Saturday, 4 July 2015

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

The German land forces take Narvik during the early stages of World War Two without much difficulty and 3,000 troops are soon stationed there. Then British ships arrive and their infantry move eastwards and retake Narvik. Patrick then flouts orders and goes on a motorcycle straight into the town to meet the Mayor and warn him of the need to evacuate within the next 24 hours before the town is bombed by the Germans .

Patrick endures great hardship with unflagging spirits despite having barely any sleep at all. He is helped by some French Legionnaries. Patrick notes many are often half-drunk and willing to steal but they also have a tough character and are generous to a fault. One in particular sticks in his mind. He is a wounded man and yet shows his gentle nature despite his obvious pain and gives Patrick a cigarette to help him. Patrick does not even smoke but is so overwhelmed with gratitude he smokes his first and last ever cigarette .

Times runs out and the Germans strike hard. Two Norwegian coastal defence ships are sunk with only eight men surviving out of a crew of 182 on the ‘Eidsvoll’ ship. Such is the speed and shock of the attack on Narvik, the local garrison commander mistakenly assumes the German ships are actually British ships and the troops landing are there to help the Norwegians. When he finds that the troops are German, Colonel Sundlo, warns the Germans that he will order an attack in 30 minutes if they do not re-embark. However the German commander, Dietl holds firm and tells him this will only lead to needless bloodshed .

A standoff ensues but eventually Sundlo decides to capitulate and surrender the port. In so doing he takes a risk as he knows it might look cowardly. As soon as this happens Dalziel-Job’s particular role becomes evacuating the allied soldiers from the town as quick as possible. However he feels deeply troubled with his conscience at the thought of leaving behind all the civilians. It is at this point he shows his brave character by deciding to disobey orders to ‘not repeat not’ help the civilians .

Instead he makes use of his knowledge of the Norwegian coastline to facilitate the evacuation of the civilians too. On 2nd of June the Germans begin bombing with 23 bombers who proceed to set the town ablaze. When the Mayor and Patrick leave the town on to the last fishing boat on the harbour quay one Friday evening on the 7th June less than one hundred people remain in the town .

Far from this being the end of this particular adventure Patrick then has to deal with the aftermath of disobeying his orders. Not to be outdone though he next displays his cunning. According to his son Iain "He made sure he took the Major of Narvik back with him. He got the Norwegian King, who was based in London then, to present him with a medal, so he really couldn't be court marshalled after that .”

As if that did he would still be a war hero and yet afterward he still went on to do so much more. He learnt how to parachute, navigate using a miniature submarine and ski backwards and most excitingly get involved with the clandestine undercover 30AU unit . It is here he is introduced to Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond novels and takes on various missions deep within Nazi held territory. One of the commanders in the unit, Rear-Admiral Jan Aylen, later described Dalzel-Job as "one of the most enterprising, plucky and resourceful" people he had encountered during the war . Who knows what other great stories have been hidden away from us that were carried out whilst on ‘Her Majesty’s Secret Service’.

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