"Every man wants to be him and every woman wants to be with him". Driving the luxurious Aston Martin, at times with his enemy's partner, walking into a bar full of rivals and taking a sip of vodka martini - shaken not stirred - and walking out after accomplishing a mission without a single wrinkle on the black suit is the man James Bond - the epitomic combination of every man's dream lifestyle.
A man recognized by a trio of digits, James Bond has become a cult classic and the iconic 007 an identity. But have you ever wondered why James Bond is known as agent 007 and not by any other number? In fact, 007 was inspired by true events.
Every British MI6 agent has a unique identification number to represent them. "00" is a prefix used in Ian Fleming's series to denote an elite group having the "License To Kill" in case they feel anyone is a threat for great Britain. The number '7' means Bond is the seventh agent to receive this "License To Kill" status.
James Bond Author Ian Fleming's served as Intelligence at the Royal Navy during the First World War. By the winter of 1916 or 1917, the war reached a new turmoil. The German army had already penetrated deep into Europe but at the same time they assumed US invasion in western front.
Arthur Zimmermann, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the German Empire set up a secret diplomatic communication process with Mexico. A coded telegram dispatched by Zimmermann was intercepted by British Intelligence and they cracked the encryption. He was the one to propose a German-Mexican military alliance and promoted the border war against the US so that Mexico would recover Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.
The US-Mexican war could easily draw US attention away from Europe and it was impossible for Germany to attack mainland US through the Atlantic. The Germans could only send troops by air and sea which would make their corps too vulnerable to the enemies.
So, the British intelligence handed a copy of the press briefing to the US government and soon it got leaked to the press. As a result, German's plan was nipped in the bud. The code name of this secret cable message was "0075". According to theories, Sir Fleming might have been inspired by this number.
However, there is another theory.
According to historians, there was a very trusted man in first Elizabeth's court called John Dee. His astronomical and mathematical knowledge made him one of the most learned men of his age. Born in 1527, John Dee later became a fellow of Trinity College and Cambridge then. During the late 1540s and the early 1550s, Dee traveled throughout Europe to gain knowledge. He correctly predicted a violent storm in the British channel that might destroy the Spanish naval fleet. As he was well learned on meteorology and astronomy, Dee could successfully predict storms and his name spread faster than wildfire.
When Elizabeth took to the throne, England was a hotbed of political plots, conspiracies and assassinations. Dee's loyalty and knowledge made him the Queens's closest consultant. Dee used to write to the Queen and his letters were marked with the number "007". The 00 means the eyes, specifically the Queen's eyes only, and the lucky number seven was added later.
Most of the historians agree John Dee was a very loyal advisor and spy of Britain and he might have been the spymaster of a large British spy network across Europe, acting as the Queen's eye to oversee Europe.
Sir Ian Fleming never clarified why James bond is synonymous with 007. But it is strongly believed that he was inspired by both the theories.