WW2-era rat bomb offered in eclectic auction

The rat bomb is definitely one of the weirder items to come out of WW2.

The idea was birthed deep within the bowels of the British war office in 1941, by an organisation known as the Special Operations Executive (SOE).

The principle is simple.

Rat bomb Bonhams

The first shipment of rat bombs were discovered by the Nazis

You sew a bomb into a dummy rat carcass and covertly place it in the boiler room of a large building. 

The janitor will see it and throw it into the furnace.


But as is often the case with hair brained schemes, things didn’t exactly go to plan.

An early shipment of bomb-filled rats was intercepted by the Nazis en-route to occupied France. But this actually ended up causing just as much disruption and paranoia as if the mission had been a success.

The Nazis were forced to check all of their buildings with a fine-tooth comb.

This rare (deactivated) specimen is set to star in Bonhams’ Voices of the 20th Century sale in New York on December 6.

It has been stored in a French police station for a number of years.

The lot is valued at up to $2,000, a sum it could exceed given its curiosity value. It also goes without saying that these things are hugely rare.

The sale will also feature the racquet Billie Jean King used in the legendary Battle of the Sexes game against Bobby Riggs.

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