The Deceptive Way A Luxury Chocolate Bar Was Nearly Used In World War II

A nice piece of chocolate can be a welcome pick-me-up after a long day (though some brands are better than others). In fact, according to NBC News, the treat is known to trigger a release of feel-good dopamine in your brain. That might be why it's been enjoyed all over the world for thousands of years since the Mayans first started consuming it in ancient Mesoamerica. You can find chocolate everywhere in many different forms, even unusual ones like chocolate-covered onions and scorpions as seen in The Travel, but have you ever heard of a chocolate bomb?

Such a contraption might sound ludicrous, but it turns out that during World War II, exploding chocolate was a very real thing. Back then, UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill was one of the most prominent public figures speaking out in opposition to Adolf Hitler and his ideology, so the Nazi regime was covertly making plans to assassinate him and strike fear into enemies' hearts. These tactics included secret operations to disguise bombs as innocuous, everyday items, such as motor oil canisters, shaving brushes, lumps of coal, cans of plums, and even bangers and mash, a beloved British dish (via HowStuffWorks).

MI5, the intelligence agency for Great Britain, uncovered all these plots, but it wasn't until 1943 that it discovered one that was particularly dastardly.

How a chocolate bar almost became a lethal weapon

On May 4, 1943, Victor Rothschild, senior intelligence chief for MI5, penned a letter to artist Laurence Fish, requesting drawings of deviously disguised Nazi explosives. Among the requested? A bomb in the form of a luxury chocolate bar wrapped in black and gold paper with the label "Peters Chocolate." Per HowStuffWorks, the World War II plot involved smuggling the device into the British War Cabinet's dining room in order to kill Churchill.

If this scheme had been executed, likely no one would've raised the alarm on the sinister sweet because it had real chocolate. According to the International Churchill Society, the letter to Fish, later found by his wife Jean Bray after his passing in 2009, Rothschild detailed how MI5 had received intel that Nazis were using pound slabs of steel covered with a thin layer of chocolate. Inside the slab, there was an explosive material and a delay mechanism. Once someone broke off a piece of the fake chocolate bar at one end, this motion will pull the canvas in the middle, leading the device to blow up after seven seconds.

Per Rothschild's letter, the slabs contained enough explosives to kill anyone within a radius of several meters. His letter also included instructions to Fish to write text indicating the seven-second detonation delay and a rough reference sketch from the British spy who had discovered the Nazi plot to turn a beloved confection into a deadly weapon (via History).