Monday, 29 May 2017

Post-War Crime III

I was fascinated by Poul Anderson's account in Murder In Black Letter of the revival of crime after World War II. See here and earlier. Anderson focused on the US Army in Italy. Comparisons with Ian Fleming made me realize how many of the latter author's villains are "post-War":

Le Chiffre was a displaced person, claiming amnesia;
Hugo Drax, also claiming amnesia, is a Nazi continuing the War;
former Luftwaffe officers help Goldfinger;
von Hammerstien was Gestapo, then ran Batista's Counter-Intelligence;
there are ex-Gestapo men in SPECTRE which uses Communist cell organization;
Tanaka, now an ally and friend, had volunteered for kami-kaze.

WWII has a long shadow.

Additionally, James Bond once goes after Italian drug runners. Read Yamamura, Flandry and Bond.

3 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I would have included some comments about how Bond also had to contend with Soviet SMERSH agents (see esp. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE). These were villains I found more convincing than Blofeld and SPECTRE.

Sean

Paul Shackley said...

Sean,
I was concentrating on the post-War angle but, yes, the real world SMERSH operated during the War. Fictionally, Fleming had it continuing after the War.
Paul.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And the real world Soviet MVD and KGB were plenty SMERSH like! They too sent out hit squads to elmininate irritating persons, spread disinformation, and practiced aggressive intelligence operations and subversion, etc.

Sean