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Dusko Popov was born in Yugoslavia in 1912. In the summer of 1940 Popov was recruited by Abwehr. He was sent to Portugal to collect information for the Germans. However, Popov held anti-Nazi views and began passing information to the British.
By December 1940 Popov was working as an agent for both MI5 and MI6. The following year Popov obtained information suggesting that the Japanese Air Force planned to attack the United States at Pearl Harbor.
Surprisingly Guy Liddell did not notify President Franklin D. Roosevelt or the US Office of Naval Intelligence about this plan. Instead he sent Popov to J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the FBI. Hoover did not take the necessary action and the United States forces were not prepared for the attack on 7th December, 1941.
Popov survived the war and in 1974 published his memoirs, Spy, Counterspy. Dusko Popov died in 1981.
10 July 1912 – 10 August 1981) was a Serbian double agent who served as part of the MI6 and Abwehr during World War II, and passed off disinformation to Germany as part of the Double-Cross System.
Popov was born into a wealthy family and was a practicing lawyer at the start of the war. He held a great aversion to Nazism, and in 1940, infiltrated the Abwehr, Germany's military intelligence service, which considered him a valuable asset due to his business connections in France and the United Kingdom. Popov provided the Germans misleading and inaccurate information for much of the war. Deceptions in which he participated included Operation Fortitude, which sought to convince German military planners that the Allied invasion of Europe would take place in Calais, not Normandy, thereby diverting hundreds of thousands of German troops and increasing the likelihood that Operation Overlord would succeed.
Popov was known for his promiscuous lifestyle and courted women during his missions, including the French actress Simone Simon. Apart from MI6 and the Abwehr, he also reported to the Yugoslav intelligence service, which assigned him the codename Duško. His German handlers referred to him by the codename Ivan. He was codenamed Tricycle by the British MI5 because he was the head of a group of three double agents. In 1974, he published an autobiography titled Spy/Counterspy, in which he recounted his wartime exploits. Popov is considered one of Ian Fleming's primary inspirations for the character of James Bond. He has been the subject of a number of non-fiction books and documentaries.
Scandal of the Century – New Book Claims USA Knew Of Pearl Harbor Plans For Months
Few words are more disheartening to Americans than Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “day of infamy,” and few photos more provocative than the image of the burning USS Arizona. Pearl Harbor was a calamity for America, a great catalyzing event which brought America into the war and changed history forever. In the same way as the destruction of the twin towers changed America at the start of the 21st century, Pearl Harbor made sure that nothing would ever be the same again.
Twenty-four hundred lives were lost, and another 1100 people were wounded. Eighteen ships were sunk or damaged. However, a new book claims it that it should have been a turkey shoot for the U.S. Navy, as they had prior warning of the attack.
War History Online is proud to present this exclusive sneak-peak by the Author.
On August 18th, 1941, four months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, British double agent Dusko Popov—on loan from MI6 to the FBI—met with FBI Assistant Director Earl J. Connelley at the Commodore Hotel. Joining them were Dick Ellis, Popov’s British Security Coordination supervisor, and Special Agent Charles Lanman, Popov’s FBI case officer.
Dusko Popov’s MI5 file photo. FBI Asst. Director Earl J. Connelley.
According to the memo that Connelley sent to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover the following day, the meeting lasted three hours. After giving a brief explanation of how he became a German agent, and then a British double agent, Popov explained the two reasons the Abwehr had sent him to the U.S.: 1) to set up a German espionage network to be based in New York and 2) to investigate the defenses at the Pearl Harbor naval base.
Dusko explained that Johann Jebsen, a recruiter for the Abwehr and Popov’s best friend, had recently returned from Taranto, Italy, with Baron Wolfgang von Gronau, Germany’s air attaché in Tokyo. Gronau and Jebsen, whose family owned a shipping empire, had been sent to investigate Taranto’s naval base, Popov explained, which had been pummeled by a surprise British air raid on November 11-12, 1940. The base had been heavily defended by anti-aircraft guns, torpedo nets, and barrage balloons, and the Japanese wanted details of how the British raid succeeded against these defenses. Gronau told Jebsen, and Jebsen told Popov, that the Taranto raid would be a blueprint for a similar attack by the Japanese on a U.S. naval base.
