Thunderballsy: how Ian Fleming risked his spy cover for condoms

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Thunderballsy: how Ian Fleming risked his spy cover for condoms

And he may have used a letter from Stalin as he slipped the Soviet contraband past border guards

Craig Simpson

The numerous seductions of amorous agent James Bond rarely get in the way of his mission. But his hedonistic creator, Ian Fleming, was almost outed as a spy on the Russian border for smuggling Soviet condoms, new research has revealed.

The caddish intelligence officer and author was tasked with gathering information for the foreign office in Stalinist Russia in 1938. While keen to keep his activities low key and his notes secret, the then 30-year-old Fleming was careless in handling his contraband contraception.

The young journalist then aiding the UK government was caught on the border with newly devised Soviet synthetic condoms, which he failed to declare, according to his biographer. Fleming risked being arrested and his intelligence work uncovered for the sake of his prophylactics, but he managed to charm his way out of the situation, potentially with the help of a handwritten letter from communist tyrant Joseph Stalin...

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