SPECTRE Organizational Chart

When Ian Fleming introduces us to SPECTRE in Thunderball, we get our most detailed listing of the organization and how it is structured.

Fleming says there are 20 full members under Blofeld, with six three-man sections plus experts Kotze and Maslov.

There is one item of confusion for me, Fleming says there were 20 men (not counting Blofeld) in attendance for the briefing behind the facade of F.I.R.C.O., but we learn that No. 1, Largo, is already on location in the Bahamas.

The twenty men who looked up the long table at this man and waited patiently for him to speak were a curious mixture of national types. But they had certain characteristics in common. They were all in the thirty-to-forty age-group, they all looked extremely fit, and nearly all of them—there were two who were different—had quick, hard, predatory eyes, the eyes of the wolves and the hawks that prey upon the herd. The two who were different were both scientists with scientists’ other-worldly eyes—Kotze, the East German physicist who had come over to the West five years before and had exchanged his secrets for a modest pension and retirement in Switzerland, and Maslov, formerly Kandinsky, the Polish electronics expert who, in 1956, had resigned as head of the radio research department of Philips AG of Eindhoven and had then disappeared into obscurity. The other eighteen men consisted of cells of three (Blofeld accepted the Communist triangle system for security reasons) from six national groups and, within these groups, from six of the world’s great criminal and subversive organizations. There were three Sicilians from the top echelon of the Unione Siciliano, the Mafia; three Corsican Frenchmen from the Union Corse, the secret society contemporary with and similar to the Mafia that runs nearly all organized crime in France; three former members of SMERSH, the Soviet organization for the execution of traitors and enemies of the State that had been disbanded on the orders of Khrushchev in 1958 and replaced by the Special Executive Department of the M.W.D.; three of the top surviving members of the former Sonderdienst of the Gestapo; three tough Yugoslav operatives who had resigned from Marshal Tito’s Secret Police, and three highland Turks (the Turks of the plains are no good) formerly members of Blofeld’s RAHIR and subsequently responsible for KRYSTAL, the important Middle Eastern pipeline whose outlet is Beirut.

Here is the breakdown of men, as best as I can determine:

Corsican Section
#7 Marius Domingue
#12 Pierre Borraud (executed)
?

Sicilian Section
#1 Emilio Largo
#4 Fonda
#? Fidelio Sciacca

Russian (SMERSH) Section
#10 Strelik (executed on Disco)
#11
?

German (Gestapo) Section
#? Bruno Bayer
#6 (Kills Lippe)
#14

 Yugoslav (Tito’s) Section

#17? (exposes Domino)
?
?

Highland Turks
?
?
?

RAHIR
?
?
?

#5 Kotze (East German Physicist)
#18 Maslov/Kandinsky (Polish Electronics Expert)

Others:

Sub-Operator G (Count Lippe)
Sub-Operator 52
Sub-Operator 201

Crew of Disco Volante are all Sub-Operators

Vanguard Tobaccoless Cigarette

In Thunderball, after James Bond has taken the “nature cure” he has also adjusted his smoking habits. But there was one brand that just didn’t work out for him.

The Dukes tasted of almost nothing, but they were at least better than Vanguards, the new ‘tobaccoless’ from America that despite its health-protecting qualities, filled the room with a faint ‘burning leaves’ smell that made visitors to his office inquire whether ‘something was on fire somewhere.’

The Vanguard was a real product, introduced during the early stages of the creation of Thunderball. The cigarette was actually very controversial, as “big tobacco” viewed it as a threat and did all it could to suppress the introduction of it.

From the Tobacco Timeline:

1959-Fall: The “Vanguard Issue.” Vanguard was a tobaccoless smoke introduced in the Fall of 1959. The product’s creator, Bantop Products Corporation of Bay Shore, Long Island, immediately ran into problems advertising it. Bantop claimed the tobacco industry conspired to prevent its “Now Smoke Without Fear” ads. In the New York metropolitan area, for example, only one newspaper would accept the ads. (ASG)

Here is a look at the Vanguard and the claims it was making:

Download the PDF file .

During the 1950’s, tobacco advertising was omnipresent, and made big dollars for Madison Avenue. As various studies were made and questions raised about the health effects of smoking, the industry fought back with various insidious tactics of its own, from doing their own “studies” and carefully finding ways around regulations that were put into place as far as the claims that could be made in cigarette advertising.

When Vanguard was announced, the maker of the product found that it could not get advertisements for the cigarette published. They charged that big tobacco was exerting pressure on outlets to not carry the ads for Vanguard.

This was the subject of an article in the October 2, 1959 issue of Advertising Week

Download the PDF file .

It’s an interesting history for a product that never really made the big time, but is forever immortalized in an Ian Fleming James Bond novel.

There have been other cigarettes named Vanguard, both tobacco and electronic, but the above brand is the one Fleming was referencing in the book.

