Brigadier Colin Gubbins was M, the Special
Operations Executive was his Secret Service, Professor
was Q and Captain Gus March-Phillips commanded ‘Maid
of Honor Force’, the team of ‘James Bonds’ who,
in a daring operation, sailed a Q ship to West Africa and
stole three enemy ships from a neutral Spanish port on
the volcanic island of Fernando Po.
Ian Fleming worked
closely with M to oil the wheels that made the operation
possible, and prepared the cover story, in which the British
Government lied in order to conceal British responsibility
for the raid. M’s agents prepared the ground on Fernando
Po, even enmeshing the Governor in a honey trap. March-Phillips
and his team carried out the raid successfully in January
1942, despite much opposition from the local regular Army
and Navy commanders, and in the face of overwhelming odds.
Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden told Fleming’s lies
on the international stage, denying any British complicity
in the operation. As a result, a secrecy embargo enveloped
Operation POSTMASTER until recently.
About The Author
Brian Gordon Lett, an experienced criminal QC, proves
beyond doubt that this thrilling operation, and the men
who carried it out, were the inspiration for Fleming’s
Above: UK hardback cover art.