A variety of James Bond themed
activities and talks will be held at Bletchley
Park in August to celebrate the Ian Fleming centenary...
From Bletchley, With Love
16th February 2008
From Bletchley, With Love - Ian Fleming Birth Centenary, ‘Operation
Ruthless’ and the Real James Bonds of Bletchley Park – Bank
Holiday Monday 25th August 2008
On 25th August 2008, Bletchley Park will
be celebrating the Centenary
of the Birth of Ian Fleming and
his famous wartime connection with Bletchley Park with
a whole host of Spy and Double Agent Activities, Talks
The ‘Falling Rocks’ RAF Parachute Display Team
will be making a spectacular descent into the Park – James
Bond style; visitors will be dazzled by the largest display
of Aston Martins Bletchley has ever seen and will get the
opportunity to be photographed with the Vanquish featured
in ‘Die Another Day’.
Above: Bletchley Park will host a
variety of James Bond themed activities and talks to celebrate
the Ian Fleming centenary.
Amongst lots of other exciting exhibitions will be
the original intercepted decrypts from World War Two German Secret
Service messages about their ‘spies’ in Britain,
some genuine ‘Suitcase’ Spy-Sets used by the real
British spies in World War Two and a brand new exhibition featuring
the real Double Agents of World War Two. Activities for the event
will include Spy Workshops and Spy Trails along with James Bond
type model speedboats on the Lake.
One of the featured Talks
will be a fascinating account from Michael Smith, Military Correspondent
for the Daily Telegraph and author of ‘Station X’; ‘Emperor's
Code’s; ‘Action This Day’ and ‘The British
Spies - the Real James Bonds', explaining the links between Ian
Fleming, Bletchley Park and MI6.
Ian Fleming & Bletchley Park
By 1940 the greatest threat
to the Allies was U-boat attacks on North Atlantic convoys. If
the Allies could discover in advance where U-boat packs were
assembling, they could direct convoys away from them. The German
Naval Enigma was not being broken, therefore it was essential
that current German Naval Enigma material should be captured
from their ships. On 12 September 1940, Lieutenant Commander
Ian Fleming RNVR, Personal Assistant to the Director of Naval
Intelligence, concocted an extraordinary plan to crash-land a
captured German plane in the English channel and overpower the
patrol boat crew that came to rescue its ”survivors”,
thereby gaining access to Enigma materials.
Fleming’s proposal, Codename ‘Operation Ruthless’ was
I suggest we obtain the loot by the following means:
- Obtain from Air Ministry
an air-worthy German bomber.
- Pick a tough crew of five, including a pilot,
W/T operator and word-perfect German speaker. Dress
them in German Air Force uniform, add blood and bandages
- Crash plane in the Channel after making S.O.S. to rescue
- Once aboard rescue boat, shoot German crew, dump
overboard, bring rescue boat back to English port.
to increase the chances of capturing an R. or M. (Räumboot – a
small minesweeper; Minensuchboot – a large minesweeper) with its richer
booty, the crash might be staged in mid-Channel. The Germans would presumably
employ one of this type for the longer and more hazardous journey.
Ian Fleming later added other details to the plan:
N.B. Since attackers will be wearing enemy uniform, they will
be liable to be shot as franc-tireurs if captured, and incident
might be fruitful field for propaganda. Attackers' story will
therefore be "that it was done for a lark by a group of
young hot-heads who thought the war was too tame and wanted
to have a go at the Germans. They had stolen plane and equipment
and had expected to get into trouble when they got back".
This will prevent suspicions that party was after more valuable
booty than a rescue boat. Fleming added that the pilot should
be a ‘tough bachelor able to swim’; and that a
German-speaker would also be needed to travel on the bomber.
He put his own name forward.
‘Operation Ruthless’ was quickly
given the go-ahead; a plane and crew were procured and Fleming
traveled down to
Dover to put it into practice. However, to the deep frustration
of the Bletchley Park Codebreakers, the plan was abandoned due
to the lack of suitable German boats operating at night.
Frank Birch, Head of German Naval Section at Bletchley Park
lamented that “Turing and Twinn (both key Codebreakers
at Bletchley Park) came to me like undertakers cheated of a nice
corpse …all in a stew about the cancellation of Operation
Ruthless”. It now seemed that only the Naval equivalent
of a miracle would enable the Codebreakers to break into Naval
Enigma but the prolific genius of Ian Fleming for writing spy
plots had been born.
Event: "From Bletchley, With Love"
Venue: Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, UK
Date: Monday 25th August 2008
Time: 10:30 to 17:30
For further information visit bletchleypark.org.uk
Fleming Centenary Plans