Into the Lion's Mouth

Into the Lion's Mouth

The True Story of Dusko Popov : World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-life Inspiration for James Bond

Book - 2016
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A biography of Dusko Popov, who, as "an operative for the Abwehr, SD, MI5, MI6, and FBI during World War II ... seduced countless women--including agents on both sides--spoke five languages, and was a crack shot, all while maintaining his cover as a Yugoslav diplomat"
August 1941. Serbian playboy Dusko Popov created a stir at Casino Estoril in Portugal by throwing down an outrageously large baccarat bet to humiliate his opponent. The Serbian was a British double agent, and the money-- which he had just stolen from the Germans-- belonged to the British. Watching at the sideline was none other than Ian Fleming. An operative for the Abwehr, SD, MI5, MI6, and FBI during World War II, Popov seduced countless women, spoke five languages, and was a crack shot. While MI5 desperately needed Popov to deceive the Abwehr about the D-Day invasion, they assured him that a return to the German Secret Service Headquarters in Lisbon would result in torture and execution. He went anyway....
Publisher: New York : Berkley Caliber, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780425281819
Branch Call Number: 940.5486 POPOV
Characteristics: xiii, 368 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Sep 28, 2016

Two takeaways from this book. One: it was the Germans (not the Japanese) who initially had designs on Pearl Harbor. Dusko Popov, a double agent for the British, warned J. Edgar Hoover via the microdot system about the Nazis' plans, but Hoover never passed it on to FDR - for reasons that to this day remain unexplained. Two: Several months before D-Day, it was Popov that was entrusted to mislead the Germans as to where the invasion was going to take place - and his cover nearly got blown in the process. There is also a bit about the women in his life, including two who were on the A-list, but for the most part it is a great look at the murky world of espionage, and why the business is definitely not for most of us.

Jun 15, 2016

Naaah, haven't read this book yet, but Patrick Dal-Zel, the British Royal Marine for awhile under Fleming's command, was part of the inspiration for Bond [Dal-Zel spoke a number of languages, was half-Scottish and half-Swiss, and did some pretty incredible things during WWII] - - the other half of Fleming's inspiration was Ian Fleming's own particular hedonistic likes and tastes - - the two making a perfect combo!


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