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''A Licenced Troubleshooter'': James Bond as Assassin


Roger Pauly


This article argues that there are historical and textual reasons to consider the character of James Bond as an assassin, not a spy. Ian Fleming’s experiences with secret operations during World War II influenced this formulation of 007. Assassination is an ancient, brutal, and common tradition during times of war and thus British and Allied personnel during the struggle against Axis powers planned and carried out targeted killings of key enemy leaders. The most famous of these operations witnessed the successful killing of SS-leader Reinhard Heydrich, but the Allies also drew up similar plans against Adolf Hitler, Erwin Rommel, and others. These fierce wartime episodes helped inspire Fleming to create Bond and further shaped the character’s construction as an assassin. This fact is readily apparent in the text of the original Fleming books.

How to Cite: Pauly, R. (2021). ''A Licenced Troubleshooter'': James Bond as Assassin. International Journal of James Bond Studies, 4(1). DOI:
Published on 01 May 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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