Operation Braddock I

This was an Allied unrealised programme by the Special Operations Executive and Office of Strategic Services to supply munitions to resistance forces in German-occupied Europe (1943/45).

The operation was based on the parachute delivery of 50,000 attack packs behind the German lines to resistance fighters (potential as well as actual) in co-ordination with the invasion of Europe. The attack packs contained specially designed grenades, pocket incendiaries and a small one-shot personal firearm which the SOE designated as the Liberator. This pistol fired a single 0.45-in (11.43-mm) ACP round and could accommodate an additional 10 rounds in its butt, and was a very basic weapon built largely of sheet metal. A million such pistols were manufactured in six months by the Inland Guide Lamp Manufacturing Division of the General Motors Corporation in the USA.

Eventually ‘Braddock I’ was abandoned, but by all accounts small numbers of Liberator pistols were included in regular container drops to the French resistance and others were distributed by the OSS in the Far East for use by the Filipino guerrilla forces against the Japanese. Small numbers were also delivered to the Chinese.