Ian Fleming

Photo of the Day

Glyndwr Michael Martin:Glyndwr Michael as William Martin was buried in Huelva, Spain. In 1998, the inscription GLYNDWR MICHAEL; SERVED AS MAJOR WILLIAM MARTIN, RM was added to his grave-stone by the British government.

Glyndwr Michael:Glyndwr Michael as William Martin was buried in Huelva, Spain. In 1998, the inscription GLYNDWR MICHAEL; SERVED AS MAJOR WILLIAM MARTIN, RM was added to his grave-stone by the British government.

Operation Mincemeat

How a Corpse Fooled the Nazis

 In World War II, a secret department of British ‘corkscrew thinkers’ hatched a plan to use the cadaver of an unclaimed homeless man to turn the tide of the war in the Allies’ favour. It worked.

Ewen Montagu and his team of deceivers achieved in Operation MINCEMEAT what all deceivers endeavour to achieve upon commencing an operation: complete success. By adhering to the six principles of Military Deception (focus, objective, centralized control, security, timeliness, and integration), Montagu duped the Germans into altering their strategic plans; thereby enabling the Allies to achieve theirs.

“You can’t get bodies just for the asking, you know . . . each one has to be accounted for.”

—London coroner Bentley Purchase

Seventy three years ago, the mission of acting Major William Martin of the British Royal Marines was determined to have been a success. The top secret operational documents on the planned Allied invasion of the Balkans and Sardinia Martin had carried with him had been intercepted and transmitted all the way up to the highest levels of the German high command and even to Adolf Hitler himself.  This seemingly disastrous outcome was a positive for the Allies because the success of Martin’s mission, Operation:  Mincemeat, hinged upon the Germans discovering and believing the documents that he carried with him to be real when in fact they actually composed a part of one of WWII’s most ambitious and elaborate misinformation campaigns.  Nothing about the documents was real: not even their carrier.

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The origin of “cock tax”

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Yesterday in court Colin Craig read one of my posts about him having to probably pay a lot of “cock tax“.

Everyone laughed…but I was asked afterwards by a few people what the term meant and where the term came from.

I can’t claim to have invented the term, but I can claim to have used it extensively.

Bond said, ‘But what sort of a chap is this Tanaka? Is he your enemy or your friend?’   Read more »

Sleek but basically useless

James Bond’s Walther PPK is really a girly gun:

It’s like shooting a cork from a fistful of barbed wire. You won’t hit anyone, but it’s okay, because if you did hit them, they’d just get really mad.

That’s the sleek but basically useless PPK, with which Ian Fleming — who knew nothing about guns — armed James Bond, and then died before both 007 and the pistol became icons.

Fleming presumably made his choice of weapon on the basis of design alone. And indeed, the PPK (in German it stands for “short police pistol”) is a cool little beauty. It looks like Nietzschean poetry in steel, with a thrust of decadent Weimar art moderne to it. And it is Weimar, the latest thing from 1931, with its radical double-action design. It’s light, thin, designed for undercover work, meant to be carried a lot and shot a little. It was already old-fashioned by the time Connery got his in ’62.

Its tragic flaw is that when it was designed, streamline was the hot lick, but nobody had heard of ergonomics; men adjusted to machines, not the other way around. And though it looks sleek, its edges are all razor sharp, while the trigger pull is like dragging a 75-pound rake across gravel. When you finally get the 10-pound lever far enough back to fire, the pipsqueak jumps like a snapping mousetrap as it recoils, the slide shooting back in supertime, then forward again as all those edges cut into your flesh. Shoot a box of ammo, and your hand looks as though it’s been put through a meat grinder. You probably haven’t hit anything either, because the sights are tiny and the barrel short.

So the gun, like the man, is an illusion.

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