delay mechanism…When you break off a piece of chocolate at one end in the normal way, instead of it falling away, a piece of canvas is revealed stuck into the middle of the piece which has been broken off and a ticking into the middle of the remainder of the slab.
The letter explained how the mechanism would be activated when the piece of chocolate was pulled sharply, which would also pull the canvas, and Lord Rothschild said he was enclosing a “very poor sketch” done by someone who had seen one of the bars. When the piece of chocolate at the end was broken off, the canvas detonator was pulled, and, after a delay of seven seconds, the bomb would explode.
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