A writer’s dream come true (or: The real James Bond is a novelist)

deceptionre-1343938088-39Before Bond, there was a Brit named Dennis Wheatley. Wheatley, however, had a few things going for him that Bond didn’t. Paramount amongst these factors was the fact that he was, well, real. In her new book, D For Deception, Tina Rosenberg discribes the fascinating true story of novelist Dennis Wheatley, who during  World War II was called upon by the British government to undertake a mission – should he choose to accept it – that was probably not unlike missions undertaken by his characters, and fulfilled what to my mind seems like the absolute coolest opportunity – for the most unlikely person – in history (this is roughly akin to a stoner friend of mine who was offered a surprisingly well-paying job trimming pot plants at a legal dispensary in California – we had to scrape him off the ceiling).

Wheatley’s task was to perpetrate a disinformation campaign against the Germans, and through this deceive them about the date and location of the Allied invasion on D-Day. The primary intended target of the campaign was just one man – the Furer himself. Hitler. This has been referred to by some as the coolest homework assignment ever. Rosenberg spoke to Scott Horton of Harper’s about the book:

Deception worked like this: First, Wheatley and his colleagues drew up a cover story (“story” is actually the term of art) for each operation — what they wanted Hitler to believe. Then they began to scatter crumbs for the Nazis to find. Wheatley created enormous charts detailing what lies to tell on what date, and through what channel.  Diplomatic gossip? False reports by double agents?  Physical means such as “losing” a rucksack or a dead body? Nothing too direct or it wouldn’t be believable — the Germans had to gradually construct the story themselves.

That is how to write a deception plan. It’s also how to write a novel.  The biggest difference was that instead of writing for millions of readers, Wheatley was writing for just one.

Andrew Sullivan of The Dish blog at The Daily Beast makes this story that much more delicious by adding:

And, as Rosenberg notes, “the deception plans he wrote to trick Hitler were in many ways echoes of his Gregory Sallust stories, which were all set against the backdrop of real events.” While on staff, Wheatley worked with a young intelligence officer named Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond series, which premiered in 1953.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

John Hively's Blog: News and Analysis of the War Against the Middle Class

By The World's Most Accurate Economic Forecaster Since 1989.

Digestible Politics

Politics Made Easy!

The PEEL Literary Arts Magazine

your voice. your vision.

the first casualty.

irregular digressions into politics, media, and tech

The Secular Jurist

Social commentary from a perspective of moral secularism

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.

Regaining the Center

Commentary on the Politics of Division

gunsdrugsandinsanity

Ending government prohibition on guns and drugs.

The Political Equation

The intersection of data and intuition

%d bloggers like this: