Friday, December 3, 2021

A Look Back At Commander Ian Fleming: My Washington Times On Crime Column On 'Ian Fleming At War: The Inspiration of 007'

The Washington Times published my On Crime column on Ian Fleming’s War: The Inspiration of 007. 

With the 25th James Bond film “No Time To Die” doing well in theaters, fans of the hugely successful film series may be interested in reading about the genesis of the most popular fictional character in cinema. 


Ian Fleming, the late, great thriller writer who created Bond, was a British naval intelligence officer in World War II, and much of what he experienced during the war found its way into his James Bond thrillers.


Mark Simmons, a former British Marine commando, journalist, and author, explores Commander Fleming’s wartime experiences and points out direct links between reality and the plots and characters in the Bond thrillers in his book, “Ian Fleming’s War: The Inspiration of 007.”           


I reached out to Mark Simmons and asked him why he wrote the book.


“In 2018, I wrote `Ian Fleming and Operation Golden Eye: Keeping Spain out of World War II.’ In research for that book, I read the two main biographies of Fleming by Andrew Lycett and John Pearson, both of which only devoted a chapter or two to his wartime work. Yet there was a wealth of material on his time at naval intelligence, and I felt it deserved a book,” Mr. Simmons replied.  


How would you describe Ian Fleming?  


“He was a man embedded in his time the 1930s-1950s, and the highlight of his life was his wartime role in naval intelligence, even more so than becoming a bestselling author.”


How did Ian Fleming’s WWII experiences in naval intelligence inspire his James Bond novels?


“As I explain in the book, all the Bond stories are rooted in WWII, and 007 often refers to the war,” Mr. Simmons said. 


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

You can also read my Counterterrorism magazine piece on Ian Fleming's 30 Assault Unit in WWII via the below link:

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