Real 'Bond' loved pretty women, fast cars

The names Wilfred

  Daily Telegraph reported that Commander Wilfred Dunderdale was known for his prowess as a boxer in the Royal Navy at the end of the First World War.

The first official history of the intelligence service says that Dunderdale became close friends with Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels, and he claimed to have recognised some of his own stories in the books.

Raconteur

“A man of great charm and savoir-fair, in old age he became an incorrigible raconteur,” Keith Jeffery of Queen’s University, Belfast, who was given access to all MI6 files from when it was founded in 1909 until 1949, was quoted as saying.

“He liked to tell the story of how, while still in his teens, as interpreter for a (Tsarist) White Russian general, he found himself translating outside a railway sleeping compartment where the general and his British mistress were seducing each other. “As the head of the Secret Intelligence Service Paris station in the 1930s, he had a penchant for pretty women and fast cars,” he said. The book MI6, The History of the Secret Intelligence Service says Dunderdale was the son of a British naval engineer. He spoke fluent Russian and began working on “special intelligence duties” in Sevastopol port in 1919.

An important job handled by Dunderdale was to debrief Georgievitch Bajanov, who had been an assistant to Joseph Stalin in 1923 and defected in 1928 along with a Russian cavalry officer.

140 pages of info

The British spy reported that he had “extracted 140 pages of information” about the organisation of the Soviet Communist Party and the secret police, along with pen-portraits of around two dozen party leaders, the media report said.

The book goes on to say that another agent, Pieter Tazelaar, was very much in the James Bond mould.

He landed at 4.35 a.m Nov 23, 1940, at Scheveningen in the Netherlands, near the seafront casino. He was dressed in a specially designed rubber oversuit which he took off to reveal full evening dress. Brandy was sprinkled on him to strengthen his “party-goer’s image”.

John Scarlett, MI6’s former head who commissioned the book, told the Daily Telegraph that it would not end the myth of the James Bond.

He added: “Some myths are never put to bed, but the best thing is not to argue about it but to put facts on the table, and lots of them.” He said the book provided a unique look inside the service as “everything we do is secret — if it’s not secret we shouldn’t be doing it”.

There is no evidence of a “licence to kill”, but the secret service apparently drew up a list of possible targets for assassination in advance of D-Day. The service eventually decided against implementing it.

The decision not to go ahead was not due to “squeamishness” but because it would “produce a good deal of trouble” as it would provoke possible reprisals and do “little good” in terms of preventing German operations.

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