38 Most Amazing Spy Gadgets From The Cold War Era

Sedgley OSS .38 Glove Pistol-39 Amazing Spy Gadgets From The Cold War Era-22


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Cold war era is Famous for the espionage and spying operations by the world’s two biggest spy organizations of that time, that is, CIA and KGB against each other. In this, they were aided by the development of new technology and gadgets. Inaccessible to the general public, some of those gadgets have been recently declassified. Here, we are going to present you some of those impressive gadgets.

1. “Belly Buster” Drill

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“Belly Buster” is a CIA Gadget from the early 60’s. Consisting of many parts, it was used to drill holes into rooms for the implantation of the secret hearing devices.

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2. Letter Remover

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This special type of device was used to remove letters from the envelopes without disturbing their seals. Its pincer like head is inserted into the envelope to wind-up the letter and remove it.

3. Stereoscope and Case

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Developed during the World War II, it was used to analyze photographs, taken from aerial/aircraft reconnaissance, in 3D.

5. Dragonfly Insectothopter

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A CIA gadget from the 1970s, it can be regarded as the first smaller Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Equipped with hidden camera, its capabilities are quite impressive as compared to its size at that time.

6. CIA Semi-Submersible

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This CIA designed semi-submersible was used in 1950s. Having a crew of two, it did not carry any weapons but was used to drop or rescue secret agents into the enemy areas.

7. Microdot Camera

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This amazing microdot camera was used to film many pages of secret documents on a punctuation sized film. The film could then be hidden on an otherwise normal letter or inside a hollow coin. The film could be consequently read using a secret viewer.

8. “Matchbox” Camera

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Developped by the Eastman Kodak Company for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), this camera was the size of a matchbox. It could then be covered with labels in various languages to look like a real matchbox.

9. Single-Use Encoder Pads

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One-time pads (OTP) were used for the encryption of messages using a secret key. They were issued in pairs by the CIA, one was used for encoding and other for the decoding. Once a sheet was used it was destroyed ensuring unbreakable security

10. “Dead” Drop Spike

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It was used by a secret agent or his handler for communication between them. The document could be hidden inside and pushed into the ground at a pre-fixed drop site where other person could later retrieve it.

11. M-209 Cipher Box

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This cipher machine from the World War II was used by the US army to encode the military messages. Its compactness and portability is awesome.

12. Pigeon Camera

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CIA found out that Pigeons can fly in close range to the target. Hence, they developed a camera which could be fitted with a pigeon. The pigeon could take the pictures of the target from few hundred of feets to produce detailed quality images.

13.Surveillance Fashion

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Developed by CIA, this fashionable attire could be worn by a female secret agent attending a black-tie event. She could easily take photos and record conversations.

14. Code in a Compact

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A female agent could read the secret code from the mirror while pretending to be doing makeup. The code was only visible at certain angle.

15. Escape Map

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This extraordinary CIA map was printed in silk, could easily be folded with compactness and concealed. It was also possible to wear it like a scarf. The colors of the map were not effected even if the agent made an escape through the water.

16. Silver Dollar Concealer

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This CIA’s coin was hollow from inside and could be used to hide messages or photographic film.

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17. Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife

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This knife was designed by the British designers, Captains W.E. Fairbairn and E.A. Sykes in 1941. These knife was designed to strike a blow to the vulnerable parts of the opponent.

18. Minox Camera

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This was once the world’s most widely used spy camera. It was designed by a Latvian engineer, in 1937. It could easily be held in the palm of the hand. It was considered to be a technological marvel at that time.

19. Seismic Intruder Detection Device

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This intrusion-detection system was developed by CIA and was able to completely blend in the Earth. It was sensitive enough to detect any movements from a distance of 300 meters. The device was powered by a battery and equipped with an antenna to information in the form of coded pulses.

20. Tire Spike

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No matter in whatever position it was thrown on the ground, this CIA gadget was able to puncture tires on a road or on the runway.

21. Tobacco Pouch Camera

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Developed by Switzerland this camera could easily be hidden in Tobacco Pouch.

Below we are showing you some of the ingenious gadgets developed and most of them used by KGB (except when mentioned otherwise) during the famous cold war. All these photos are the courtesy of Russian photoblog PhotoShtab.ru. Indeed, they were a great asset to the Soviet spies out there in the cold.

22. Sedgley OSS .38 Glove Pistol

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This glove has single shot 0.38mm pistol hidden inside it. In a critical situation the agent could surrender by raising hands and then later shooting when the target is in range.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

23. A pipe with a hidden miniature gun

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A miniature one shot gun could be hidden inside the pipe for use in critical situation.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

24. The Bulgarian Umbrella

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An agent could use this umbrella as a gun to shoot poisoned darts at the enemy at close range.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

25. Spy Shoe with a Heel Transmitter

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This high-tech shoes had battery, voice recorder and transmitter inside it. The target person wearing this shoes had its conversation transmitted to the receivers nearby.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

26. CIA tool kit from 60s

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This multipurpose toolkit was meant to hidden anally by the agent and used whenever necessary.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

27. A Gun mounted inside the lipstick head

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This 4.5mm Gun was placed inside the head of the lipstick of a KGB agent.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

28. Camera Watch

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Used by the German Secret Service, this smart watch can be hidden inside the watch.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

29. Poison glasses

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These CIA glasses were given to their agents. It had poison in its arms. To avoid being captured or tortured, agent could bit at one of its arms.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

30. Listening radar and air defense systems

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This system developed by the KGB was meant to monitor enemy communications.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

31. Cyanide gun

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This cyanide gun was meant to shoot the opponent fatally at the short range.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

32. Pen with hidden camera

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This pen had a small hidden camera inside it for the purpose of photographing the documents.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

33. KGB cuff links

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These KGB cuffs had a hidden space inside.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

34. A hollow soviet coin

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This hollow Soviet coin could be used to transport secret material or photographic films.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

35. Button camera

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Back in 1970’s, this button camera was used to take picture secretly.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

36. CIA disguised bomb

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This camouflaged paint box in reality was a bomb.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

37. Flask bomb

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This flask was in fact a hidden bomb.

Courtesy of photoshtab.ru/

38. A secret compass.

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These two pieces put together could make a compass.

We are really surprised by these spy gadgets. We could rightly say that these gadgets appear to come from James Bond or Mission Impossible movie. And you, which of these gadgets surprise you the most?

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