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Papers Reveal Churchill's Clowns

(SNN) - Following a request made under the Freedom of Information Act, the UK government has released papers that reveal the existence of a previously unknown troupe of circus clowns, who operated behind enemy lines during the Second World War. The group, known as 'Churchill's Clowns' by those who needed to know who knew, were assembled by circus impresario, Billy Smart, who believed their huge red noses and outrageous hair made them perfect for undercover work in France.

Sadly, only one former member of the platoon is still alive. Chico (Codename: Hercule Pierrot) stills bears the scar from where he was shot, in 1944, by cannon into occupied Normandy. In an exclusive interview, he told Sage News how he was tasked with disrupting the German army ahead of the D-Day landings.

"We did the things that everyone back home would have expected of us. We sabotaged enemy vehicles so that they fell apart as soon as the drivers started them." he said. "We also laid mimefields of banana skins, which slipped up many a German but they didn't take it lying down and they often released custard gas in an attempt to flush us out."

Further tricks that Chico used on the Nazis included itching powder that made them itch, sneezing powder that made them sneeze, and baking powder that made them put on an apron and make a Black Forest gateau. However, the elite unit achieved possibly its most successful success when it substituted the boots of an entire Nazi regiment with clown shoes. Rumour had it that the Führer was so embarrassed by the spectacle that he retreated to his Berlin bunker to kill himself. The fact that his revolver had been switched, by an undercover operative, with a weapon which fired a flag saying "BANG!" must only have added to his torment.

Chico's contribution came to an end a few months later. He described how Gestapo officers spotted his bright patchwork jacket, curly red wig, and make-up before he was able to complete his latest mission.

"I was on my way to replace the ammunition on a U-boat with whoopie torpedoes," he explained. These were inflatable devices that produced loud, underwater farting sounds when launched, attracting huge numbers of sperm whale in search of a mate.

With a voice tinged with sadness, Chico recalled, "The Germans cornered me at the dock. I managed to escape by detonating some stink bombs but my cover had been blown and I knew, for me at least, the war was over." Chico retreated to a secret Big Top run by the Resistance, where he requested immediate evac by honk horn. "I'm immensely proud of what we achieved," he concluded. "And as clowns, I think we gave the Nazis a few nightmares."

Photo by:  Liam Wilde  flickr photostream, Some Rights Reserved, The Sage nor this article endorsed.

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