Advertisements

Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum is dedicated to the tradecraft, history and contemporary role of espionage. The Museum features a collection of international espionage artefacts and displays on the history of espionage.

A Tour of the International Spy Museum

  • Scaramanga’s Golden Gun
    • Scaramanga’s Golden Gun was depicted in Ian Fleming’s novel, the Golden Gun. In the novel, it was a long-barrelled, gold-plated, single-action Colt Peacemaker .45 calibre revolver. However, in the film, it was a single-shot weapon that fired a custom-made 4.2-millimetre golden bullet. The movie gun could be disassembled and its gold-plated components disguised as: a fountain pen for the barrel, a cigarette lighter for the breech, cuff-link for the trigger, a cigarette case for the grip, Scaramanga used the Golden Gun in numerous assassinations but, when Scaramanga was killed and his island destroyed, the Golden Gun was also lost.
  • Los Alamos, Manhattan Project, S-Site Badge
    • Los Alamos, Manhattan Project, S-Site Badge, is one of the identification badges required to enter the secret S-Site, at Los Alamos. It is the site where most of the explosives were tested and the badge was made of brass so that it could survive in an accidental explosion. The Manhattan Project was a secret research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear bombs. Nuclear physicist Robert Oppenheimer was the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory that designed the first bombs. The Manhattan Project grew to employ more than 130,000 people, and Los Alamos was just one over a dozen sites that contributed to the project.
  • Manhattan Project, Service Certificate
    • This Manhattan Project, Service Certificate was awarded to key contributors of the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project was a secret research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear bombs. The Manhattan Project grew to employ more than 130,000 people. Procuring the highly skilled workers, in competition with other vital wartime programs proved very difficult. In 1944, the War Production Board and the War Manpower Commission gave the project their highest priority. Personal letters were sent to the heads of universities and specialist companies asking for key people to be released for essential war work. A key source of skilled people was the Army and the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). Between 1943 and 1945, there were 62 fatalities and over 3,800 disabling injuries, which was below the rate of the industry.
  • Forged British Bank Note from Operation Bernhard
    • This Ten Pound Forged British Bank Note was part of Operation Bernhard, which was run by Nazi Germany to forge British bank notes during the Second World War. The initial plan as conceived was to drop the bills over Britain to bring about a collapse of the British economy. The aim of the operation was later changed to forging money to finance German intelligence operations. Estimates vary of the number and value of notes printed, from £130 million up to £300 million. The counterfeit money was laundered in exchange for cash and used to pay the foreign agents.
  • Enigma Cipher Machine
    • The Enigma Cipher Machine was an electro-mechanical rotor message coding device invented by the German engineer at the end of World War I to create secret coded messages. Early models were used commercially from the 1920s and were adopted by military and government services of several countries. Several different Enigma models were produced, but the German military models, having a plugboard, were the most complex and difficult to decipher and were used extensively by Nazi Germany before and during World War II.
  • British Special Forces Bobbins
    • These British Special Forces Bobbins were created as a lethal weapon that could be easily hidden and use during espionage and spy operations in World War II. Irregular warfare, especially sabotage and raiding operations and special reconnaissance required the use of unusual weapons. The Special Operations Executive (SOE) was a British World War II organisation which conducted espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe and aided local resistance movements. Few people were aware of SOE’s existence. It was also known as the “Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare”. The organisation directly employed or controlled just over 13,000 people, about 3,200 of whom were women.
  • Sleeve Dagger with Sheath
    • This Sleeve Dagger with Sheath was made and issues by British Special Forces during World War II. These British Special Forces created lethal weapons that could be easily hidden and use during espionage and spy operations in World War II. Irregular warfare, especially sabotage and raiding operations and special reconnaissance required the use of unusual weapons. The Special Operations Executive (SOE) was a British World War II organisation which conducted espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe and aided local resistance movements.
  • British Special Forces Lapel Knife
    • This British Special Forces Lapel Knife was made and issues by British Special Forces during World War II. These British Special Forces created lethal weapons that could be easily hidden and use during espionage and spy operations in World War II. Irregular warfare, especially sabotage and raiding operations and special reconnaissance required the use of unusual weapons. This blade was designed to be hidden behind the jacket lapels for ease of access. It could also be secreted anywhere and was small but sufficient for striking in close combat.
  • Kiss of Death, Lipstick Pistol
    • The Kiss of Death, Lipstick Pistol was a weapon issued by the KGB during the Cold War. It was a single shot 4.5 mm pistol hidden inside a lipstick holder. It was initially discovered in West Berlin at an American checkpoint.

      This weapon was issued by the KGB about 1965. The KGB was the security agency for the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and its chief functions were foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, guarding the borders and the leadership of the Soviet Government as well as combating anti-Soviet activities. It reached the height of its reputation during the Cold War. After the dissolution of the USSR, the KGB was split into the Federal Security Service and the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation.

  • Glove Pistol
    • This Glove Pistol is of the Sedgley OSS variety which is a single shot .38 unique pistol which was designed for the Naval Intelligence Office. It was meant for covert operations in the Pacific Theater. It was mounted on the back of a cowhide glove; the gun would be usually worn along with a long-sleeved coat to hide the weapon until it was used. The trigger is a bar parallel to and extending past the barrel. After being loaded and cocked, the weapon is fired by the shooter making a fist and pressing the trigger against the target’s body.
  • Exhibits of the International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum

  • Name:                International Spy Museum
  • City:                    Washington, D.C.
  • Country:             United States
  • Opened:             2002
  • Type:                  Spy Museum
  • Location:            800 F Street Northwest, Washington, DC, United States

What to see at the International Spy Museum

A Tour of Washington, D.C. Museums

~~~

“Spying has always gone on since ancient times.”
– Vladimir Putin

~~~


Photo Credit: JOM

Advertisements