During the meeting, Popov and Ellis gave the FBI officers Popov’s two-page German questionnaire, translated. Only one naval base was mentioned—Pearl Harbor—which comprised forty percent of the document’s instructions. Eleven times Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, or base airports were mentioned. The document confirmed Jebsen’s comment that Taranto would be a blueprint for a similar raid … on Pearl Harbor.
Earl Connelley’s twelve-page memo to Hoover on August 19, 1941, included the full two-page questionnaire. Inexplicably, Hoover told no one. Not President Roosevelt. Not Admiral Husband Kimmel, Pacific Fleet Commander. Not Naval Intelligence. Apparently intent on hiding the Pearl Harbor information from FDR, Hoover sent correspondence to the President about microdots—a new German technology for sending coded messages—”discovered” from a German spy [actually provided to the FBI by Popov], but said nothing of Popov’s Pearl Harbor assignment. Not only that, the portion of the questionnaire that Hoover sent was clipped so that only the last section of the document, which said nothing of Hawaii or Pearl Harbor, was shown.
Hoover actively withheld the information from the President. Later, during the eight Pearl Harbor investigations, Hoover buried the information in classified FBI files, never to see the light of day. Popov, Ellis, and the countless MI5, MI6, and British Secret Service officers who knew of the document were gagged by Britain’s Official Secrets Act. They could say nothing.
Hoover’s secret was safe for decades.
In my new book, INTO THE LION’S MOUTH: The True Story of Dusko Popov—World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-Life Inspiration for James Bond (Berkley, June 14, 2016), I detail the entire saga, and include Popov’s Pearl Harbor questionnaire, Connelley’s memorandum to Hoover, and J. Edgar’s correspondence to President Roosevelt. The conclusion, it appears, is simple.
Every textbook in America will have to change.
Popov&rsquos Journey From Dilettante Playboy to Antifascist
Popov was what might be called one of fortune&rsquos favorites, starting with his birth in 1912 into a wealthy Serbian family that had been affluent for centuries. His grandfather was a rich banker and businessman who owned factories, mines, and retail establishments, and his father made the family richer still by adding real estate to its investment portfolio. Popov, an avid outdoorsman and athlete since childhood, thus grew up in the lap of luxury, attended by servants in the family&rsquos numerous villas or while sailing the seas in one of the family&rsquos numerous yachts.
He was set on the playboy path from an early age by an indulgent father, who built his kids a huge seaside villa, and gave them generous allowances that allowed them to host lavish parties there. However, while Popov&rsquos father was indulgent, he did not simply spoil his kids rotten, but also insisted that they get as good a top notch education as his considerable wealth could afford. Thus, by the time Popov was a teenager he was fluent in French, German, and Italian, in addition to his native Serbian. Such linguistic skills would come in handy down the road.
After studying in England &ndash where he got expelled from a prestigious prep school &ndash and France, Popov returned home to study law at the University of Belgrade. At age 22, he went to Germany to pursue a doctorate at a university there, not long after the Nazis came to power. There, he befriended a rich German student named Johnny Jebsen, who had anti Nazi views.
Dusko Popov. Total Croatia News
While in Germany, Popov, who until then had simply been a dilettante playboy with no interest in politics, came to loathe the Nazis and develop strong political opinions against them. He was not discrete about his views, however, and in 1937 he was arrested by the Gestapo on suspicion of being a communist, and tossed into prison. His friend Jebsen came to his aid, alerting Popov&rsquos father, who in turn got the Yugoslav government involved. After high level contacts between Yugoslavia&rsquos prime minister and Herman Goering, then head of the Gestapo, Popov was sprung from jail but ordered expelled from Germany.
