A Most Rare and Original WW2 SOE Secret Agents Morse Code ReceiverAn original SOE agents 'suitcase' radio, Morse code signal receiver, a 'Receiver RX'.
The receiver is usually mounted, hidden in a suitcase, or, in a small metal so called 'container box' that was dropped by parachute behind enemy lines. Unfortunately most SOE transmitters and receivers were damaged, and or lost, by this method. It is fitted if combined in the hidden suitcase, below the transmitter and it is the smaller of the two parts. The entire coverage from 3.1 to 15.2 MHz is divided over three ranges that are selected by the WAVEBAND-selector at the left.
To the right of the band-selector is the tuning knob that has two wheels: one for coarse and one for fine tuning. Above the tuning knob is the scale readout that has a magnifying plexiglass lens over it. The official designator is Type 3 Mk.II but the radio is also known as Type B Mk.II, B.II and B2. Most surviving examples are now only to be seen in museums, or a few private collections. The Special Operations Executive was ordered by Winston Churchill to “set Europe ablaze”. The Special Operations Executive’s (SOE) main task was to link up with resistance movements – primarily the French Resistance – to undermine the Germans in the countries they had occupied. N 1940, after the fall of France, Britain had a rudimentary approach to assisting civilian resistance movements in Europe. Section D existed as part of the Secret Service. Its task was to support subversive movements in occupied countries. MI6 also existed. It was part of the War Office and its job was to support irregular operations conducted by personnel in uniform. However, little thought had been given to helping those civilians who not only wanted to fight back at the Germans, but also wanted to help out the British. Both Section D and MI6 proved relatively ineffective in supporting the resistance movements in western Europe – too much inter-departmental rivalry was an issue. Therefore, a new start was required, an organisation that was free from rivalry and that had a fresh outlook on how to support the resistance movements of Europe. This led to the creation of the Special Operations Executive in July 1940. Its headquarters was in London and it had regional headquarters in Cairo and Delhi. A link with America was also formed. One of the most vital SOE tools was clandestine radio communications. A special wireless set weighing less than 40 lbs was developed. It looked like an ordinary suitcase. The plan was for every SOE organiser to take to occupied Europe a qualified radio operator. Every SOE operative was trained in parachuting, unarmed combat and self-defence. Those who had particular skills in explosives, trained to perfect these skills. The same was true with wireless operators. SOE schools were set up under the greatest of secrecy to train potential SOE operators. The final part of training for any SOE person was his or her so-called ‘cover story’. Each SOE operative had to fit in with his/her background. The slightest mistake would have been punished in the most severe manner. Therefore, no ‘Frenchman’ would wear shoes made in Great Britain or smoke British made cigarettes. In order to achieve its goals, SOE relied upon 470 agents, 117 of whom died in action. The agents generally parachuted behind the lines to teach unarmed combat, bomb building, and espionage strategies to resistance fighters, but a number were pulled from the criminal ranks to supply expertly forged documents. SOE's greatest success may have been the 1942 bombing of a Norwegian plant that supplied heavy water (deuterium oxide) to Germany for use in developing an atomic bomb. Another notable achievement came when SOE agents guided a Royal Air Force attack on Gestapo headquarters in Denmark that permitted one prisoner escaping from the rubble to pick up a file of the names of Danish collaborators to be used as evidence at treason trials after the war. SOE so succeeded in harassing the Axis powers that they pulled troops from the front lines and sent them to guard railways, storage depots, and factories, while the British in contrast simply relied upon old men to protect these facilities.
