Sunday, May 26, 2024

Spies, Lies And Deception: Proof That Ian Fleming’s Imagination Wasn't So Fanciful After All

Simon Heffer at the British newspaper the Telegraph offers a piece on an upcoming exhibit at the Imperial War Museum

A ghetto blaster from the early 1980s is just one fascinating object in an exhibition called Spies, Lies and Deception opening this Friday at the Imperial War Museum in London, running until next April. This particular blaster is unusual: from the Soviet era, it contained Russian surveillance equipment. In James Bond mode, there is also a fountain pen that fired jets of tear gas, a clutch bag designed by the KGB with a camera in it, a box of matches one of which was a stylus for writing secret messages, and a hollowed-out brush whose cavity could contain film. They were the utensils of the Cold War, proving that Ian Fleming’s imagination was not unduly wild.

The displays include deception in warfare, such as netting covered with camouflage used to conceal trenches from enemy aircraft in the Great War, observation posts disguised as trees and a yeti-like camouflage suit. We learn of the artist Solomon J Solomon, whose such camouflage was. The technique was advanced in the Second World War, and among the exhibits are aerial photographs (for me one of the great surprises of the exhibition) showing how another artist, Christopher Ironside, successfully camouflaged factories to disguise them from German bombers; and the Germans used camouflage in Hamburg to convince the RAF it was bombing factories when it was bombing a lake. Experts from the film studios at Shepperton helped design decoy RAF airfields to mislead the Luftwaffe.

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

Spies, Lies and Deception: proof that Ian Fleming’s imagination wasn't so fanciful after all (

You can also read my Crime Beat column interview with Ben Macintyre, the author of For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming & James Bond via the below link:

Note: The top photo is of a matchbox containing one match adapted for writing secret messages from WWII. And the above photo is of Ian Fleming. 

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