The experience did nothing to improve his opinion of the Nazis, and when WWII broke out, Popov was primed and eager to pay them back if the opportunity presented itself. It presented itself when his friend Jebsen, whose family&rsquos business needed favors from Popov&rsquos, informed him in 1940 that he had joined Germany&rsquos military intelligence, the Abwehr. Popov passed that information to a contact in the British embassy named Clement Hope, along with the observation that Jebsen was not that fond of the Nazis.
While Popov was in America, the British assigned naval intelligence officer Ian Fleming to watch his every move. The future author of James of Bond followed Popov around as he made the rounds of night clubs and casinos, womanizing, splurging the cash furnished him by the Abwehr, and making a killing at the roulette tables. The style and panache left an impression that would find expression years later in Agent 007. Some famous scenes from Casino Royale were based on Fleming&rsquos observations of Popov in American casinos.
Popov and a sketch of James Bond, that was commissioned by Ian Fleming. Larry Loftis
Eventually, Popov&rsquos relationship with the FBI grew toxic, and threatened to get worse. So British intelligence recalled him to London, where he continued to feed the Abwehr false information. His biggest contribution came in the intricate Allied deception plans, collectively known as Operation Bodyguard, which sought to mislead the Germans about the planned invasion of France.
Life As A Double Agent
Tim Ockenden – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images A Certificate of Registration of Yugoslavian spy Dusko Popov know as double agent Tricycle.
Dusko Popov was now working as a double agent. Over the next year, he took German requests for intelligence and fed them back prepared British disinformation. The Germans, thinking that they had a valuable asset in Popov, kept him supplied with cash to fund his playboy lifestyle. In every city he went to, he maintained a string of relationships with local women and even fellow spies.
Popov quickly hatched a plan to take advantage of the fact that the Germans trusted him with their money. Codenamed Operation Midas, the plan called for Popov to fleece the Germans for money to invest in building a spy ring in London, only to deliver it directly to MI6.
The first phase of the plan went off without a hitch. The Germans, hearing about Popov’s idea to put spies in England, handed over $50,000. Now, he just needed to make the handoff to the British.
One night in 1941, Popov walked into a casino in Portugal with the entire sum. Along for the ride was Ian Fleming, an intelligence officer sent along to make sure that Popov didn’t do anything stupid with the money. You know, like bet it on a single hand of baccarat.
But while in the Casino, Popov heard a Lithuanian businessman loudly declaring that anyone who wanted to play baccarat at his table could bet any amount of money, and he would match it. The man’s attitude rubbed Popov the wrong way. And according to Popov, he also just wanted to “shake Fleming up.”
Popov sat down at the man’s table and placed all $50,000 on the felt. The casino went quiet. Fleming’s face turned green at the thought that he was about to watch Popov blow the entire operation.
The flustered businessman asked the dealer if the casino would back him in case he lost the money. After being told that they certainly couldn’t do that, he withdrew.
Popov cheerfully pulled the money off the table, complaining that the casino shouldn’t allow such irresponsible gamblers at their tables. It was, after all, “an annoyance to the serious players.”
A similar scene would later play out in Flemming’s first Bond novel, Casino Royale. In the novel, Bond bankrupts a Russian agent at a high-stakes baccarat game. Many have suggested that Popov was the inspiration for the scene.
Although Flemming, possibly due to laws protecting classified operations or possibly because Popov was simply embellishing his account, later offered a different version of the story in which he was personally playing a game at the casino against some Germans.
