The Second World War was a time of great conflict and chaos, but it was also a time of innovation and creativity in the fight against Nazi Germany. An example of this innovation is depicted in the upcoming film, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. It charts the true story of how Winston Churchill and James Bond writer Ian Fleming set up a clandestine combat organization that used unconventional and “ungentlemanly” techniques to fight the Nazis.
The film is based on Giles Milton’s non-fiction book of the same name, and is being directed by Guy Ritchie, best known for his “Sherlock Holmes” movies and British gangster flicks like “Snatch,” produced by Top Gun: Maverick producer Jerry Bruckheimer alongside Chad Oman, Ritchie’s producing partner Ivan Atkinson, and John Friedberg for Black Bear International. The project, which was originally set up at Paramount, is being pitched as the first in a possible series.
The story of the “ungentlemanly” combat organization is a fascinating one and it is not surprising that it is being adapted into a feature film. During the Second World War, the British were facing an existential threat from Nazi Germany and they needed to find new and innovative ways to fight back. Winston Churchill recognized the need for a new kind of warfare, and he tasked Ian Fleming, who would later go on to write the James Bond series, with setting up a clandestine organization that could operate outside the traditional rules of engagement.
Fleming, along with a team of military experts and operatives, set up the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, which was responsible for carrying out a range of operations, from sabotage and assassination to deception and psychological warfare. The operatives were chosen for their specific skills, and they were trained to use unconventional weapons and techniques, from exploding rats to disguise kits.
Some of the Ministry’s unconventional methods were criticized for their perceived brutality, even within the British military establishment. Yet they were highly successful in carrying out various operations that helped to undermine the Nazi war effort and pave the way for the Allied victory.
This highly anticipated film promises to shed light on one of the most fascinating and innovative operations of the Second World War.
The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare began principal photography in Turkey earlier this week, with Lionsgate eyeing a wide theatrical release for the movie next year.