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Tuesday, May 5th 2020, 6:19pm

007 Is Born

Control tossed another beige file into his ‘Out’ tray and pressed the buzzer on his desk. After a moment two men entered his small office, one was Bill Hayden, a rising officer within SIS and beside him was a tall man, slim built with dark hair and Control noticed his right cheek had a 3-inch long duelling scar on his cheek. He looked slightly Germanic in appearance.

“Control, this is new man you wanted to interview. Commander Bond,” Hayden passed over the man’s personnel file.

“Hmmm,” Control looked at the cover before looking up at Hayden, “he’s no longer a naval officer, just Mr Bond will do. You had better sit down.” The two men sat, Bond looking a little askew at Hayden at the frosty reception.

“What do I call you, Sir?” Bond asked, his voice hard but having a tinge of Scots behind it.

Control glared at the officer, “Yes, you call me Sir. I wanted to speak to you following your recent assignment,” he flicks open Bond’s file, “you have quite an illustrious career I see. But the man is more important.” Control looked at Bond hard, “all these qualifications in the world don’t make the man and often a special kind of man is called for. The kind of man that even Scalphunters would shy away from, am I right Bill?” Control’s eyes fasten on Hayden who nods with a knowing smile.

Control glanced at the first page, “thrown out of Eton, hmmm no bad thing, on to Fettes, educated in Paris and Geneva, fluent in German and French, an orphan, no wife, a house in the King’s Road, an elderly spinster to keep house, athlete, sportsman, you’re marksmanship is good too I suppose?”

Bond nodded, “Yes Sir, rated highly, I am skilled in Judo and underwater swimming, I play golf too.”

“Well everyone has at least one bad fault,” Control grunts, “your marksmanship was eighty from a hundred, not bad. Well you have no ties, nothing in your background that could be used against you, and we’ve checked with the finest of tooth combs. Even if you are a man of impeccable qualifications we double-check. I know where you buy your tobacco, your favourite brand of claret, everything there is to know.”
Bond looked a little worried, he wasn’t sure if Control was always this gruff, he had heard rumours of course but few met the head of the Circus in person. And today’s duty was not something to Control’s taste, he hated violence for violence’s sake but it was a necessity to sometime use such men to choke off leaks or tackle the hardest of missions. He found it distasteful but that did not mean he would shy away from using such methods. Hayden too was attracted to that kind of daring elan. Control was now reading the operations report. Bond had joined the Royal Navy in 1941 as a Lieutenant and retired a Commander with experience of naval intelligence. Having joined SIS in 1946 he had risen through the ranks.

“Why did you kill that Japanese agent in New York?” Control asked.

Bond crossed his legs and opened his hands expressively, “He was a danger to the operation, he suspected my cover and we had a tussle as I caught him trying to gain access to one of our offices which was locked and he just happened to leave the thirty-sixth floor by other means than the lift.” Bond shrugged.

“Most careless of him,” Bill muttered as they shared a conspiratorial grin.

“And the man in Nordmark?” Control looked up again with his cold stare.

Bond raised his eyebrows briefly, “the man was a double-agent and he had betrayed two of my section and it was dangerous to let him go, had we lost him then he could have blown the entire network so I had to act fast before he could escape across the border. London agreed with my decision at the time Sir,” he added.

Control seemed satisfied and tossed the folders aside onto the desk. “We do what has to be done and you are a man who does not shy from that. In this dark world of ours that loyalty to our duty is precious. You realise that as an agent who has killed an adversary in the line of duty that you are entitled to a 00 designation, you will now move from your present duties and join 00 Section which reports directly to me. You will be sent on special assignments where an ordinary intelligence operation has uncovered activity too sensitive to be dealt with using ordinary procedures. You will be designated 007. Clear your desk and report to Miss Ponsonby tomorrow morning.”

Hayden passes over a form for Bond to sign, declaring his agreement never to divulge the existence of 00 Section and the usual small print disclaiming the Circus of any responsibility if he is ever caught or arrested for whatever an 00 agent may be called to do. Bond signs eagerly.

“When will I receive my first assignment Sir?” Bond asks, handing the form back to Hayden.

“When something suitable for your talents comes up,” Control nods, “congratulations Mr Bond.”


Tuesday, May 5th 2020, 7:00pm

Is it me or he is Control from A Bit of Fry and Laurie? If it is, it could be one of the most important crossover in the history of the humankind. And not only that but it will give the russians the upper hand when dealing with british inteligence.


