Discover where SPECTRE began with the SPECTRE Trilogy

Today sees the publication of The SPECTRE Trilogy in the UK.  With a brand new introduction by the Bond film producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the edition follows James Bond across three missions where Bond comes up against the mighty force of SPECTRE – ThunderballOn Her Majesty’s Secret Service and You Only Live Twice.

1961 saw the publication of Ian Fleming’s ninth James Bond novel, Thunderball, and the first foray of the malignant criminal organisation known as, SPECTRE.  Headed by Bond’s nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, SPECTRE pushes 007 to his physical and emotional limits. See below for an extract from Thunderball explaining the motifs behind SPECTRE:

The twenty men who looked up the long table at this man and waited patiently for him to speak were a curious mixture of national types. But they had certain characteristics in common. They were all in the thirty-to-forty age-group, they all looked extremely fit, and nearly all of them – there were two who were different – had quick, hard, predatory eyes, the eyes of the wolves and the hawks that prey upon the herd. The two who were different were both scientists with scientists’ other-worldly eyes – Kotze, the East German physicist who had come over to the West five years before and had exchanged his secrets for a modest pension and retirement in Switzerland, and Maslov, formerly Kandinsky, the Polish electronics expert who, in 1Q56, had resigned as head of the radio research department of Philips AG of Eindhoven and had then disappeared into obscurity. The other eighteen men consisted of cells of three (Blofeld accepted the Communist triangle system for security reasons) from six national groups and, within these groups, from six of the world’s great criminal and subversive organizations. There were three Sicilians from the top echelon of the Unione Siciliano, the Mafia; three Corsican Frenchmen from the Union Corse, the secret society, contemporary with and similar to the Mafia, that runs nearly all organized crime in France; three former members of SMERSH, the Soviet organization for the execution of traitors and enemies of the State that had been disbanded on the orders of Khruschev in 1958, and replaced by the Special Executive Department of the MWD; three of the top surviving members of the former Sonderdienst of the Gestapo; three tough Yugoslav operatives who had resigned from Marshal Tito’s Secret Police, and three highland Turks (the Turks of the plains are no good), former members of Blofeld’s RAHIR and subsequently responsible for KRYSTAL, the important Middle East heroin pipeline whose outlet is Beirut. These eighteen men, all experts in conspiracy, in the highest ranges of secret communication and action and, above all, of silence, also shared one supreme virtue – every man had a solid cover. Every man possessed a valid passport with up-to-date visas for the principal countries in the world, and an entirely clean sheet with Interpol, and with their respective national police forces. That factor alone, the factor of each man’s cleanness after a lifetime in big crime, was his highest qualification for members of SPECTRE – The Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion.

The founder and chairman of this private enterprise for private profit was Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

THE SPECTRE TRILOGY is also available in the US as an ebook.