Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nicholas Rankin On Ian Fleming's World War II Commandos, The 30 Assault Unit

The British newspaper the Daily Mail offers a Q & A with Nicholas Rankin, author of Ian Fleming's Commandos (Oxford University Press).

The new book tells of Fleming's World War II experiences and his creation of an intelligence-commando group, the 30 Assault Unit.

Royal Navy Commander Ian Fleming is seen in the above photo in Room 39 of the British Naval Intelligence Division.

We all know Ian Fleming as the author of the James Bond fantasy spy novels of the 1950s and early sixties. But what is striking is just how deeply involved he was in real war-time intelligence, as Commander Ian Fleming RNVR. He worked closely with Britain's two Directors of Naval Intelligence throughout the Second World War from 1939 to 1945. '17 (F)' - as he appears in the Naval Intelligence files and dockets - was a man who knew many secrets. He was Naval Intelligence's liaison with 'C', the head of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, and also with the sabotage and resistance organisation, SOE, the Special Operations Executive. He knew the people who ran double agents and deceptions in the Security Service, MI5. He regularly visited Bletchley Park, the Government Code and Cypher School that cracked enemy secret messages, and he knew the American General Bill Donovan who founded the OSS, the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA. So the Bond fictions are grounded in genuine reality.

You can read the rest of the interview via the below link:


I also interviewed Nicholas Rankin for an article on Ian Fleming and his commando group for the next issue of Counterterrorism magazine.

The piece will also include my interview with Craig Cabell. Cabell is the author of a previous book on Fleming and his commandos called the The History of the 30 Assault Unit: Ian Fleming's Red Indians (Pen & Sword).

I'll post my piece here when it comes out.


  1. Yesss and the lies Ian Fleming Told after the Dieppe Raid.....Operation SharkBaitCatch and Sink"!!!! My father Leaander Brewster and the Crews of the Outremont and New Waterford were told alot of lies, historians still hate the Truth as the Fleming Family must be aware of such lies that Occured in Halifax, Nova Scotia between 1942-44 where the Uboat 1006 was taken researched and later sunk in 44 by the HMCS Annanh....what pisses me off is my dad died 2003 in 3 years after telling me the secret of Ian Fleming's lies.

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