From James Bond to Real-Life Heroes: “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” Tells the Incredible Story of Churchill’s Secret Warriors

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.

A Unique Glimpse Into the Era of the Queen Mary and Winston Churchill

Clark GableCarrying Hollywood celebrities like Greta Garbo and Clark Gable, royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and dignitaries like Winston Churchill, the Queen Mary was one of the most magnificent ocean liners in the world. 

However, only three years after her maiden voyage, the Queen Mary was commandeered as a troopship. In 1939 she was painted in camouflage grey and divested of her opulent creature comforts. Nicknamed the “Grey Ghost,” the Queen Mary was the largest and fastest troopship to sail, transporting as many as 16,000 troops at 30 knots—34 mph.

Though Adolph Hitler offered $250,000 and the Iron Cross to any U-boat captain that could sink her, Winston Churchill still considered the Queen Mary his headquarters at sea. He was a passenger three times during World War II, along with his dedicated bodyguard, Walter Thompson, at his side. Avoiding German U-boats, the ship sailed in a zigzag course and under blackout conditions.

After WWII, the Queen Mary went through a 10-month long renovation to be restored to her original glory. On July 21, 1947, regular passenger service across the Atlantic Ocean was reinstated, and continued to serve the public for nearly two more decades.

Retired in 1967, the Queen Mary is now a living landmark and hotel in Long Beach, California. This week there will be several onboard events commemorating the 80th anniversary of her maiden voyage.

Produced by the Queen Mary, this excellent video gives us a unique glimpse into the illustrious era of the Queen Mary and Winston Churchill.