Great Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE), the unit tasked with conducting behind-the-lines missions against the Axis powers during World War II, invented many unique and deadly items for its jobs by utilizing specialists who worked night and day in a mansion called The Frythe near the town of Welwyn Garden City. To those in the know however, the innocent-looking house had another name, one never spoken of in public and only in hushed whispers in private . . . Station Nine.

Within its walls, Station Nine saw many dirty tricks concocted into reality and sent with agents or airdropped to resistance forces behind enemy lines. Most had only one purpose, to inflict death on the enemy. And one of these, it just so happens, not only managed to stand out but also withstood the test of time and remains possibly the best of its kind ever invented.

Welrod: The Clandestine Killer
The Welrod Suppressed

Called the Welrod, the weapon seemed to look like a collection of parts slapped together for some unknown function. That was only until one looked past its crude appearance and realized it was a pistol meant for silent killing. It was, in fact, the best of the war. The perfect assassin’s gun, it found its place in the shadows of clandestine warfare not only during World War II but also well beyond that.

Designed by Major Hugh Reeves, the Welrod took its name from a desire of Station Nine to use the first three words of Welwyn when producing items. Reeves first drew up plans for an integrally silenced pistol caliber gun in the early 1940s and produced a weapon that essentially looked like a short tube with a grip beneath it. The barrel was contained in the tube and had ports to bleed off gas to slow rounds to subsonic speed. It was primarily a 9mm caliber, though there would be a smaller number of .32 caliber units produced as well.