Showing posts from March, 2024

Major Wise: Britain's dodgy Head of Intelligence in Iceland in World War II

  Those of you who have read my recent novel, Whale Fjord , will have come across an unpleasant character named Neville Pybus-Smith, the head of British military intelligence in Iceland during the British occupation in 1940-41. Well, Pybus-Smith is loosely based on a real character named Major Wise. One of my most fortunate discoveries when researching Whale Fjord, was an Icelander named Jökull Gíslason. Not only is Jökull one of Iceland's leading experts on the country's history in World War Two, he is also a police inspector. And helpful. The perfect source for me! He has written an excellent book, Iceland in World War II , which I referred to frequently while writing Whale Fjord . He also wrote a fascinating article, entitled  Spymasters , about the dodgy Major Wise. He has permitted me to reproduce it here. "Major Alfred Roy Wise was the British spymaster in Iceland. He is a confusing character, described by his subordinates as pleasant and amiable while he was c