Old Fashioned

old-fashioned-glass

On the Phantom train with Solitaire in Live and Let Die, they get settled in after boarding.

Bond ordered Old Fashioneds, and stipulated ‘Old Grandad’ Bourbon, chicken sandwiches, and decaffeined ‘Sanka’ coffee so that their sleep would not be spoilt.

In Thunderball, after a long first day (and before a long night) arriving in the Bahamas and searching for clues, James Bond via room service, orders a “double Bourbon Old Fashioned” before collapsing on his bed.

The Old Fashioned is essentially a way to give Bourbon some flavor with bitters (usually Angostura) and some sweetness with sugar and fruit.

old-fashioned

The roots of the cocktail can be traced back to the early days of the 19th century when drinks of spirits, bitters sugar and water become popular. In time, other ingredients were added to the cocktail, but eventually the original came back into popularity as people began requesting the “Old Fashioned” version.

Bourbon

This page will be updated as we go through the novels)

This Kentucky-based barrel-aged whisky seems to be a Bond staple when abroad.

bourbon-barrelsAn observation can be made about Bond’s drinking preferences and habits. He’ll drink a martini at a bar or restaurant or when in company, while when drinking alone or in his hotel room, he often has bourbon.

He has a few favorite brands that are specifically mentioned throughout the series. These each have their own page:

I.W. Harper’s
Jack Daniels (coming)
Walker’s DeLuxe
Old Grandad
Virginia Gentleman

Here are other references to Bond drinking Bourbon throughout the series.

In Live and Let Die, Bond orders Old Fashions on the Silver Phantom, stipulating Old Grandad Bourbon. Before meeting up with The Robber, he has a quarter of a pint of Old Grandad with his steak dinner, and  later has two double Old Grandads on the rocks while preparing to leave Tampa.

Throughout Diamonds are Forever, Bond consumes Bourbon and Bourbon and Branch water.

The opening chapter of Goldfinger is entitled REFLECTIONS IN A DOUBLE BOURBON and Bond has several before heading out with Mr Dupont.

In Thunderball, after finding the plane, Bond goes back to his room and orders a “club sandwich and double bourbon on the rocks” before phoning Domino.

In The Spy Who Loved Me, Vivienne Michel is consuming the last of her bottle of Virginia Gentleman bourbon as the story gets going.

In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, while at Piz Gloria, Bond sits next to Ruby at dinner, who is having a Daiquiri, and Bond orders a double Bourbon on the rocks.

After Tracy gives Bond a detailed description of what she had for dinner, Bond tells her over the phone that “I had two ham sandwiches with stacks of mustard and half a pint of Harper’s Bourbon on the rocks.The bourbon was better than the ham.”

When Bond meets Marc-Ange to discuss the commando job on Piz Gloria, he “poured himself a stiff Jack Daniel’s sourmash bourbon on the rocks and added some water.”

In You Only Live Twice, Bond, while at the Miyako hotel in Kyoto, Bond orders “a pint of Jack Daniels and a double portion of eggs Benedict to be brought up to his room.”

Fleming himself preferred bourbon to scotch. He had the notion that it was somehow better for his heart as he explained to Richard Hughes: ‘The muscles expand under bourbon; Dikko, but they contract under scotch. ‘ He also suggested that bourbon counteracted the ill-effects of the nicotine in the many cigarettes that he smoked each day. (Foreign Devil: Thirty Years Of Reporting In The Far East by Richard Hughes)

Sadly, history proves out that Mr Fleming’s theories were perhaps not accurate in this case, at least.

Spectre Before S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

Even before it became the name of perhaps the most famous criminal organization in fiction in the novel Thunderball, Ian Fleming liked the word “spectre”.

This interesting little word, according to Collins English Dictionary can be defined thusly:

spectre (ˈspɛktəor specter

n

1. (Alternative Belief Systems) a ghost; phantom; apparition
2. a mental image of something unpleasant or menacing: the spectre of redundancy.

The usage of the word had declined and actually reached its lowest point during the time that Fleming started using it:

As you can see, it has increased somewhat in use since that time.

Here are some instances in which Fleming used it prior to Thunderball, when it became the abbreviation for the SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. 

Here are some examples of its use:

Live and Let Die:

The great grey football of a head under the hurricane lamp looked like an elemental, a malignant spectre from the centre of the earth, as it hung in mid air, the golden eyes blazing steadily, the great body in shadow.

Diamonds Are Forever:

Spectreville. The Spectre Range. In total throughout the book there are 11 mentions of the two of these.

From Russia With Love:

Kronsteen…had sweated away a pound of weight in the last two hours and ten minutes, and the spectre of a false move still had one hand at his throat.