Code: 21603Price: 1450.00 GBP
A Napoleonic Wars High Ranking Infantry Officer's 'Marengo' Style SwordOne of the most desirable, scarcest and beautiful swords used by senior officer's in Napoleon's Grande Armee. Known as the 'Marengo' style sword hilt, named in honour of the great Napoleonic battle. It is in battle recovered condition, and has obviously seen some combat damage and wear. In original condition swords of this pattern are highly rare and valued very, very highly indeed. For example a very similar sword, of an unknown officer of the Imperial Guarde [but of course in better order] sold in 1991, at the Delevenne-Lafarge saleroom in Paris, for an astounding £32,830. However, it is, in certain respects, very much to it's advantage, to be in battle worn order, as this fine and very rare sword is now easily within reach of the budget of many average French Napoleonic weaponry collector's, whereas in perfect order, a sword such as this, that was used by a senior staff officer, under, for example Marshal Ney's command, would be beyond the reach of most collector's pockets. Unusually it has a straight blade, which may suggest it was a staff officer controlling the French heavy cavalry, such as cuirassiers or carabiniers. A truly fabulous French sword of much scarcity and collect ability, as so few of these swords, that were used officer's within the echelons of Napoleon's personal influence survive today. And it is perfectly possible that Napoleon himself knew it's officer owner personally. The second picture Marshal Jourdan, Jourdan is carrying a very similar sword to this. The Battle of Marengo was fought on 14 June 1800 between French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte and Austrian forces near the city of Alessandria, in Piedmont, Italy. Near the end of the day, the French overcame Gen. Michael von Melas's surprise attack, driving the Austrians out of Italy and consolidating Napoleon's political position in Paris as First Consul of France in the wake of his coup d’état the previous November. Napoleon had a considerable feeling for this battle and his favourite horse Marengo was similarly named in it's honour. No scabbard, russetted blade and extreme end of quillon lacking.
Code: 21602Price: 1995.00 GBP
Stunning Suit of Original 1580 'Tudor Era' Horseman's Cuirassier ArmourA wonderful, composite German imported armour, with a singularly outstanding peasquod form breastplate. Used as a mounted infantry officer's half-armour in the 16th century Tudor period of Queen Elizabeth, but, as with many of these armours, it was upgraded in the 1640's for use in the English Civil War, as a cuirassier officer's armour with a close helmet. Most armour in that period was made in Germany and exported around Europe.
This armour has its 17th century cuirassier helmet with two-piece skull, pivoting fall with pointed peak, upper bevor pierced with circular breaths, lower bevor shaped to the chin, and two gorget-plates to the front and rear, the remainder of the 'black and white' type armour, is comprising an almain-collar of a main-plate and two neck-plates at the front and rear, hinged on the left, and with short spaulders of five plates each, cuirass comprising back-plate with culet of two plates and breast-plate with prominent central point, moveable gussets and prominent roped turns at the neck and arms, skirt of two plates, and knee-length tassets of seven plates each, the lowest deeper and bluntly pointed, the main edges turned and roped, some bordered by a raised guilloche pattern, on its wooden display stand. In the gallery is a photo of a portrait group that shows Heinrich von Nassau-Dillenburg equipped as this armour is, as a cuirassier of the time, with his cuirass off and buff leather underneath. Notice the tied-on sleeve: The first cuirassiers were produced as a result of armoured cavalry, such as the man-at-arms and demi-lancer, discarding their lances and adopting the use of pistols as their primary weapon. In the later 17th century, the cuirassier lost his limb armour and subsequently employed only the cuirass (breastplate and backplate), and sometimes a helmet. By this time, the sword was the primary weapon of the cuirassier, pistols being relegated to a secondary function. The armour of a cuirassier was hugely expensive; in England, in 1629, a basic cuirassier trooper's equipment cost four pounds and 10 shillings, whilst a harquebusier's (a lighter type of cavalry) was a mere one pound and six shillings. Cuirassiers were generally the senior branch of the mounted portion of an army, retaining their status as heavy cavalry—"big men on big horses". Only two cuirassier regiments were raised during the English Civil War, the Lifeguard of the Earl of Essex and the 'London lobsters,' though individuals within other regiments did serve in full armour. With the refinement of infantry firearms, especially the introduction of the powerful musket, the usefulness of the protection afforded by full armour became greatly lessened. By the mid 17th century, the fully armoured cuirassier was becoming increasingly anachronistic. One of the most famous cuirassier regiments to fight in Cromwell’s army during the English Civil war was described by the Earl of Clarendon in this contemporary account of the battle of Lansdown in 1643: “Sir William Waller had received from London a fresh regiment of 500 horse under the command of Sir Arthur Hesilrige, which were so prodigiously armed that they were called by the other side, the regiment of lobsters, because of their bright iron shells in which they were covered, being perfect cuirassiers. They were the first to be seen so armed on either side, and the first that made any impression on the king’s horse who, being unarmed, were not able to bear a shock with them . . . It was on the fifth of July when Sir William Waller, as soon as it was light, possessed himself of Lansdown Hill. As great a mind as the king’s forces had to cope with the enemy, when they had drawn into battalia and found the enemy fixed on top of the hill they resolved not to attack them upon so great disadvantage, and so retired again. Sir William Waller perceiving this, sent his whole body of horse and dragoons down the hill to charge the rear and flank of the king’s forces. This they did thoroughly, the regiment of cuirassiers so terrifying the horse that they totally routed them.” The cuirassier later on lost his limb armour and entered the 18th century with just the breast and backplate.
