Fitztroy Maclean was one of the real-life inspirations for super-spy James Bond. After adventures in Soviet Russia before the war, Maclean fought with the SAS in North Africa in 1942. There he specialised in hair-raising commando raids behind enemy lines, including the daring and outrageous kidnapping of the German Consul in Axis-controlled Iraq. Maclean's extraordinary adventures in the Western Desert and later fighting alongside Tito's partisans in Yugoslavia are blistering reading and show what it took to be a British hero who broke the mould . . .
Maclean was a British diplomat who, while in Russia, became one of the first Westerners to explore Central Asia during the Soviet rule. He worked with the British special forces in the North African desert and liased on behalf of the allies with the partisans in Yugoslavia during the Second World War.