Tuesday, September 21, 2010

007 from MI6

Revealed: How James Bond was based on a real life MI6 special agent ... white tuxedo and all

Last updated at 8:05 PM on 21st September 2010
One of James Bond’s most famous scenes was inspired by the wartime exploits of an MI6 spy, according to a new history of the Secret Intelligence Service.
The moment when the fictional spy emerges from the water in a wetsuit and plants explosives before unzipping the suit to reveal a spotless dinner suit really took place during the Second World War.
The incident from the opening sequence of the 1964 film Goldfinger was inspired by the real life exploits of Dutch agent Pieter Tazelaar, according to ‘MI6’ by Keith Jeffery, the first official history of SIS.
James Bond, played by Sean Connery, emerges in his wetsuit in the 1964 movie Goldfinger
James Bond, played by Sean Connery, emerges in his wetsuit in the 1964 movie Goldfinger
Tazelaar was sent in by sea in 1940 to make contact with agents in Holland.
The book recounts that he ‘put ashore at 4.35am on 23 November at Scheveningen near the seafront casino in full evening dress and smelling of alcohol, wearing a specially designed rubber oversuit to keep him dry while landing.
‘Rather than leaving him somewhere on the dunes, the aim was for him to be able to mingle with the crowd on the front.
‘Having landed on the beach his colleague Erik Hazelhof sprinkled a few drops of Hennessy XO brandy on him, to strengthen his party-goer’s image’.
Professor Keith Jeffery, of Queen’s University, Belfast, was given unrestricted access to the surviving historic files of the Secret Intelligence Service. But his work only covers the period up to 1949 and he was banned from revealing the identities of spies that are not already in the public domain.
The book also reveals that fact is just as strange as the James Bond fiction by documenting the exploits of the fabled ‘Q Branch’ of SIS, the section in charge of devising gadgets, made famous but the fictional exploits of Q – played by Desmond Llewellyn and John Cleese.
In real life the Q Branch technicians worked on plans to devise exploding filing cabinets to destroy papers likely to be captured by the enemy.

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