Reading Solo by William Boyd recently got me thinking. Specifically, I latched onto the Normandy flashback at the start, and wondered about what clues Ian Fleming gave about his creation’s war experiences. It is well known that the Bond character was based on a number of wartime secret agents and commandos with whom Fleming (a desk-bound naval intelligence officer) was acquainted, and it was with this in mind that I realised that in Fleming’s novels the Second World War is for the most part conspicuous by its absence. From the start, Bond was introduced as a secret agent of the Cold War, with little detail given about how he came to be where he was.
Curious, I delved into the books for details and came up with the following, which has been published on the James Bond Dossier website: