The Nazis Wanted to Use a Chocolate Bar Bomb to Murder Winston Churchill

Recently unearthed sketches illustrate the intricate explosives and booby traps used by the Germans during World War II.

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Oct 5 2015, 7:18pm

There are several ways which food can be used as a weapon. You can make a bomb out of vile-smelling fermented fish, scorch a sub with a "finger" of ginger during a particularly intense BDSM session, or employ the time-tested method of using food as a conduit for poison.

Or, if the stakes are slightly higher, and the fate of Europe hangs in the balance, you can use a chocolate bar to assassinate Winston Churchill. As outlandish as that sounds, it was one of plots apparently cooked up by German saboteurs trying kill their British counterparts during World War II.

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Recently unearthed sketches illustrate the intricacy of the booby traps being found by intelligence agents, as well as the lengths that the Germans were willing to go to in order to disrupt British forces.

Explosives ranged from an incendiary device hidden in an army tin of bangers and mash, to dried peas in a glass tube that would explode if filled with water, to a straight-up Thermos bomb.

As for the exploding chocolate bar, easily the most most devious and delicious of the lot, it was basically a cocoa-covered hand grenade. "The bomb is made of steel with a thin covering of real chocolate. When the piece of chocolate at the end is broken off, the canvas shown is pulled, and after a delay of seven seconds the bomb explodes," the illustration reads.

Food provided an ideal way to subvert enemies, mainly because everybody needs to eat, but also because it's easy to conceal and disguise. Historian and espionage expert Nigel West told the BBC, "The Germans during the Second World War were very keen on destroying ships and their cargoes leaving neutral ports for the United Kingdom."

"The idea was to starve Britain into submission. And they created some very ingenious devices which could be smuggled aboard ships and placed in the cargo holds with long-term timers: they wanted the ships to catch fire or to sink whilst out at sea," he added.

The highly detailed manuals were drawn by Laurence Fish, son of one of the three MI5 counter-sabotage agents at the time, and were destined for operatives on the ground and at sea who would have had to know how to find and deactivate them. Fish eventually became a well-known poster artist, graphic designer, and landscape painter after the Nazi threat had been neutralized.

Luckily, the Allies won, and the threat of a chocolate bar blowing up in your face is a thing of the past.