It’s widely known that author Ian Fleming took many of his real life experiences and turned them into plot points, character features and other trivia bits in his James Bond adventures. Now, a just published book by military historian Sean Longden has found a connection between the 1955 Bond novel Moonraker and Fleming’s work in a top secret World War Two unit called Target Force.
Ian Fleming’s Moonraker
As Your Local Guardian reports, Longden came across the connection while performing research for his book, entitled T-Force: The Race for Nazi War Secrets, 1945.
‘I was sitting on the beach in Greece when I suddenly realised just how much of Moonraker—which is about a villain who acquires nuclear rocket technology—was based on Fleming’s experiences with Target Force,’ Longden said.
‘It has been known for some time that Fleming carried out intelligence work during the war, which could have influenced his novels, but I think it took my work on T-Force to reveal just how close the links are.’
Fleming is reported to have worked with Target Force, a unit who was tasked wih the job of bringing Nazi scientists to Britain before they were captured by the advancing Russians. ‘Fleming was sitting at the heart of the scientific intelligence community and it helped him in his work for the Admiralty as well as with his Bond novels,’ Longden noted.
‘After this research there is no doubt in my mind he plundered his recollections of the top secret files that passed across his desk for much of the material in Moonraker.’
One particular comparison involves the rocket plot point in Moonraker: in the novel, villain Sir Hugo Drax is highly involved with a top secret rocket project that will supposedly benefit Britain. This echoes the real life Operation Backfire—a British project to test German V2 rockets. Target Force was involved in Backfire by recovering missiles.
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