Code: 21601Price: 19995.00 GBP
An Original Napoleonic Wars 4 Pounder Solid Shot Gribeauval Cannon BallThis is a 4lb canon ball that was fired under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte as commander of the French army at the Battle of Lodi, and shows it has made an imposing strike impact. Possibly a building of Lodi. A painting in the gallery is of Bonaparte sighting his cannon [in 1796] during the battle of Lodi, and another painting of Napoleon commanding the French offensive and his cannon. The Battle of Lodi was fought on 10 May 1796 between French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte and an Austrian rear guard led by Karl Philipp Sebottendorf at Lodi, Lombardy. The French advance guard was not strong enough to try to cross the bridge, so several hours passed while further French forces came up. During the afternoon, a violent cannonade began, as French guns arrived and were positioned to fire across the river. It has been suggested that Bonaparte was personally involved in directing some of the guns, and that his troops began to refer to him as le petit caporal (the little corporal) because of this. The Austrian rear guard was defeated, but the main body of Johann Peter Beaulieu's Austrian Army had time to retreat. The Battle of Lodi was not a decisive engagement since the Austrian army had successfully escaped. But it became a central element in the Napoleonic legend and, according to Napoleon himself, contributed to convincing him that he was superior to other generals and that his destiny would lead him to achieve great things. The Canon de 4 Gribeauval or 4-pounder was a French cannon and part of the artillery system developed by Jean Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval. The Old French pound (French: livre) was 1.079 English pounds, making the weight of shot about 4.3 English pounds. In the Gribeauval era, the 4-pounder was the lightest weight cannon of the French field artillery; the others were the medium Canon de 8 Gribeauval and the heavy Canon de 12 Gribeauval. The Gribeauval system was introduced in 1765 and the guns were first employed during the American Revolutionary War. The most large-scale use of Gribeauval guns occurred during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. At first a pair of 4-pounders were assigned to each infantry battalion and were often called battalion pieces. Later, Emperor Napoleon took the guns away from the infantry units and began to replace the 4-pounder with the 6-pounder, using captured guns as well as newly cast French cannons. However, as the French infantry declined in quality after 1809, the 4-pounders were reintroduced in order to provide direct support for formations of foot soldiers. All Gribeauval cannons were capable of firing canister shot at close-range and round shot at long-range targets. From a small collection of original recovered battle site Napoleonic canon balls, the French cannon balls [of which this is one] were actually fired by cannon under Napoleon's command. Small hole casting flaw.