BOOK REVIEW – Into the Lion’s Mouth: The True Story of Dusko Popov: World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-Life Inspiration for James Bond
By Larry Loftus, Penquin, New York, NY, (2016)
Reviewed by Martin J. Bollinger
Lawyer and author Larry Loftis accomplishes three things in his new book Into the Lion’s Mouth: The True Story of Dusko Popov: World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-Life Inspiration for James Bond. He does an excellent job in documenting – virtually day by day — the activities of double-agent Duŝan Popov in World War II, the center of the legendary TRICYCLE network of supposed German spies really working for Britain. Loftis accomplishes this via the outstanding integration of memoirs and archival material. Second, he advances the view that Popov was the role model for James Bond. He builds this case on evidence that, even if well documented with archival sources, in the end inevitably remains circumstantial. Thus, he ably reaffirms Popov position on the list of individuals (at least 15 by one count) who are claimed to have served as inspiration for Ian Fleming’s character of James Bond. Third, and of specific interest to naval historians, he renews an argument introduced in the 1980s about Popov, German intelligence, missed warnings and Pearl Harbor.
In this third area he provides near-definitive evidence of two major findings. The first, demonstrated with impressive use of archival sources, is that agent Popov provided information that the Germans were interested in Pearl Harbor to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in August 1941. This centers on a questionnaire from the German Abwehr, about one-third of which involves a request for intelligence regarding the defenses (including against torpedo attack) at Pearl Harbor. His second finding, again backed by impressive evidence, is that Hoover neglected to send this intelligence on to FDR or other officials, for whatever reason. These arguments have been raised before, as Loftis himself clearly indicates, but this latest work is almost certainly the most compelling summary to date.
The naval historian hopes ultimately for additional evidence that, had Hoover forwarded Popov’s evidence of German interest in Pearl Harbor, it might have made a difference in preparing the U.S. for the attack and could have shaped the outcome of events in 1941. Of course, it is dangerous to try to prove any counterfactual, and perhaps wisely Loftis does not go there. Instead, Loftis implies, but does not state, that this information, nine months after the successful British attack at Taranto in November 1940, would have sufficed to alert the U.S. Navy to the danger of an impending Japanese attack.
Loftis has prepared the ground for others to deepen this line of inquiry. For example, the U.S. Navy was well aware of the attack at Taranto and implications for Pearl Harbor but generally believed in error that the shallow waters at Pearl Harbor ruled out such an attack there. Would the Popov information have changed that view? At the time, the Japanese consulate in Honolulu was able to gather much of the intelligence requested on the questionnaire on its own by direct observation, and indeed was busy doing so. Would this German questionnaire itself force the Americans to conclude that the Japanese were suddenly keen to gather information on Pearl Harbor? U.S. analysts and leaders certainly were aware of the potential for conflict with the Japanese, but didn’t put Pearl Harbor high on the list of targets. Would this questionnaire have redirected their attention, or were similar intelligence inquiries being directed against the Philippines, Australia, India, Guam or other potential targets?
Stylistically, the book is a pleasant and interesting read, though one filled with tremendous detail that some will skip over. This reader wished the author would not switch back and forth continuously between code names (e.g., DREADNOUGHT), first names (Ivo) and last names (Popov) when identifying the many players in the book, often done within the same paragraph. It forces the reader to cycle back and forth between the content and the very helpful guide to “who’s who” provided at the front. Finally, regardless of whether an error originates in the source material or with the author, a correction in the footnotes would be appreciated. For example, HMS Queen Elizabeth was a battleship, not a submarine.
In the end, the lack of full resolution by Loftis of the Pearl Harbor issue, which encompasses perhaps only 10% of his book, shouldn’t detract from his broader mission: the excellent integration of primary and archival sources to document ably the workings of the TRICYCLE intelligence network in World War II. It is highly readable book and an excellent introduction into challenges in living the life of a double agent.
Marty Bollinger is the Vice President of the Naval Historical Foundation.
Iran’s only female Olympic medalist defects to Europe
Posted On April 29, 2020 16:04:34
Iran’s only female Olympic medalist says she has permanently left the country, posting a lengthy Instagram post that begins with “Should I start with hello, goodbye, or condolences?”
Kimia Alizadeh, 21, cited the country’s treatment of women, including her, as the main force driving her defection to Europe. Alizadeh earned a bronze medal in the taekwondo 57-kilogram weight class at the 2016 Summer Olympics and won a silver medal at the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships.
