Monday, 29 June 2015

The Real James Bond, Dalziel-Job and his adventure in Wartime Norway, 1940, Part 1

Every war brings out brave characters and World War Two is no exception. What many people do not know is that the inspiration for James Bond, the spy created by Ian Fleming was based on real people that he met during that conflict. One of the more exciting and likely sources for Ian Fleming’s iconic character is Patrick Dalziel – Job. Indeed it is fair to say that his adventures during the Second World War are every bit as exciting and dangerous as his fictional counter part.

Born in Scotland he travels widely during his youth including spending two years in Norway from 1937 to 1939. He also happens to be the son of a distinguished army officer who dies in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. As a result of these formative experiences he develops a tough, independent, rugged character with a very firm resolve.

All of this proves to be good use when war breaks out. Right away he joins the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Soon he is serving as Navigating Officer on a Fleet Tug operating from Scapa Flow in Norway from January to March 1940 and then from April until June as part of the Allied North-West Expeditionary Force.

This force is in Norway because for the Allies and the Nazis it is seen as being of great strategic value. Most notably it has considerable mineral resources. In addition control of Norway’s extensive coastline is very important in the battle for control of the North Sea and easing the passage of German warships and submarines into the Atlantic. Lastly control of Norway also aids Germany’s ability to import iron ore from Sweden. In fact at the start of the war, Germany imported about 10 million tons of iron ore from Sweden, much of it through Narvik during the cold winter months.

Both sides desperately wanted Norway but prevarication on the part of the British means that just as the Allied forces are about to invade the Germans rush ahead and get there before them.

This is the grave situation Dalziel-Job thrusts himself into and yet it is in this role that his talent is first displayed as time and time again he shows great guile, daring and determination to succeed against all odds. The first task he is involved with is helping to organise the landing of the Allied North-West Expeditionary Force in Norway, using mainly small local craft.

He quickly proved his worth. Not a single life is lost despite German bombing throughout. After this task is completed, Dalzel-Job is congratulated by "Ginger" Boyle (the 12th Earl of Cork and Orrery), Flag Officer Norway, with the words: "You are a lad after my own heart." For the next task Dalziel-Job helps out at the port of Narvik when it comes under attack from the Germans.

This is a big responsibility. Many civilians live there. Narvik also holds  great strategic value. Whilst nine million tons of iron ore comes from north Sweden via the port of LuleĆ„ during the winter months it freezes over whilst the Norwegian port of Narvik does not. Therefore control of Narvik, in the north of Norway, will ensure continuous transportation of iron ore into Germany.

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The Real James Bond, Dalziel-Job and his adventures in Wartime Norway, 1940, Part 2