The decoding machine which is the MacGuffin of the novel is called a Spektor. (17 mentions)

Goldfinger:

Bond walked slowly up to the putt, knocking Goldfinger’s ball away. Come on, you bloody fool! But the spectre of the big swing – from an almost certain one up to a possible one down – made Bond wish the ball into the hole instead of tapping it in.

Despite the chart above, I don’t actually know how commonly this word was used in every day language. From here, it seems like a rather obscure word, which Fleming liked the sound, sight and meaning of, and enjoyed using it whenever he could, even a variation on the word in Spektor. He also used the variations Spectral and Spectrally on occasion. (also meaning ghostly)

Live and Let Die:

All through the centre of the state, the moss lent a dead, spectral feeling to the landscape.

Most of the tanks were dark, but in some a tiny strip of electric light glimmered spectrally and glinted on little fountains of bubbles…

…in the grey valleys they caught the light of the moon and waved spectrally

From Russia With Love:

The spectral eye of the nightlight cast its deep velvet sheen over the little room.

You Only Live Twice:

The poisons listed fall into six main categories: Deliriant. Symptoms: spectral illusions…

When the novel Thunderball came out, and all the controversy and eventual court case surrounding it, one of the items at issue was the criminal organization of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. and who actually came up with it. Kevin McClory claimed that he did and even later named his company Spectre Associates Inc.

From the outside, it would seem that Fleming had an affinity for the word, especially with his creation of the Spektor in From Russia With Love, and it would seem reasonable that it was a creation of Flemings. Eventually, McClory was awarded the film rights to all of Thunderball, including S.P.E.C.T.R.E and Ernst Stavro Blofeld while Fleming retained the literary rights to these.

Boston

Residing as I do in the greater Boston area, I’m interested in the occasions when Ian Fleming brings James Bond close to my home. Unfortunately, in the novels at least, the only glimpse Bond gets of Boston is from the air. He does venture into New England, going into Vermont for the events of For Your Eyes Only, but for that trek, he flies into Montreal, not Boston.

Boston is city on the east coast of the United States, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The city is one of the oldest (settled in 1630) in America and the site of much rich history – including some of the earliest rebellions of the colonists against the British Empire. (We’re friends now though, right?) Fleming mentions the city in three of the novels.

In Live and Let Die the city is used as part of Bond’s cover while on assignment:

He was given a military haircut and was told that he was a New Englander from Boston and that he was on holiday from his job with the London office of the Guaranty Trust Company.

In Diamonds Are Forever, Bond gets a brief view of the city as he flies into New York.

And then there were three hours when the plane hung dead-steady in the middle of the world, and only the patches of bright sunshine swaying slowly a few inches up and down the walls of the cabin gave a sense of motion. But at last there was the great sprawl of Boston below them, and then the bold pattern of a clover-leaf on the New Jersey Turnpike, and Bond’s ears began to block with the slow descent towards the pall of haze that was the suburbs of New York.

Finally, in Thunderball the city is mentioned simply as a geographical marker:

Bond said, “Did the American D.E.W. line pick it up—their Defense Early Warning system?”

“There’s a query on that. The only grain of evidence we’ve got. Apparently about five hundred miles east of Boston there was some evidence that a plane had peeled off the inward route to Idlewild and turned south. But that’s another big traffic lane—for the northern traffic from Montreal and Gander down to Bermuda and the Bahamas and South America. So these D.E.W. operators just put it down as a B.O.A.C. or Trans-Canada plane.”

Actually it was the DISTANT Early Warning system, but I’ll give Mr Fleming the benefit of the doubt and say he was being dramatic. Also, the hijacker of the Vindicator, Giuseppe Petacchi notes his location in relation to Boston while delivering the plane to S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

The coastline of America should be on the screen by now. He got up and had a look. Yes, there, 500 miles away, was the coastline map already in high definition, the bulge that was Boston, and the silvery creek of the Hudson River.

And that’s it. I’m just glad Boston was on Fleming’s radar – no pun intended – while he was writing the Bond novels.

Gordon’s Gin

In Casino Royale, when James Bond first orders his famous martini, later to be called The Vesper, he specifies “three measures of Gordon’s.”

Earlier in the book, Bond overhears some people at the bar:

‘Moi, j’adore le “Dry”,’ (Me, I like the “dry”)  a bright-faced girl at the next table said to her companion, too neat in his unseasonable tweeds, who gazed at her with moist brown eyes over the top of an expensive shooting-stick from Hermes, ‘fait avec du Gordon’s, bien entendu.’ (made with gordon’s, of course.)

‘D’accord, Daisy. Mais tu sais, un zeste de citron . . .’
(I agree Daisy. But you know a piece of lemon peel…)

It appears Bond is not the only one who prefers Gordon’s in his dry martini.

In Thunderball, when Felix Leiter is giving his lecture to the barman on bar profits, he notes that One bottle of Gordon’s Gin contains 16 true measures double measures that is, the only ones I drink.

