Fighters of special divisions of the US Office of Strategic Services (Office of Strategic Services – OSS) We had to carry out special missions behind enemy lines, Why they needed a variety of weapons. In particular, in the arsenals of the Office attended the various blades, batons and Garrote. At some point, the designers OSS decided to combine the functions of several types of weapons available in a single product. Thanks to this soon into service received multifunction melee weapon called McLaglen Peskett Close Combat Weapon.
According to available data, during the Second World War special forces armed with OSS consisted half a dozen different fighting knives and daggers. All these products are characterized by the shape and size of the blade, as well as combat capabilities. Also, there are several varieties of clubs, including folding, and udavok-Garrott. This meant, that for close combat or for silent neutralization time fighter can use any available means. On the other hand, a wide range of products for different purposes made soldiers carry several models and made them heavy equipment.
One of the few remaining products CCW. The blade is pushed into the operating position
approximately 1943-44 years of advanced weapons development department from the OSS proposed the creation of a completely new model of melee weapons, which would unite in itself several individual samples and, respectively, I could solve several problems of various kinds. Soon after the proposal was sold, and the Office of the received serial products.
The known data, development of a new sample and engaged designers Maklaglen Peskett. Full name reflects both weapons engineers surname. Not focusing on individual functions, their development was designated as "Melee Weapon". In this way, for adopting the proposed product called McLaglen Peskett Close Combat Weapon. Also, some sources, including in official publications OSS, given name without mentioning Mr. Maklaglena.
The aim of the project is to abandon the CCW individual combat knife, Garrote and clubs in favor of a universal device, has all the necessary functions. This design problem was solved very original way. Ready "Melee Weapon" had only a limited resemblance to some of the other samples, was in service. In this case, it exceeds them in some performance characteristics.
The main and most major part Maklaglena-CCW was Pesketta cylindrical body. Its performed in a tube length 5,625 inch (143 mm) with a maximum diameter 7/8 inch (22 mm). The tube had a variable diameter. Near its upper part it is decreased slightly, providing convenience retention. A large portion of the outer surface of the body had circular grooves, also improves the landing of weapons in his hand. Near the upper end of the housing holes were to install some additional devices. Bottom side put large buttons to control the blade. On the contrary it was envisaged to mount the ring with a strap.
At the upper end of the main body designers have placed the cast metal ball diameter 1 3/8 inch (35 mm). At the bottom of bowl envisaged cylindrical protrusion, enter inside the body and fixed with screws. Some products CCW balloon had an annular projection on the "equator". In this known samples with completely smooth ball. Due to the massive balloon at one end of the weapon Maklaglena-Pesketta converted into a compact mace. Ball served as part of the shock-tops and increased force of impact.
In the upper part of the tubular body had an opening, through which outwardly deduced thin wire length of about 2 feet (order 600 mm). One end of the wire was fixed inside the housing, and the other equipped with a ring or spherical tip. According to some reports, product McLaglen Peskett Close Combat Weapon was a means for winding and storing the wire in the transport position, but the device is not known. maybe, wire stored on a reel, which he connects with the ball axis. Rotate last, you could pull up the wire for further carrying weapons.
Wire appointment was simple and straightforward. She served as Garrote. With the help of OSS saboteurs offered silently attack the enemy sentries and strangle them. The housing and the ring handles functions performed, providing friendliness.
Inside the case was placed a thin blade, which gave the product CCW some possibilities combat knife. The shank of the blade, occupies a large part of its length, I had a circular section. In its rear part there were recesses for interaction with a lock. Actually blade was made flat and narrow. He had a double-sided grinding with the pointed end of the battle. Depending on the direction of impact and method, a blade could be used as stabbing or cutting weapons. Protruding length of the blade - 5,25 inch (133 mm).
CCW in transport position — configuration or mace
A long piece, uniting the blade and shank, It moves freely inside the tubular body. In the transport position the blade was in the tube. Fall through its lower end it interfered with a spring-loaded button with a stopper. By pressing this button the blade under its own weight dropped down and stopped in the working position by the stopper and buttons.
For carrying and ease of use at the decision of the main tasks of weapons McLaglen Peskett Close Combat Weapon received a belt loop. In the lower part of the body was protruding pin, where the metal ring secured. It was established cloth strap, which could be put on hand. curious, that the strap was no less of weapons. Also, a special cover for the transportation of weapons on a belt or other normal equipping fighter was created.
