I have to confess that the title is actually deceiving, because this blog is not about James Bond as such but more about 007’s creator, Ian Fleming, and some of his WWII efforts. Looking at some of the operations it appears that his inspiration for James Bond may have partially come from himself.
In May 1939 Fleming was recruited by Rear Admiral John Godfrey, Director of the Naval Intelligence Division of the Royal Navy, to become his personal assistant. He joined the organisation full-time in August 1939,with the codename “17F”, and worked out of Room 39 at The Admiralty.
Ian Fleming was soon involved in several WWII operations.
Operation Ruthless was the name of a deception operation devised by Ian Fleming in the British Admiralty during World War II, in an attempt to gain access to German Naval Enigma code books.
In conjunction The code breakers at Bletchley Park, working on the highly secret German Enigma traffic, were having difficulty breaking into the German Naval signals. It was suggested that directly obtaining German Naval code tables would be the the fastest method of making progress.
In effect this meant capturing a German Naval unit with the code material intact. Fleming proposed a scheme to do just this:
For Your Eyes Only.
12 September 1940.
To: Director Naval Intelligence
From: Ian Fleming
I suggest we obtain the loot by the following means:
1. Obtain from Air Ministry an air-worthy German bomber.
2. Pick a tough crew of five, including a pilot, W/T operator and word-perfect German speaker. Dress them in German Air Force Uniform, add blood and bandages to suit.
3. Crash Plane in the Channel after making SOS to rescue service.
4. Once aboard rescue boat, shoot German crew, dump overboard, bring rescue boat back to English port.
In order to increase the chances of capturing an R or M [Räumboot – a small minesweeper; Minensuchboot – a large minesweeper] with its richer booty, the crash might be staged in mid-Channel.
The Germans would presumably employ one of this type for the longer and more hazardous journey.
NB. Since attackers will be wearing enemy uniform, they will be liable to be shot as franc-tireurs if captured, and incident might be fruitful field for propaganda. Attackers’ story will therefore be that it was done for a lark by a group of young hot-heads who thought the war was too tame and wanted to have a go at the Germans. They had stolen the plane and equipment and had expected to get into trouble when they got back. This will prevent suspicions that party was after more valuable booty than a rescue boat.”
Operation Goldeneye was an Allied plan during the Second World War, which was to monitor Spain after a possible alliance between Francisco Franco and the Axis powers, and to undertake sabotage operations. The plan was formed by Commander Ian Fleming
With no German takeover of Spain or invasion of Gibraltar, the plan was closed in 1943.
The object of the operation, was to ensure that the UK would still be able to communicate with Gibraltar in the event Spain joined the Axis powers. The plan also incorporated elements for the defense of Gibraltar had the Germans invaded through Spain.
Ultimately General Franco , Spain’s dictator, declined to join the Axis powers, Adolf Hitler having refused to give Gibraltar and French North Africa to Spain after these had been seized.
Fleming later dubbed his Jamaican estate “Goldeneye”, and began writing his series of James Bond novels there.The name was also used for the title of the seventeenth James Bond film, GoldenEye starring Pierce Brosnan as Bond.
30 Assault Unit
In Sep 1942, the Director of Naval Intelligence authorised the formation of the Special Intelligence Unit, composed of 33 (Royal Marines) Troop, 34 (Army) Troop, 35 (RAF) Troop and 36 (Royal Navy) Troop. The Special Intelligence Unit was later renamed 30 RN Commando (Special Engineering Unit), and was redesignated 30 Assault Unit in December 1943.
The unit was formed by Ian Fleming.
Fleming did not fight in the field with the unit, but selected targets and directed operations from the rear. On its formation the unit was thirty strong, but it grew to five times that size. The unit was filled with men from other commando units, and trained in unarmed combat, safe-cracking and lock-picking at the SOE facilities.
Operation Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
I am just having a bit of fun here, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was never a WWII operation, however what many people don’t know this was the last book Ian Fleming ever wrote. But how cool would it have bnne if there actually had been an “Opertaion Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” The screen play for the movie was written by another WWII hero and legendary author, Roald Dahl.
Fleming had first mentioned to friends during the war that he wanted to write a spy novel, an ambition he achieved within two months with Casino Royale. He started writing the book at Goldeneye on 17 February 1952, gaining inspiration from his own experiences and imagination.
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