Malcolm December 10, 2007 8:19 AM

That’s an interesting real world implementation of a tainting technique I once used to catch some bad guys in e-space.

Or of any smuggling operation, I suppose. Another illustration about how smugglers can be good guys sometimes, or how good/bad definitions belong to the folks who write and consume history.

Jurgen Voorneveld December 10, 2007 2:03 PM

“Along with the usual dog, top hat and and thimble, the sets had a metal file, compass, and [b]silk maps of safe houses[/b]”

isn’t that a little dangerous? If those things fall into german hands all your safe house suddenly aren’t so safe anymore.

JackG't December 10, 2007 3:57 PM

On a purely tactical level the strategy was brilliant, but its discovery could have resulted in the shutting out of the Red Cross. Did the Red Cross know? Today the Red Cross tries to avoid acting on behalf of any side in a military conflict, I believe.

I hope no one gets the idea of using a legitimate charitable organization or NGO to further a military objective in any of today’s conflicts.

FNORD December 10, 2007 4:13 PM


Though the article doesn’t say this, I saw a story about this elsewhere, which stated that a seperate “dummy” charity was set up to distribute them, and simply copied the Red Cross’s package. That still might taint the Red Cross somewhat because they distibute similar packages, the risk is lower.

Peter E Retep December 10, 2007 6:08 PM

Let’s see …
The World is nearly sliding into the abyss, being pushed by secret police torturers and murderers,
the allies (only U.K. left standing, later add in the U.S.) are hanging on by their fingernails at first,
and if they lose, you will die, and your family be incinerated,
but prisoners escaping causes whole enemy divisions to be diverted from battle,
pilots are in desperately short supply and needed back to fly,
all kinds of innocent people are dying, – should the good combatants try to keep their own alive by smuggling things in through any channel available?
Including mail, and care packages?
No, the Red Cross didn’t know, and the GESTAPO tried a lot to find these things out by
(a) torturous interrogation, and (b) close inspection/ examination.
(I’m more concerned about our own renegades breaching domestic civil law and international practice re: torture.)

matt a December 11, 2007 10:26 AM

I heard that the TSA updated its policies to require you to a) take the shoe out of the box and have it scanned seperately and b) remove free parking due to security risks…

Peter Amey December 11, 2007 12:13 PM

There was a complete dept. of British military intelligence, MI9, dedicated to this kind of thing. Wikipedia gives a suitable (and doubtlessly impeccably accurate) overview.

I have seen several escape aid examples in museums (including Colditz)!

Leave a comment


Allowed HTML <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre> Markdown Extra syntax via

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.