On Thursday, Iran’s state-run news media reported that Alizadeh had defected to the Netherlands, according to RadioFreeEurope, which added that she was expected to still try for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo with a different country’s team.
Alizadeh didn’t specify in her Instagram post where she was or what her future athletic plans were, though she did say her only concerns at the moment were taekwondo, her security, and a healthy and happy life.
“I am one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran, who have been playing with me for years,” Alizadeh wrote, according to an English translation. “They took me wherever they wanted. Whatever they said, I wore. Every sentence they ordered, I repeated.”
She also accused the Iranian government of exploiting her athletic success while condemning her as a woman, writing, “They put my medals on the obligatory veil and attributed it to their management and tact.”
Confirmation of her departure comes days after Saturday’s protests in Iran, after the government acknowledged it accidentally shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane that took off from Tehran, killing 176 people.
Alizadeh also said she had not been invited to defect to Europe but would “accept the pain and hardship of homesickness” over what she said was the “corruption and lies” in Iran.
“My troubled spirit does not fit into your dirty economic channels and tight political lobbies,” she wrote. “None of us matter to them.”
This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.
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Double agent Dusko Popov warned the U.S. about the coming attack on Pearl Harbor – but was ignored
Dusko Popov warned the United States in advance of the coming attack on Pearl Harbor. The Nazis thought he was their spy (he was a double agent) and they showed him Japanese requests for information on two topics – the attack by the British that sunk the Italian fleet at Taranto, and for any information on the ammunition dumps and mine depots on Oahu, (Hawaii), where Pearl Harbor is located. Dusko Popov realized what this meant, and traveled from Europe to America to deliver his warning.
Four months later, Dusko was on a ship from South America to New York on Dec 7, 1941 when the ship’s loudspeaker announced that all passengers were to assemble in the first-class lounge.
The captain said that the Japanese navy had attacked Pearl Harbor, and then one of the ship officers told the passengers that since the United States was at war, their boat could be attacked by a German submarine.
Popov writes (in his book “Spy Counter Spy”):
“The seriousness of the moment could be read on everyone’s face. Except mine.
It was the news I had been awaiting. I couldn’t say anything to relieve the tension of my fellow passengers, but I was sure the American fleet had scored a great victory over the Japanese. I was very, very proud that I had been able to give the warning to the Americans four months in advance. What a reception the Japanese must have had! I paced the deck, no not paced it, I floated above it exultantly….
Then the news started trickling in. Involuntarily, I shook my head till my brain felt as though it was coming unstuck. The bulletins simply were not believable. The Japanese had scored a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. How, I asked myself, how? We knew they were coming. We knew how they were going to come. Exactly like at Taranto. And that’s how they came, combined torpedo and dive-bomber attacks, exactly as employed by Admiral Cunningham against the Italians. Except that the Japanese planes hardly should have go off the deck.
More news. The battleships West Virginia and California had been sunk at their moorings. At their moorings, I moaned. They couldn’t have been at their moorings. They had to be steaming to attack the Japanese fleet. Then it was the Arizona. Blown up…In one and a half hours the mastery of the Pacific had passed from American to Japanese hands. I had the right information to forestall the attack. I had traveled thousands of miles to deliver the information, which would certainly have shortened the war by a year of more. And American red tape had stopped the information going through.
Popov tried to ascertain how the failure happened. His conclusion was the culprit was probably the head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, who he had spoken with personally, and not the president of the U.S. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). About FDR he says
“For a while, there was what I believe to be a canard circulating that President Roosevelt deliberately allowed the attack to take place so as to draw the United States into the war….I have had to discount the Roosevelt theory on the basis of pure logic. Granted even that Roosevelt might have welcomed an attack as a means of coercing the American people to unity in a war he was sure must come sooner or later, he still could have accomplished the same result by alerting his armed forces to the eventuality….there was no need for a defeat to accomplish this. No need to sacrifice the American Pacific fleet and thousands of soldiers, sailors and civilians on 7 December.