Tuesday, May 5th 2020, 7:21pm

Is it me or he is Control from A Bit of Fry and Laurie? If it is, it could be one of the most important crossover in the history of the humankind.

I think he's rather a nod to Control from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (and associated works). I'm guessing the one from A Bit of Fry & Laurie is intended as a nod to the original. (Can't say for sure, I've not seen it.)


Tuesday, May 5th 2020, 7:40pm

Speaking OOC of course, I wonder where Mr. Bond's talents will prove useful. :whistling:


Tuesday, May 5th 2020, 7:41pm

I am afraid that I am in the complete opposite situation. Anyway since the Control of whose I am talking is a parody of many spies stereotypes (with an extra touch) is possible.


Saturday, May 9th 2020, 3:09pm

17 September
The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors was officially created today at a meeting of a number of academics at the Admiralty in London. Among the founding members were Frederic Bartlett, Donald Broadbent, W. E. Hick, Alan Welford, and J. S. Weiner. The organisation is a professional society for ergonomists, human factors specialists, and those involved in user-centred design.

19 September
The prototype Fairey Gannet, serial VR546, flew for the first time today. Designed to meet Spec. GR.17/45 for a carrier-based anti-submarine aircraft to be powered by a turboprop and capable of operation from small carriers the Gannet is powered by a 2,950ehp Armstrong Siddeley ASMD.1 Double Mamba turboprop. The pilot is seated well forward, conferring a good view over the nose for carrier operations. The Gannet has a large internal weapons bay in the fuselage and a retractable radome under the rear fuselage for ASV Mk VII search RDF. The gull-wing folds in two places to form a distinctive Z-shape on each side.

21 September
The second pair of the new Fleet Aerial Direction Escorts designed to vector carrier-based aircraft have commissioned with the Royal Navy. HMS Puma and Cheetah have joined the 2nd Carrier Squadron at Alexandria.

Two events occurred in Wales today; the first comprehensive school in Wales opened in Holyhead, Anglesey and a meteorite fell through the roof of the Prince Llewelyn Hotel in Beddgelert.


Sunday, May 24th 2020, 4:16pm

26 September
The prototype Avro 707, VX784, has sadly crashed killing its pilot, Flt. Lt. Eric ‘Red’ Esler. It is believed at this stage that the crash was caused by stalling after the airbrakes jammed in the open position at low speed. The aircraft had made its maiden flight earlier this month.

In other aeronautical news, BOAC has taken delivery of the first of 25 BCAC BC.2 Britannia Series 210 airliners for the transatlantic route. The Series 210 is a turboprop-powered variant of the Series 100 with the Armstrong Siddeley ASP.3 Python.

29 September
The BBC Television Service first broadcasts Come Dancing, a TV ballroom dancing competition show.

30 September
The final pair of the new Fleet Aerial Direction Escorts designed to vector carrier-based aircraft have commissioned with the Royal Navy. HMS Leopard and Lynx have joined the 5th Carrier Squadron at Singapore. Across the basin five new submarines also commissioned into service, HMS Oracle, Ocelot, Otus, Onyx and Orcus joining the 10th Submarine Flotilla. Both classes will strengthen British naval power in the region immeasurably.

The Singapore Red Cross has been founded today as part of the British Red Cross Society.


Saturday, June 13th 2020, 11:48am

2 October
At RAF Benson a parade of personnel marked the official standing-up of a new unit, the Radio-Location Reconnaissance Flight. The unit will fly Avro Lancasters on surveying duties.

6 October
The 6,300 ton Elder Dempster Line cargo ship Fantree struck the Flemish Ledges on the Seven Stones Reef en-route from West Africa to Liverpool via Amsterdam today carrying a cargo of hardwood, palm kernels, palm oil, cocoa, rubber, cotton, coffee beans and copal. Her crew of fifty-eight was rescued by the launches Kittern and Goldern Spray from the Isles of Scilly.

7 October
Former RAF pilot Freddie Bosworth has founded the Gulf Aviation Company in Bahrain to operate scheduled feeder services between some of the Gulf states alongside charter/air taxi services, aircraft handling services and flying training services.