Code: 21600Price: 375.00 GBP
A Rare Battlefield Recovered 'Sawback Removed' German Butcher Bayonet.A WW1 German Mauser Gew98 'Sawback' Bayonet, with the sawback removed, recovered from the trenches of the Somme in the 1970's. The overall external surface is overall pitted but the blade has survived very well indeed. Maker marked by. The German sawback 'Butcher Bayonet' was such an appalling looking instrument, it was told to the new German recruits, serving their kaiser in the trenches, that if they were ever captured with such a bayonet mounted upon their rifle, the British Tommies would execute them forthwith, simply due to the frightful and horrific wounds the sawback inflicted upon its British victims. Although likely a mythical fear, none the less, many German soldiers easily believed it, and thus complied with the recommendation to eradicate the saw, and duly removed the it with a strong steel file by hand. This is one of those infamous and rare survivors. Although externally tired, but fortunately not too much so, this is a really historical souvenir of WW1. A gem of a collectors piece, a stand-out item, and a perfect reminder of the simply diabolical hand-to-hand trench warfare experianced by all the protagonists of the Great War.
Code: 21599Price: 190.00 GBP
Battlefield Recovered 1415 Dagger of Agincourt, Souvenir of the Grand TourIn overall russetted condition, now without grip but still clearly retaining its armour piecing tip and single shell guard. Acquired in the 18th century by a British nobleman touring Northern France and Italy on his Grand Tour. Originally placed on display in his 'cabinet of curiosities', within his countryhouse upon his return home. A popular pastime in the 18th and 19th century, comprised of English ladies and gentlemen traveling for many months, or even years, througout classical Europe, acquiring antiquities and antiques for their private collections. Probably a German imported dagger from the early 15th century, used by a Knight from one of the two protagonists, the Knights supporting King Charles Vith or the knights of King Henry Vth.
The Battle of Agincourt was a major English victory in the Hundred Years' War. The battle took place on 25 October 1415 (Saint Crispin's Day) in the County of Saint-Pol, Artois, some 40 km south of Calais. Along with the battles of Crécy (1346) and Poitiers (1356), it was one of the most important English triumphs in the conflict. England's victory at Agincourt against a numerically superior French army crippled France, and started a new period in the war during which the English began enjoying great military successes.
After several decades of relative peace, the English had renewed their war effort in 1415 amid the failure of negotiations with the French. In the ensuing campaign, many soldiers perished due to disease and the English numbers dwindled, but as they tried to withdraw to English-held Calais they found their path blocked by a considerably larger French army. Despite the disadvantage, the following battle ended in an overwhelming tactical victory for the English.
King Henry V of England led his troops into battle and participated in hand-to-hand fighting. The French king of the time, Charles VI, did not command the French army himself, as he suffered from severe psychotic illnesses with moderate mental incapacitation. Instead, the French were commanded by Constable Charles d'Albret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party.
This battle is notable for the use of the English longbow in very large numbers, with the English and Welsh archers forming up to 80 percent of Henry's army. The decimation of the French cavalry at their hands is regarded as an indicator of the decline of cavalry and the beginning of the dominance of ranged weapons on the battlefield.
Agincourt is one of England's most celebrated victories. The battle is the centrepiece of the play Henry V by Shakespeare. Juliet Barker in her book Agincourt: The King, the Campaign, the Battle ( published in 2005) argues the English and Welsh were outnumbered "at least four to one and possibly as much as six to one". She suggests figures of about 6,000 for the English and 36,000 for the French, based on the Gesta Henrici's figures of 5,000 archers and 900 men-at-arms for the English, and Jean de Wavrin's statement "that the French were six times more numerous than the English". The 2009 Encyclopædia Britannica uses the figures of about 6,000 for the English and 20,000 to 30,000 for the French.
Code: 21598Price: 895.00 GBP
An Exceptional German WW1 Mauser Gew98 Butcher BayonetWith traditional 'butcher' blade. Designed to fit the Mauser Gew 98 rifle. The Seitengewehr 98/05 was introduced into the the Prussian army in late 1905, as a replacement for the 98/02 for engineers and pioneer troops, as the 98/02 was deemed to long and heavy for it's intended purpose. Initial production was in two versions, the first plain backed, and the second with 29 double teeth. The scabbard was leather with steel throat and chape mounts, later changed to all steel that was better for trench warfare combat. The bayonet as typical of German blades did not have more than a vestigial muzzle ring, relying on the length of the hilt mounting to fix the blade to its rifle. The plain back version was identified as the S98/05 or S98/05 o.S. (ohne Säge - without saw) and the saw back as the S98/05 S or m.S. (mit Säge - with saw). The overall condition is good, with wooden grips. Overall 20.5 inches long, blade length 14.5 inches.
