cover - The Real James Bond

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Ian Fleming and SOE’S Operation Postmaster – the top secret story behind 007

by Brian Lett
published 2012.

The Real James Bond – the story that Ian Fleming was forbidden to tell

As an experienced lawyer I am an expert in assessing evidence, and presenting a case. Whilst researching material for another historical book, and examining recently opened files at the National Archives, I came upon evidence of a spymaster who really was known by the code name of M, and who ran a Secret Service that contained, amongst others, Commando Secret Agents who were trained and “licensed” to kill.

When I then discovered that the real M had been in close contact with Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond books, and identified the exciting and exotic operation upon which M and Ian Fleming had worked together, it was a straightforward task to identify the real James Bond.

My researches establish without doubt who the models for Ian Fleming’s James Bond and M were, and reveal the most exciting story of the secret operation on which they and Ian Fleming were engaged – an operation so secret that Ian Fleming was forbidden to talk or write about it throughout his life. That ban remained in force for many years afterwards. Only now, for the first time, is the truth to be told.

Small Scale Raiding Force

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The Small Scale Raiding Force

by Brian Lett
published 2013

This book is the sequel to Ian Fleming and SOE's Operation Postmaster and tells the story of the Small Scale Raiding Force from its conception in February 1942 until it was finally dissolved in North Africa in May 1943, and follows certain of its leading members to the end of the war.

The Force was set up by Colin Gubbins, code name M, as his Secret Navy, and was initially staffed exclusively by men of the Special Operations Executive, M’s “licensed to kill” secret agents. They were led by Gus March-Phillipps, Geoffrey Appleyard, Graham Hayes and Anders Lassen, the “James Bonds” recently returned from the triumph of Operation Postmaster in West Africa.

The Force was operated under Lord Mountbatten’s Combined Operations, but M’s remained the guiding hand. It was, as Churchill described, a “hand of steel” that reached out to the enemy coast, and killed or captured German troops. The inspirational March-Phillipps planned and led the raids until disaster befell the Force on 13 September 1942, when March-Phillipps was killed. Hayes was captured and later executed by the Gestapo. Appleyard took over as operational commander, and in October 1942, Lieutenant Colonel Bill Stirling became the overall commander.

The Force continued its raids until February 1943, when it divided, and the main part was posted to North Africa. When the Force was finally dissolved in May 1942, Appleyard joined the newly formed 2 SAS, and Lassen joined the SBS. Both were killed before the end of the war, Lassen in the act of winning the Victoria Cross.


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