8 October
The University of Malaya was established today in Singapore with the merger of the King Edward VII College of Medicine and Raffles College, both of these being established in the several decades ago. The University of Malaya is modelled on the British academic system and administrative structure and is open to all students of all races and religions in Malaya.
In 1938 the government appointed a commission under Sir William H. McLean to study higher education potential and progress in Malaya. The Commission concluded that Malaya was not ready to have a university and that a university college would be more suitable. In 1939 a Commission led by Justice Asquith studied the matter further and reached the same conclusion. In 1945 Dr Raymond Priestley, the Vice-Chancellor of Birmingham University, was invited by the British Malaya Government to continue the review of setting up a University for Malaya. The Priestly Commission also shared the same opinion to form a university college first. In 1947 the Secretary of State for the Colonies appointed Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders to chair another commission and initially shared the same opinion. However, after the report was completed but not yet submitted, Sir Alexander listened to the thoughts of the Alumni Association of the King Edward VII College and the Medical College Students Union and was impressed with the ideas of the President of the Students Union, Dr K. Shamugaratnam. The report was then amended to support the establishment of a university.

10 October
The Birmingham Small Arms Company has begun firing trials of their latest machine-gun design, the BESA Medium Machine Gun. The machine-gun is designed principally for use in armoured vehicles, either as a fixed co-axial weapon or as a pintle-mounted weapon for anti-aircraft use. As the Royal Armoured Corps supply chain is separate, the War Office decided to adopt a new cartridge for use in armoured vehicles, the 7.92mm x 57 Mauser. The BESA should enter full scale production in 1950.
The Sterling Armaments Company of Dagenham has recently also seen an upturn in production with orders for the 9mm Machine Carbine No.3 Mk.II submachine-gun. This is a variant of the Sterling fitted with a folding stock for use by parachute troops. British Airborne units have already received the first batch of weapons.


Sunday, July 5th 2020, 4:02pm

19 October
A party of journalists and steel industry representatives were at the new David Colville & Sons Limited plant at Ravenscraig, Scotland to witness the completion of the stripmill, the last stage of the £20 million construction programme. The works are now among the most modern in Britain and indeed Western Europe.

Another innovative delta-winged jet prototype has taken to British skies. The prototype Boulton Paul P.111, VT935, was piloted by Sqn Ldr J.S. Muller-Rowland on this first flight. Designed to meet Spec. E.27/46 for an experimental delta wing aircraft for transonic research in conjunction with the wider RAE Delta Wing Research Programme the small basic airframe is built around the RB.41 Nene and pilot on a Martin-Baker ejection seat. The cockpit and nose protrudes only 5ft ahead of the wing root and the tailpipe ends only 4ft aft of the wingroot trailing edge, a remarkably compact package. The delta wing has 45 degree leading-edge sweep with squared off tips about one-third of the root chord. Two extensions can be fitted to increase this further to one-sixth root chord or a full triangle pointed tip. The thickness-chord ratio is only 10:1. Full power-controls are fitted, four elevons and one rudder. An anti-spin parachute is also fitted. 230 gallons of fuel is carried in the wings which gives around 20 minutes of test flying time, plus time to climb to test altitude and let-down for approach.

20 October
Borneo Abaca Limited is still struggling to regain profitability but the busy years since 1945 with the introduction of rubber and palm plantations in Borneo along with new cocoa plantations continue. This year further palm oil plantations were planted in the Solomon Islands. It is estimated that by next year investment will total £5 million but some encouraging financial signs are starting to emerge.


Saturday, August 15th 2020, 11:39am

26 October
How Do You View?, a televison comedy series, starring Terry-Thomas, is first broadcast this evening on the BBC. The programme is based on an on-screen persona of Terry-Thomas as a glamorous, mischievous and discreetly cash-strapped man-about-town, introducing a series of sketches in which he also appears,alongside Peter Butterworth as his chauffeur, Janet Brown, Avril Angers, H.C. Walton as the family retainer, Moulting and Diana Dors. The programme is broadcast live.

3 November
The Foreign Office views with alarm the situation in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian peninsula. From seemingly stable conditions, events have conspired to cause instability and violence. Security has been stepped up along the Kenyan border and in Aden. The gunboats HMS Tarantula and HMS Gnat quietly slipped out of Port Said and arrived in Aden to support the flotilla of minesweepers based there. With them came a company of Royal Marines. The sloop HMS Slieve Donard left Mombasa to patrol the waters around the Horn, making sure that British shipping in the region is able to transit safely


Saturday, September 5th 2020, 12:01pm

12 November
The number of workforce deaths in the coal industry is reported to have fallen to a record low since nationalisation two years ago.

