The British WWII Special Forces Unit that Inspired Ian Fleming.

12 Mar


The 30AU holding a captured Nazi flag.  

The BBC’s Justin Rowlatt describes how WWII naval intelligence officer Ian Fleming created the 30AU: “a team of authorised thieves and looters – mavericks who would operate ahead of the forward troops and who were instructed to do whatever necessary to capture enemy intelligence, equipment or personnel.”  In short, the men that would inspire Fleming to create the central protagonist in the series of novels he would author in the forthcoming decades: James Bond.    


James Bond creator, Ian Fleming.

However, Rowlatt’s article does not end with a thumbnail sketch of this near-mythical special forces unit.  In fact, it takes a much more personal turn for Rowlatt; the title of his piece reads “When Ian Fleming Picked My Grandfather to Steal Nazi Secrets.”  Indeed, Rowlatt’s own grandfather served as a member of Fleming’s legendary 30AU.  Apart from describing how Fleming came up with the James Bond character, Rowlatt also uses his piece to retrace the story of the grandfather he never had the opportunity of meeting – all the way back to Normandy.

"I'd appreciate your input." - The Bloodhound Gang's "The Bad Touch."

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