Monday 24 May 2010

Death to Spies

People who have read the James Bond novels will be familiar with an organisation known as SMERSH-Death to Spies. What they might not know is that this was a real branch of the Soviet Secret Service, once headed by the notorious Viktor Abakumov. It only had a short three-year existence, from 1943 to 1946, though it clearly left an abiding impression on the mind of Ian Fleming. Anyone who comes away from a reading of From Russia with Love without pleasant and cosy feelings towards General Franco's Fascists clearly has not understood the latent message!