15 November
The College of Science at the University of Baghdad in Baghdad, Iraq has opened. It is the first scientific college to be established in Iraq. Its four departments cover mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology.

20 November
Anti-Aircraft Command has submitted a successor operational plan to Operation Igloo. The ambitious and modern defensive scheme is perhaps the most advanced yet conceived in the world. Given its ambitious technical nature it (like Operation Rotor) features several stages of development. The Stage Plan consists of:
Stage 1: Based around the new Orange Yeoman tactical control RDF controlling offsite batteries of Surface-to-Air Guided Weapons (SAGW). The supersonic SAGW will have a range of 20 miles and will replace the semi-experimental Brakemine. To be completed by 1957.
Stage 2: Based around a long-range 3-D search radar controlling batteries equipped with a 200 mile range SAGW. To be completed by 1960.
Stage 3: A new SAGW to counter high supersonic speed bomber targets flying at 90,000 feet. To be completed by 1965.
[Note this would be OOC knowledge at this time]

The Royal Navy today commissioned the new sloops HMS Luce Bay, Morecambe Bay, Mounts Bay and Pegwell Bay today with the 1st Sloop Flotilla at Pembroke, replacing four ageing Mountain Class sloops, which will be disposed of.

21 November
The prototype Percival P.66 President made its maiden flight today. The President is based on the successful Prince but featuring with a longer span wing and 5 inch wider fuselage for three abreast seating for 15 passengers. The President is effectively the civilian variant of the Pembroke which is entering RAF service for VIP and general transport roles to Specifcation C.18/46.


Saturday, September 12th 2020, 12:18pm

7 November

Sir Victor Mallet, the British Ambassador to Italy, was waiting in the opulent surroundings of the Chigi Palace to meet with Count Carlo Sforza, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Punctual as ever, he sat waiting to be called into the Minister's office. Not long after an official came and ushered him into to large room.
After the initial greetings and small talk about the chilly weather, Sir Victor opened his case and pulled out a folder. Sforza had a mountain of pressure on his head with events in Vlore and in the the East African State.

"So what brings you here Victor, i hope it is good news for a change."
Sir Victor smiled, "Yes, I can well imagine your headaches. My government shares your concerns. We are equally as concerned as you. As you well know the entire Red Sea area is becoming a vast tinder box, there are larger and more worrying developments that could occur."
The Count shrugged, "What can we do? Selassie is losing his grip, it was unfortunate that our Danish friends had to call on the French to help them out. I have heard that your government has moved troops to the Kenyan border. Does everyone think we that cannot handle the Waddaniyin?"
"I can assure you that our troop movements are not designed to interfere with your operations, we just don't want a general insurrection on our hands. We want to keep the violence contained. Whether you like it or not a full scale civil war looks highly likely, the consequences could be severe for both of our governments. Several governments are anti-colonialist, they would seek to intervene to weaken Italy's strength. The Americans would love to see the Middle East opened up for their commercial interests, Germany would likewise see Italian and British decline in the region as an advantage to them. It would not surprise me if Berlin does seek to become involved."
The Count frowned, "So many nations it seems are rather too interested in the actions of a rabble of Somali cutthroats. It will be difficult to dispense with Selassie, he is key to holding the Ethiopians together. But he has been intemperate of late, a little concession might not hurt to smooth the way, then we can take steps to make sure someone more useful replaces him."
Sir Victor shifted in his seat, "Selassie is the Emperor, the figurehead, Rome has always handled him at reasonable arm's length, your tenure in the EAS is similar to ours in Egypt and Iraq. The heavy hand can backfire, Selassie right now needs arms and money. My government sees two potential options, he could go to the League and ask for a multi-national security force. It would not be difficult to arrange an Italian-British-Dutch-Danish force, perhaps with France joining too. It would spread the political burden, Selassie might then be persuaded to give a little more internal freedom to the Somalis. The other option is to for us to loan you the money and equipment needed, which you could channel to Selassie. Then Rome would still be his benefactor. We could of course offer this directly but London feels this is less attractive than working in the background."
The Count thought a moment, "So Bevan is a more devious man that I gave him credit for, I suppose there would be - as you English say - strings attached?"
Sir Victor smiled, "well Mr Bevan is a socialist, what else would you expect? There might be one or two conditions, but we are offering to help you prop up your position one way or the other. Selassie might be tempted to go with a higher bidder for his loyalty."
The Count huffed, "I knew when I signed the Naples Agreement last year that the one-hundred and fifty million loan to buy my acquiescence to the status quo would come back to bite me."
Sir Victor smiled, "revolutionaries are poor men, its costs them nothing to overthrow governments. The status quo is an expensive luxury Count. There is no question of blackmail, you want to keep your influence and you need the money and arms to do it. All we are doing is supporting your government. You get the Pounds Sterling, Selassie receives it in Lira, he won't know where the money came from."
"But I will know Sir Victor! I need time to think this over, your League plan has potential, but I don't think the situation is quite that serious yet. The Defence Ministry assures me they will soon have the situation under control." He paused, "how much were you thinking of loaning to Selassie?"
Sir Victor shrugged, "five million, something of that order at the most, he isn't exactly the form rider is he? It is a gamble, we wouldn't want to lose our stake."
The Count scribbled some notes, "I agree, pay him too much and he might get greedy. Well I will think it over and discuss it with the Prime Minister and let you know in due course."
The Ambassador rose, "Always at your service Count, I hope at any rate that our offer will help to set your mind at ease if events deteriorate any further."


