WWII Nazi Booby Traps Disguised as Everyday Objects

By | May 21, 2016

During World War II, the Nazis sneaked in bombs into everyday items aboard British supply ships. They believed that by cutting off Britain’s supplies, they could starve them into submission.

Except their plans were foiled by a special MI5 counter-sabotage unit that found and disarmed the booby traps. The unit was composed of just three members: scientist Victor Rothschild, his secretary-turned-wife Teresa Georgina Mayor, and police detective inspector Donald Fish.

Rothschild commissioned Fish’s son, Laurence, to draw and document the booby traps they discovered to serve as a guide for anyone who might come across similar devices in the future.

These drawings were thought to be lost, until they were recently re-discovered in a dusty basement. Take a look.

One famous Nazi plot was to assassinate British Prime Minister Winston Churchill using a chocolate bar with a hidden bomb inside it. The bomb will detonate once a piece of the chocolate is broken off.


A letter from Rothschild commissioning Laurence to illustrate some booby traps he discovered.


Here's the chocolate bar Laurence drew.


In this drawing, Laurence depicts an Army mess tin with an explosive device hidden beneath some bangers and mash.


A high-explosive device concealed in a can of motor oil.


Laurence's drawing were not only technically detailed, but artistically beautiful. Rothschild had a deep respect for his work. After the war, Laurence went on to become a successful poster artist, graphic designer, and landscape painter.

More of Laurence's work.




Pictured here is a young Victor Rothschild. Rothschild once disabled a bomb hidden inside a shipment of onions. While he was disarming, he's explaining every detail of what he was doing over the phone, in case the bomb goes off, his colleagues would know what went wrong.


H/T MentalFloss