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Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!

Article about: Very neat addition to your collection, fine maps indeed. All you need to find is a slight variation and then it is impossible to part with! I will be posting a very rare MI-9 German Identity

  1. #361

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    As you say, I am sure these maps related to one of the Hydro Plant Operations. I don't know if you have, or have read "Between Silk an Cyanide" by Leo Marks? But it is an excellent book about Marks time with SOE in London. It's excellent, amusing, informative and historic... But at one point Marks is training one of the Norwegian groups on coding, and I'm sure that during the run up to the actual Operations, there must have been a lot of map study by all associated organisations. So I would think these maps were used in some form of planning work. Would they have found their way on to the ground operationally - probably not. Could they have found their way into a drop aircraft? Possibly (if wrongly). But my money would be on use in briefing and planning... A great set, either way!

  2. #362

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    I’m sure I have Between Silk and Cyanide somewhere in my extensive ‘library’, however, in all honestly I haven’t read it yet. I’m waiting for Heroes of Telemark by David Greentree to arrive and once I’ve read that I’ll dig out Between Silk and Cyanide.

  3. #363

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    Quote by Grimebox View Post
    I’m waiting for Heroes of Telemark by David Greentree to arrive
    I might have to get that one myself. I've always enjoyed the old movie. It would be nice to read the
    actual history.
    gregM
    Live to ride -- Ride to live

    I was addicted to the "Hokey-Pokey" but I've turned
    myself around.

  4. #364

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    Well I’m finishing the year with a bang! First off The Heroes of Telemark was on TV this afternoon and then I had a reply from the seller of the maps. The ‘Telemark’ maps and the other GSGS 4090 (shown on post 296) were bought from the same seller. He stated that he couldn’t provide a lot of detail as his Grandfather (the original owner of the maps) didn’t talk a lot about the war, however, provided me with a full name, rank, year of death and stated that he was in Combined Ops and reconnaissance before that. Apparently when he died (a long time ago) the majority of his ‘stuff’ was given to the IWM.
    Having done a bit of internet research I have found reference to him in a book and it would appear that he in fact worked at COHQ and was involved with the MI5/SIS and SOE. I have ordered the book and will see what else it says about him!

  5. #365

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    Ok I'll throw this one in as it is war time and survival! US 1943 waxed paper, un folded it the first time after 25 years of owning it (was opened before)
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  
    Regards
    René

  6. #366

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    Quote by Grimebox View Post
    Perhaps one of the most ingenious escape compasses (if a little impractical) - the Battledress buckle compass. I have been after one of these for a while and got it for a very reasonable price.

    At a quick glance the buckle appears to be standard, however, on closer inspection a small 'sleeve' can be seen which covers a pin and the compass 'head'. The sleeve is pulled back to allow the compass 'head' to be removed and the pin to be pulled out. The compass head is then balanced on the pin.
    The compass itself works extremely well, however, in practical terms it must have been very awkward and fiddly
    I finally found my example from my junk pile!!! literally missing for nearly 20 frikken years!!!!! REALLY.... Frikken AMMO BOXES!!!! Really made my decade finding this back!!! more than a 7year itch!!!
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  

    Regards
    René

  7. #367

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    Probably one of the most ingenious compasses

  8. #368

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    An RAAF silk map produced for MIS-X of Halmahera.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  


  9. #369

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    Another RAAF silk map. This one covers Manila and is dated September 1944. I have shown it alongside my other RAAF maps and images that I have previously shown in this thread of their manufacture and being worn as a scarf.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!   Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!  


  10. #370
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    Default Handwritten Escapee/Evader Diary Group

    I have collected a lot of military diaries through the years but this one is probably up there in the top two as far as uniqueness. The only comparable one would be an OSS officer who kept a diary after being dropped behind the German lines in Italy during the last month of the war. This set of diaries are from a B-24 officer who is shot down and bails out into Belgium in April of 1944. What is unique is that he is one of the relatively few who, along with the help of citizens and the underground, evades and eventually escapes into Switzerland. What makes it possibly one of a kind is that during this period he kept a very detailed written diary. This guy was educated and very literate, but it begs the question as to why…considering the ramifications if he was caught and the Germans got their hands on the diary along with names and places. I have read that one of the criticisms by the underground was the boldness and recklessness of the Americans when in hiding. They said the British were far better at minding their rules while the Americans would take all kinds of inappropriate risks. I guess this was one of them.

    I have his diaries starting from before the war all the way into 1945 and he was a prolific writer, so I guess he felt compelled to continue writing. These diaries were definitely kept while on the run (actually, they spent a lot of the time hiding and doing nothing which gave him plenty of time to write) and have great detail. In some instances, I’m sure he has gone back after two or three days and caught the diary up but most are current entries. There is one month-long gap, however, and I’m not sure If there is a missing diary during this time or if he just had to stop keeping it because they were so active. I believe it to be the later as it was during the period they were trying to get across the border into Switzerland.

    I’ve found several references as to his evasion and escape. There are some books that mention him and there are also newspaper clippings that he kept that also talk about him returning several years later to meet and thank those that saved him. However, many of these helpers were eventually captured and murdered by the nazis. He also mentions in his diary about a 1945 Air Force Magazine article that was done about his group that escaped. I was able to locate an original copy of this story.

    Basically, the timeline goes something like this - They are shot down on their first mission by ME-109s. They bail out and upon landing he is immediately helped by Belgian citizens to change clothes and hide. He is then moved several times to different hiding places. He is given a new name and identification papers by the underground. Many times he is in the very presences of the Germans. Eventually they move him to France where the Maquis (French resistance) then help hide him. The plan is to move them (him and others including some of his crewmen) to neutral Switzerland but then the Maquis get word that the impending D-Day invasion is only two weeks away so the Maquis abandon that idea as they now have bigger plans to begin implementing in preparation for the invasion. Shortly after this time is when there is a gap in the diary as they make there way mostly on their own into Switzerland. Once there, they are basically on vacation until they are air-lifted back to Britain in September of 1944. I did learn that, apparently, if your plane crash lands or if you bail out into Switzerland during the war, you are held in an internment camp until war’s end. However, if you go down in a neighboring country and escape into Switzerland you are a free man until your country of origin can get you out. These men were put up in resorts and received full pay during this time. In his case, he was in a resort, at the expense of the U.S., on Lake Geneva and enjoyed himself a great deal.

    Following are a few excerpts (click to enlarge).

    Rob M (Always looking for historically interesting diaries)

    A prophetic comment while in a training lecture:

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!

    Shot down:

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!
    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!
    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!
    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!

    Jumping ahead, some miscellaneous excerpts while evading in Belgium:

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!
    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!

    On the move:

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!

    Into France:

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!
    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!

    In Switzerland:

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!
    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!

    Leaving Switzerland:

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!

    From Air Force magazine article:

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!

    Air Force Escape & Evasion Society (AFEES) article about one of the Belgium helpers. Man circled in red is the diarist.

    Escape and Evasion / Survival aids - Silk maps and Escape Compasses + more!

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