Thursday, September 17th 2020, 6:45pm

Operation NOMAD

Nikolai Andreev, alias Sergei Bulganov, alias BARONESS, had been busy. As an employee of Kartashov Neftyanaya Masterskaya, it had been fairly easy for him to get an appointment to meet with some of the senior engineers at the headquarters of Mineralöl Südost AG, a subsidiary of Kontinentale Öl AG. This company had prospecting and exploitation rights in the Matzen oilfield in Lower Austria. He wasted no time in showing brochures and samples of his company's drill bits and pumps, noting the technical specifications they wanted and sucking up the loose talk from the lavish lunch after the presentations. The fact that KNM was known to another Kontinentale Öl subsidiary , Baltische Öl GmbH, engaged in oil trading activities with Russian partners also helped smooth his way into their confidence. He was able to fulfil a double success, not only securing an generous order for drilling equipment for his 'employer' but also netting a report on the production and activities in the Matzen field for his real employer, MI6. He estimated that the current production yield to be anywhere upwards of 400,000 tonnes a year, perhaps as much as 700,000 tonnes. Two microdots in his report that reached London through the chain of couriers were most valuable, production charts and even a rough map of the location of Mineralöl Südost's facilities. It was good enough material to make the Circus approve a modest bonus for his next pay packet. London considered it wise for him to cultivate contacts at Kontinentale Öl if he could, the company spanning a network of European oil routes into Germany.


Thursday, September 17th 2020, 6:54pm

Is this Bulganov fellow Russian, or is he an expat?


Friday, September 18th 2020, 10:49am

Nikolai Andreev was born in Russia but is a naturalised Nordish businessman in reality.
Presumably like OTL (he is based on the real BARONESS employed during WW2) he left Russia sometime during the 1920s, moved to Nordmark and became naturalised, he then spent a lot of time in Turkey. All MI6 has done is to give him a fake Russian identity as Sergei Bulganov.
Doubtless if anyone gets suspicious and contacts the Russian's they would soon find Bulganov is a bogus identity, but being a Nordish citizen gives the British some wriggle room as they could plausibly deny he was working for them.

The short bio I have on him is:


BARONESS: MI6 and A Division channel. A Russian (naturalised Swedish) businessman and long resident of Istanbul who offered his services to MI6 after being approached by the German Abwehr to act as a possible agent in Turkey and Syria. MI6 plans exist to send him to India.

This was written years ago, I had intended him for nefarious plans when Rocky was still playing India. But he rather well fits into this operation. MI6 could equally plausibly claim he was working for the Turks or even the Abwehr (though no doubt Germany would quickly deny that to the Russians), or even to the Germans that he is in fact a Russian intelligence agent.

The Russians being suspicious characters might not believe that any of these stories are not true. Kartashov Neftyanaya Masterskaya does not know Bulganov's real identity, they employed him and would doubtless get in hot water too. There could be quite a few ripples if he is exposed. London has taken precautions on the courier chain, they know from their efforts to trap Schellburg's net that couriers are the lynchpin and with enough warning the chain can be broken. London's plan to is make sure he is double if not triple isolated from his handler. Information is slower to get through.
From Bruce's last news post, its clear they might already be aware of NOMAD, but NOMAD is the operation name and its a complicated web. The number who know Andreev's code name are restricted to the Circus and his handler.


Friday, September 18th 2020, 2:44pm