Stanley Lovell worked in the Office of Strategic Services during the Second World War
“Another device we made for intelligence agents originated when a spy told me he was nearly trapped in the Adlon Hotel in Berlin.
“I would have given anything'” he said, “if I could have created a panic in that lobby.”
My answer to the spy’s suggestion was “Hedy.” Hedy was a simple firecracker device which, when you pulled a small wire loop, simulated the screeching Doppler effect of a falling Nazi bomb and then ended in a deafening roar but all completely harmless. By activating Hedy the agent could have a chance to escape in the turmoil he had created. It was named after Hedy Lamarr, because my lusty young officers said she created panic wherever she went.
Equally simple was the explosive candle. Pretend you know a French girl who has access to a German officer’s study or bedroom. Give her your candle to replace the half-consumed one already there. It will burn perfectly until the flame touches the high explosive composing the lower two-thirds of the candle. Since the wick extends into a detonator and the latter is embedded in the explosive, the burst is as effective as any hand grenade.
Women’s accessories offered a wide source of concealment. It is easy to melt a lipstick, pour the molten wax around the message tube and recast it in its original shape. All containers for the female form divine become themselves available as concealment areas. Steels in corsets and foundation garments can be deadly stilettos provided they don’t work loose and stab the operator in a critical area. We are, as it happens, considering a still sensitive area of activity in camouflage, so the reader’s imagination will have to supply the devices omitted from this recitation.
My favorite attack on Adolf Hitler was a glandular approach. America’s top diagnosticians and gland experts agreed with me that he was definitely close to the male-female line. His poor emotional control, his violent passions, his selection of companions like Roehm, all led me to feel that a push to the female side might do wonders. The hope was that his moustache would fall off and his voice become soprano.
Hitler was a vegetarian. At Berchtesgaden, the vegetable garden that supplied his melodramatic Eagle’s Nest on the rocky peak had to have gardeners. A plan to get an O.S.S. man there, or an anti-Nazi workman, was approved. I supplied female sex hormones and, just for variety’s sake, now and then a carbamate or other quietus medication, all to be injected into der Fiihrer’s carrots, beets or whatever went up to his larder.
Since he survived, I can only assume that the gardener took our money and threw the syringes and medications into the nearest thicket. Either that or Hitler had a big turnover in his “tasters”