"He's not the description
of an ideal spy -- a gray man who has a hard time catching the eye of a waiter
in a restaurant."|
- William Colby, head of the CIA during the Nixon administration
"The modern spy could not permit himself to become the target of luscious dames
who approach him in bars or come out of closets in hotel rooms. Good spies are
too valuable, their training is too long and costly, and they are too hard to
find to warrant undue exposure. I fear that James Bond in real life would have
had a thick dossier in the Kremlin after his first exploit, and would not have
survived the second."
- Allen Dulles, spy, head of the CIA under Eisenhower
IS JAMES BOND BASED ON A REAL PERSON?
"It's very much the Walter Mitty
syndrome... the author's feverish dreams of what might have been - bang, bang,
kiss kiss... It's what you would expect of an adolescent mind which I happen to
- Ian Fleming
people are of the opinion that James Bond is Ian Fleming's alter-ego. Fleming
also participated in British Intelligence during World War II, and even had a hand in establishing the CIA. Both were commanders in the Navy. Events in Casino
Royale were based on true events Fleming either experienced himself or heard
The descriptions of the Soviet Union that Fleming used in From Russia With
Love were based on his observations of the country while he was spying there
for the British government in the late thirties.
Fleming's friend Ernest Cuneo said: "I think that Bond was a thing apart from
him. Though created by him,he seemed to be as detached from Bond as a scientist
who has created a robot, and indeed, there were a considerable number of times
when I thought Bond bored Fleming to tears..."
Dr Peter Waddell of Strathclyde
University, who spent 15 years studying espionage, codenames and unacknowledged
operations by British secret services at the time of the second world war, thinks
the model for James Bond may have been Ian's older brother, Grenadier Guards officer
Peter Fleming was an officer in Special Operations Executive
(SOE), a wartime espionage group unacknowledged by the government until 1966.
The husband of the Brief Encounter star Celia Johnson, he went
missing in action so many times that his mother once wrote to an official: "We
generally meet when Peter is lost in some jungle."
Andrew Lycett, Fleming's
biographer, said: "It is conceivable that Peter was the basis for Bond, though
there are several candidates and the most likely explanation is that he was a
The spy writer Nigel West said: "Bond did undoubtedly have
a component of Peter Fleming, who was idealised by his brother. Ian Fleming met
many people who had elements of Bond, including Conrad O'Brian-French, who cut
a swathe through continental women."
"Dunderdale... Biffy Dunderdale"
"There was a man called Biffy Dunderdale whom Fleming knew and who was the MI6 Head of Station in Paris in the 1930s. He was a man of great sangfroid and style who liked fast cars and pretty women and was quite an important figure. He travelled under the name of John Green, and was a glamorous figure a bit like Bond. On the other hand, one of the reasons he was in the Service was because he spoke Russian like a native, as well as other languages, which was definitely something you needed – and still do – and something James Bond never seemed to be able to do."
--Keith Jeffery, Professor of British History at Queen’s University Belfast, was appointed in 2005 to write the first official history of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). "MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service, 1909-49" was published in September 2010.
Wilfred Albert (Biffy) Dunderdale (24 December 1899 – 13 November 1990) was a British spy and intelligence officer. Dunderdale dressed very well, often dined at fine Paris restaurants, and drove an armored Rolls-Royce. He was married to a gorgeous American blond named June Morse, and they lived in a luxury flat near the Eiffel Tower. Dunderdale was reportedly thrilled to see his experiences appear in Fleming's work. He even relayed the story of a Dutch spy named Pieter Tazelaar to Fleming, who emerged from his rubber wetsuit in fine evening wear before entering a waterfront casino, and even splashed a few drops of Hennessey onto his tie in order to make sure that everybody thought he'd been partying (of course it only appeared in the film version of Goldfinger, which Fleming didn't ewrite, but maybe he told the story to Maibaum).
Then again, some believe that
Fleming based his superspy on a "flinty blue eyed" wartime comrade named Patrick
Dalzel-Job. In an article from the South African Edition of Reader's Digest
in September 1995, Lawrence Elliot postulated: "Job, like Bond, is half-Scots,
a one time naval officer, a master of languages who in real life performed precisely
the kinds of derring-do that Fleming later atrributed to his flamboyant make-believe
hero. By the time Job walked into Commander Ian Fleming's Admiralty office one
day in 1944 looking for a new assignment, he had already seen service as a seaman,
commando, submariner and spy, and had just become probably the first naval army
officer to qualify for army parachute wings... Says veteran BBC broadcaster Charles
Wheeler, who served with both men: "Who could be surprised if a kind of James
Bond seed were planted then and there?"
theory was that Ian Fleming have based James Bond on the life of playboy Dusko
Popov, a key double agent for the British during World War II whom was also under
the charge of Fleming. Popov, who died at age 70 on August 24th, 1981, was from
a wealthy Yugoslav family. He worked as an agent for the Double-X (not Double-O?)
system run by John Masterman for British Intelligence. His code name was "Tricycle."
Popov infiltrated the Nazi intelligence network and reportedly warned the U.S.
of a major Japanese attack six months before Pearl Harbor, but J. Edgar Hoover
refused to believe him (Hoover disapproved of Popov and his libidinous lifestyle,
speculating that "tricycle" meant he liked to bed two girls at a time).
In his memoirs, "Spy/Counterspy," published in 1974, Popov also claimed that he
was instrumental in convincing the Germans in 1944 that the Allied invasion of
Europe would take place at the Pas de Calais on D-Day, thereby diverting German
divisions away from the actual landing sites in Normandy. Popov, who became a
British citizen after the war, was survived by a wife and four sons. His widow,
the second Mrs. Popov, lived with him for 13 years before learning of her husband's
wartime espionage exploits - and then only through his book. Popov maintained
that although he had a weakness for women, he wouldn't have survived if he acted
Some experts say Popov was a great story-teller, but put
no faith in Fleming's association with him, or that Fleming based any of Bond
of Popov. But then what would they know about British Intelligence?
Here is Bond as
Fleming saw him. This is a drawing done by a sketch artist working for Fleming,
to show the artist working on the James Bond comic strips how Fleming saw Bond.
Is it Fleming? Popov? Job? You be the judge...