Popov’s book raises various interesting issues. Whoever heard or read Popov’s warning must have discounted it. Why? J. Edgar Hoover had thrown Popov out of his office (partly because Popov had carried on with other women despite being married), but Popov did submit the documentation for his warning. Maybe since Hoover did not like or respect the person who was his source of information, he ignored the information. Another reason people dismiss evidence is that they have a rigid theory or expectation, and the evidence doesn’t fit their expectation. In the same war (World War II), Stalin, the leader of Russia, refused to believe his own spy that Germany would invade Russia. There is an entire blog unheededwarnings.wordpress.com that discusses this and other examples of disasters that resulted from not heeding warnings. (full disclosure, I am the author of that blog too).
We all discount information on a regular basis. For instance, the half of the voters in the U.S. that just voted for Joe Biden for president discounted reports that he enriched himself and his family by selling ‘access’ to foreign companies and governments. Some of those voters probably never heard of this accusation, but if they did, it did not prevent them from voting for him. There was disturbing information about Trump too, when he was first elected, and plenty of disturbing info on the candidate he was running against (Hillary Clinton). It was either discounted or it didn’t reach their voters.
Its an interesting issue.
Dusko Popov Attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec 7, 1941
The Real Spies Who Inspired James Bond Are Far More Fascinating Than the Big Screen 007s
One secret agent is said to have actually emerged from the ocean and removed his wetsuit to reveal a tuxedo underneath.
From piloting an underwater Lotus to fighting in space with laser guns, the James Bond we've seen in the movies is a figment of Hollywood imagination. The character as he was originally imagined by author Ian Fleming is much more grounded in reality. In fact, though Bond is not an actual historical figure, the agent does happen to have some real-world inspirations. Even his 007 designation has some historical significance.
It all goes back to Fleming. Before creating Bond in 1953, Fleming served as a commander in the British Naval Intelligence during WWII. The author was a personal assistant to Admiral John Godfrey, the director of the Naval Intelligence Division for the U.K. Many of the characters in Fleming&rsquos stories are said to be based on his colleagues during the war&ndashincluding Godfrey, who is widely speculated to have been the inspiration for the MI6 director in the series, M (and apparently, Godfrey wasn&rsquot too happy about that, according to A Brief Guide to James Bond by Nigel Cawthorne ).
The author drew influence from prominent ornithologists (yes, bird experts) and, of course, legendary spies from across the world. The Guardian reports that Auric Goldfinger, for instance, was inspired by the well-known Hungarian architect Erno Goldfinger, who Fleming apparently disliked. When the real Goldfinger found out he was the bad guy in Fleming&rsquos novel, the architect tried to sue the book's publisher. They settled out of court, but Fleming was so mad he nearly changed the name to &ldquoGoldprick&rdquo in response.
Today, the Bond canon extends far beyond the writing of Ian Fleming. But the characters he created, including Bond himself, still bear some striking resemblances to the super spies and government sleuths that Fleming met in his time with British Naval Intelligence back in the mid 1900s.
James Bond&ndashthe Real James Bond
The real James Bond wasn&rsquot a super spy. He wasn&rsquot even a government employee. James Bond, or &ldquoBond, James,&rdquo as you&rsquod find him in the stacks of your local library, was an American ornithologist. A published authority on birds. He wrote the book Birds of the West Indies. Fleming, an avid bird watcher himself, loved the book as a kid. But that&rsquos not why he chose the name &ldquoJames Bond.&rdquo Fleming once said &ldquoI wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could find, &ldquoJames Bond&rdquo was much better than something more interesting, like &ldquoPeregrine Carruthers.&rdquo Exotic things would happen to and around him, but he would be a neutral figure &ndash an anonymous, blunt instrument wielded by a government department.&rsquo" He liked the name "Bond" because it was boring.
