In the week when Winston Churchill would have been 141, we bring you his pistol
This pistol - a remarkable link to Churchill’s war years - was one of a number of firearms he owned while serving as Prime Minister during the war.
Much blued finish, the left side of the slide is stamped Webley & Scott Ltd, London & Birmingham, 7.65mm & .32 Automatic Pistol, the butt with diamond pattern ebonite grips. The left has a small chip and the right side has a larger chip missing, with a magazine missing a three-inch barrel of contemporary Birmingham nitro proof.
These guns were adopted by Scotland Yard for use on close protection details in 1911. Walter J Thompson, Churchill's most famous bodyguard, carried one during his 18 years of service beside the Prime Minister.
It is believed that there were some 20 failed attempts to assassinate Churchill during the war, including one involving a bizarre exploding chocolate bar.
One of the alleged attempts against his life is known as Operation Long Jump (Unternehmen Weitsprung) – an SS-led plan to simultaneously assassinate Joseph Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt and Churchill at the 1943 Teheran Conference during World War Two. The plot was foiled after being uncovered by the Soviets.
Auctioneers selling the self-loading weapon set an estimate price of £2,000-£3,000. It is taken from Churchill’s private collection, which also includes a presentation Sten Mk III sub-machine gun, which he was famously photographed with during the war.
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