In Risico, when meeting Kristatos, Bond is specific in ordering his drink:

Bond nodded. “A Negroni. With Gordon’s, please.”

The waiter walked back to the bar. “Negroni. Uno. Gordon’s.”

These are the only occasions in the Ian Fleming novels where Gordon’s is mentioned. The context of how the brand is mentioned however, surely indicates that it was a preferred brand of Bond’s.

Gordon’s was first made in 1769 by Alexander Gordon, and according to the brand website, the recipe – a tightly guarded secret – remains the same today.

SpringGordons

54gordingin

 

Phensic (and Enos)

Back in his office on the morning after his night battling Sir Hugo Drax at the bridge table at Blades in Moonraker, James Bond is feeling the effects of his alcohol and benzedrine consumption of the night before. He then seeks relief.

His headache was still sitting over his right eye as if it had been nailed there. He opened one of the drawers of his desk and took out a bottle of Phensic. He considered asking his secretary for a glass of water, but he disliked being cossetted. With distaste he crunched two tablets between his teeth and swallowed down the harsh powder.

In Thunderball, after recovering from his 11 whiskies and soda from the night before, he also turns to Phensic.

Bond swallowed down two Phensics and reached for the Enos.

Apparently when James Bond has a headache, he turns to Phensic, a product that is a combination of aspirin and caffeine. Also mentioned in the second example is Enos – I’m assuming he’s referring to Eno – an effervescent heartburn/indigestion remedy consisting of sodium bicarbonate, citric acid and anhydrous sodium carbonate to neutralize stomach acid.

phensiceno-life-01-21-1952-101-M5

 

 

 

 

 

Kruschen Salts

In Thunderball, James Bond has just been told by M that he is being sent to Shrublands for a two-week course of treatment. As the leaves the office, he vents to Moneypenny, who explains that M himself had recently taken the treatment, and this has been the result.

Anyway, that’s what’s happened and I must say I’ve never seen him in such wonderful form. He’s absolutely rejuvenated.”

“He looked like that blasted man in the old Kruschen Salts advertisements. But why does he pick on me to go to this nuthouse?”

Kruschen Salts are a mixture of six salts and citric acid, used as a digestive cleanser, to eliminate toxins from the body and to keep regular. People with Gout or Rheumatoid Arthritis also use it to alkalinise their bodies.

I can’t be sure that this is the one that Bond is referring to, but it seems to fit.

kruschen-salts

He couldn’t have meant this one, could he?

kruschen-salts-2

Brandy

Page will be updated as we go through the novels.

There are times James Bond drinks brandy, or even a (few) brandy and soda(s) or ginger ale.

For the latter, he seems to drink them when flying, or getting ready to fly. Perhaps the ginger ale is for his stomach?

In Casino Royale, when Bond and Vesper have their first dinner at the inn following Bond’s recovery, they finish their meal with coffee and brandy.

In Moonraker, when playing cards at Blades, large balloon glasses of brandy, along with coffee, are served at the tables. After Bond tries the brandy, M says:

“Comes from one of the Rothschild estates at Cognac. About a hundred years ago one of the family bequeathed us a barrel of it every year in perpetuity. During the war they hid a barrel for us every year and then sent us over the whole lot in 1945. Ever since then we’ve been drinking doubles.

Also, when Bond and Gala Brand are returning from having a cliff face dropped on them, they head off to a local inn where Gala has two, and Bond has three brandy and sodas.

In Thunderball, after his experience on “the rack,” Patricia Fearing sneaks Bond some Brandy as a “stimulant.” Bond drinks two glasses, over ice.

In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, while in character as Sir Hilary Bray, as he is waiting to depart for Switzerland,

Bond had a double brandy and ginger ale and stood aloof from the handful of other privileged passengers in the gracious lounge, trying to feel like a baronet. 

Bond then has another just prior to takeoff.

When Bond has escaped and has gotten back to London, he instructs Mary Goodnight to have May brew him “plenty of black coffee and to pour two jiggers of our best brandy into the pot.”

After the assault on Piz Gloria, Bond finds himself in the hands of the Red Cross, being treated for his injuries, and the Red Cross man “produced a flask of brandy out of his box and offered it to Bond. Bond gratefully took a long swig.”

In You Only Live Twice, on his way to Japan via J.A.L., Bond “ordered the first in a chain of brandies and ginger ales that was to sustain him over the Channel, a leg of the North Sea, the Kattegat , the Arctic Ocean, the Beaufort Sea, the Bering sea, and the North Pacific Ocean…

In Octopussy, the brandy and ginger ale “the drunkard’s drink” is the drink of choice for Major Dexter Smythe, who has them invariably “stiff” – “almost fifty-fifty” beginning at 10:30 am.

Brandy-and-Soda