There&rsquos also some geographical significance to James Bond&rsquos bird book. Fleming was smitten by Jamaica, the island country of the West Indies where he would take up residence in his famous &ldquoGoldeneye&rdquo estate. The author wrote many of his most beloved Bond stories in Jamaica. Philly Voice writes that Fleming even hosted the real James Bond at his estate for lunch on one occasion. Apparently the real Bond was actually a rather dashing fellow, being described in the Voice article as having "Sean Connery" looks, charming, a real gentleman. And he went by Jim. Jim Bond.
Bond&rsquos 007 spy designation isn&rsquot just a random number either. Daily Beast reports that the legendary string of digits may actually has some huge historical significance for British Intelligence. Fleming was a student of spy history while serving in WWII. The author discovered a German diplomatic code that British codebreakers snagged during the First World War: 0-0-7-0. It's known as a triumph in military intelligence.
Like a lot of the details Fleming lifted for his espionage stories, the code got altered a bit. He gave it that shiny Bond polish. It became simply 007. Double O Seven.
Now, there are a lot of super spies in history that are cited as the &ldquoreal&rdquo James Bond. But it&rsquos hard to confirm who, exactly, served as the chief inspiration for Fleming, other than the ornithologist whom he found so perfectly boring.
There&rsquos Dusko Popov, a Serbian international man of mystery whose gambling legends may have inspired the big bets in Casino Royale. That&rsquos the very first Bond book. USA Today says Popov was ruthless, seductive, and played a killer game of Baccarat. Fleming apparently took notice of Popov&rsquos command of the Baccarat table. Popov wasn&rsquot just a fearless gambler, though. His wild life story includes legends of working for MI5, MI6, German Abwehr, the FBI, gaining knowledge of Pearl Harbor but being ignored by J. Edgar Hoover, and even tricking the Nazis about D-Day&ndashat least, that what USA Today reports is written about in a biography of the spy, Into the Lion's Mouth: The True Story of Dusko Popov.
James Charles Bond
Then there&rsquos a dude named James Charles Bond from Wales. He was a spy who served under Fleming in WWII, meaning the author must have been aware of the guy&rsquos &ldquoBond&rdquo last name. A BBC article from April 2019 reports on James Charles Bond&rsquos family&rsquos decision to put &ldquo007&rdquo on their grandfather&rsquos tombstone. A family member tells BBC, &ldquoGrandfather took my cousin Jenny when she was a teenager by the hand one day saying, 'Believe me when I tell you, I am the real James Bond'. Nothing more was said and no questions were asked.'"
A Canadian Bond and the many other "real" Bonds
There&rsquos even a Canadian Bond! Sir William Stephenson. He&rsquos another Popov type with an unbelievable, almost absurd history. This Canadian-born guy was boxing champion, WWI ace pilot, inventor, and millionaire businessman. He later became a super spy for the Brits. You can read all about him in this archived NY Times obituary.
It doesn&rsquot stop there, though. There are so many articles, books, documentaries, and TV specials about real spies who should get all the credit for being James Bond. Do a Google search for &ldquoThe real James Bond&rdquo so you can see for yourself. Some think Bond is based on a spy with the codename &ldquoWhite Rabbit.&rdquo Daily Mail says this guy escaped from a Russian captivity in World War I, and "evaded evaded capture by the Nazis by hiding in a hearse."
"Biffy Dunderdale" is another name you see come up a lot. He was another eccentric British operative who is said to have been a close friend of Fleming. There's an insane story in the Sydney Morning Herald that depicts Dunderdale emerging from the ocean, peeling off his wet suit to reveal a tuxedo, just like the famous scene in Goldfinger. I really hope that one's true (sounds fishy to me though&ndashsorry for the pun). I also wish we lived in a world where Fleming had named Bond &ldquoDunderdale. Biffy Dunderdale.&rdquo
A lot of these spy stories are alluring, but don't be fooled by the headlines that say &ldquoThis is the REAL James Bond.&rdquo Fleming was clearly influenced by a wide swath of legends in British and international intelligence history&ndashnot just one dude.