Some years ago I bought this quite well made Crossbow and was told that it had connection with the Auxiliary Units. I have no proof or provenance, also as it came from an Antiques Fair, can no longer go back to the seller for more information. I would be interested to learn if any of the Patrols used such a weapon? Clearly it is "home made" and looks as if it could be of the correct time period. Any thoughts or opinions welcome, regards, Clive.
When interviewed and broadcast in "The Secret Army" documentary, Major Henry Hall specifically mentioned that after qualifying as an instructor at Inverailort he trained Aux Units. He mentioned in the list of weapons "bows and arrows", so who knows, it can't be immediately discounted. I think a crossbow is illustrated in The Secret Agents Handbook as well isn't it?
Many thanks for the comments Matt, not sure if there is an image in the "Secret Agents Handbook", my copy is at the Museum, but surely will check. I am fairly sure such a weapon would have been used, though very difficult to prove, a silent method of dispatch. If I recall correctly the SAS had a version, though more sophisticated. Look forward to meeting with you and fellow Forum members in July, all the best, Clive.
The use of crossbows was an option. Capt. Peter Fleming had some all metal ones made for XII Corps OU in Kent. He had seen them used as a silent weapon and thought they could be used as a means to set fire to petrol and supply dumps.
The crossbow would certainly have advantages as a silent killing weapon. It's pretty quiet, there's no puff of smoke (thus no smell and no muzzle flash, which would make it a particularly useful weapon for use at night. If I remember rightly, Special Forces units still use them today on occasion.
I hope this finds you better than me ! Ref. crossbow, years ago I bought one from a fellow who had wartime service with the SAS and he told me it was his. Bloody powerful prod, underlever cocking and of compound bow design. I fired it once with a length of dowel and it split it before blowing it off into goodness knows where. Not much use to man nor beast but just to wish you well my friend.