Code: 21597Price: 265.00 GBP
A Miniature Waterloo Period 'Brown Bess' Musket BayonetOriginal hand engineered miniature, made post war by renown miniaturist engineer Ronald Platt. Photographed alongside the original bayonet to show perspective. the Third or India Pattern became the standard British musket in use throughout the remainder of French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and was used in almost every theatre in which the British were present. It was the musket that the British soldier carried during the Peninsular War and the Hundred Days campaign including both the battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo. It was also used in the War of 1812 in North America.
Code: 21596Price: 55.00 GBP
A Good 1907 Pattern British SMLE Sword Bayonet WW1Regimentally marked SH F. Wilkinson Sword Co. The Lee–Enfield rifle was derived from the earlier Lee–Metford, a mechanically similar black-powder rifle, which combined James Paris Lee's rear-locking bolt system that had a barrel featuring rifling designed by William Ellis Metford. The Lee action cocked the striker on the closing stroke of the bolt, making the initial opening much faster and easier compared to the "cock on opening" (i.e., the firing pin cocks upon opening the bolt) of the Mauser Gewehr 98 design. The Lee bolt-action and 10-round magazine capacity enabled a well-trained rifleman to perform the "mad minute" firing 20 to 30 aimed rounds in 60 seconds, making the Lee–Enfield the fastest military bolt-action rifle of the day. The current world record for aimed bolt-action fire was set in 1914 by a musketry instructor in the British Army—Sergeant Instructor Snoxall—who placed 38 rounds into a 12-inch-wide (300 mm) target at 300 yards (270 m) in one minute. Some straight-pull bolt-action rifles were thought faster, but lacked the simplicity, reliability, and generous magazine capacity of the Lee–Enfield. Several First World War accounts tell of British troops repelling German attackers who subsequently reported that they had encountered machine guns, when in fact it was simply a group of well-trained riflemen armed with SMLE Mk III rifles
Code: 21595Price: 145.00 GBP
A Very Rare English 12 Shot Revolver By G.Hanson of Yorkshire Circa 1860'sBy G.Hanson of Doncaster, Yorkshire. Likely the son and successor to S. Hanson who was a recorded Doncaster in the 1830's. Birmingham proofed barrel, fluted cylinder, deluxe scroll engraved frame. This is a true untouched beauty. In fabulous condition with much of its original deluxe blue finish remaining. The 12 shot pinfire revolver was rare at the time of it's use, during the 1860's to 1890's, but they are even rarer now, as so few survived the past century. Generally accredited with the invention of the pinfire cartridge, in 1835, is Casimir Lefaucheux. This was the year in which the French company, Gevelot, manufacturers of percussion caps, began commercial production of pinfire shotgun cartridges, the invention of which they credited to Lefaucheux. Lefaucheux’s cartridge consisted of a paper tube with a brass head out of the rim of which, at right angles to the case, sticks a pin. The hammer of the gun drove this pin into the internal primer, igniting the powder charge. The effectiveness of this system was improved greatly when in the mid 1840’s, another Frenchman, Houillier, invented a base wad which made the cartridge gas tight and gave it more strength. Still the British gun makers largely ignored this new idea until it was displayed at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851. It was here that Joseph Lang recognised the pinfire as a great step forward and began making improvements, including making the bolt mechanism less liable to wear during continuous use. In 1856 the Scottish firm of John Dickson & Sons sold their first pinfire with James Purdy following suit a year later. As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables . Barrel 4.75 inches, 7mm calibre.
Code: 21594Price: 2550.00 GBP
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