The total length of the "assault weapons" from Maklaglena and Pesketta was only 7 inches (178 mm). The maximum transverse dimension defined finial in the form of a ball diameter 35 mm. Use of the shock of the other sizes and shapes could affect the overall dimensions of weapons. When extended to the working position the blade total length of the product increased to 12,25 inch (311 mm). Weight of such weapons did not exceed 500-600 g. Together with small dimensions is provided an advantageous combination of ease of carrying and efficacy of.
Maklaglen designers and created a device Peskett, which could solve three problems at once, typical for sabotage operations behind enemy lines. When this multifunctional arms positively distinguished from the three separate samples, both in terms of dimensions, and usability. However, in some situations, a universal system could lose much specialized weapons.
Изделие McLaglen Peskett Close Combat Weapon, first of all, intended to neutralize the silent watch of the enemy or the solution of similar problems. Naturally, not exclude the use of such weapons in close combat with the enemy, but more useful in such situations could be other products, including firearms.
SMG CCW Maklaglena-Pesketta could use his gun as a club. For such preparation of its application did not require. Should only correct way to perform swing and hit the enemy. Pulling wire allowed to stifle hour, although it might require preparation. Due to its shape retractable blade could show themselves in the best way with the thrust, which it was also useful for covert neutralizing enemy fighters.
We need to combine different functions affected the design of individual elements of the new weapons, What struck by his abilities. In some cases, CCW was less effective, than samples, for the replacement of which it was created. So, long and thin blade with specific bindings could not show the desired effectiveness of the cutting punches. Besides, there was a risk of backlash, because of which he could begin to swing in its place, interfering with the right strikes.
Small length and mass could not provide high efficiency CCW as mace. Relatively short enough weapons acted beyond the average soldier hands. Consequently, in practice it turns out to be a mace or a club, and something like a simple plumbago, clamped in the hand. For more efficient use of weapons in this role required a certain skill.
Preparations for use as a garrotte
By the built-in Garrote could also be claims. With its use of fighter had stretch-wire by means of the handle body and rings or spherical tip. for comparison, OSS standard garrotte was equipped with a pair of wooden or metal handle length of 2,5 inch (63,5 mm), provide great convenience to use. Besides, should be considered, garrotte that is not the easiest to learn and use weapon, although this factor for the OSS was not significant in view of the special training of fighters.
Original universal "Melee Weapon" designs Maklaglena and Pesketta could solve several problems at once, showing acceptable results, although it was not without some drawbacks. Guide Office of Strategic Services Rate this sample and recommended him to the adoption and use of. Not later 1944 OSS year signed a contract for serial production of such weapons. What commercial organization engaged in the production - unknown.
For details on the mass production of products McLaglen Peskett Close Combat Weapon for OSS no. How long their release, and how many copies were handed over to the secret service - unknown. Besides, as is the case with a number of special systems for a secret organization, there is no information about the combat use of CCW in actual operations. There is every reason to believe, fighters OSS repeatedly used such weapons for covert penetration of enemy objects, or to solve other problems, but confirmation of this, Unfortunately, There are no.
CCW The product was created in the years of World War II, taking into account the actual needs and requirements. After the war, the Office of Strategic Services, later reformed into the Central Intelligence Agency, refused on a number of special systems in favor of more advanced and successful models. Quite possible, that together with other samples under the write-off of hit and development Maklaglena-Pesketta.
Information about post-war use of such weapons are missing. Besides, It is known to only a few preserved specimens, and most of the information about the project is available only in the oldest written sources. All this may indicate, shortly after World War II "melee" has been removed from service - probably, due to the extremely low efficiency.
For a variety of combat missions can be used as custom patterns, and versatile multifunctional system. Project McLaglen Peskett Close Combat Weapon of OSS provided to combine the functions of three separate types of weapons in one sample. Generally, desired goals were achieved, although the resulting system could play a specialized counterparts. Nevertheless, an interesting solution for the original problem is of interest, least, from the point of view of history and technology.
Based on materials:
— OSS Weapons: Special Weapons and Devices. Washington: Special weapons and devices research and development branch OSS, 1944.