SMERSH (a portmanteau of the Russian Smyert Shpionam – Смерть Шпионам – which means “Death to Spies”) is a fictional Soviet counterintelligence agency featured primarily in the early James Bond novels by Ian Fleming. While modelled on the real SMERSH organisation (which existed 1943-1946), Fleming’s SMERSH expanded upon the original’s operational jurisdiction, resulting in a large-scale subversive organisation which operated internationally and more closely resembled the real-life KGB.
SMERSH first formally appeared in the 1953 novel Casino Royale and subsequently appeared in Live and Let Die, From Russia with Love and Goldfinger. After Fleming’s death, it would appear in continuation novels such as James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me, Icebreaker and No Deals, Mr. Bond. Although the organisation was largely absent from the EON Productions film and video game franchise, its role taken by the more politically neutral SPECTRE, it would be mentioned in the films From Russia with Love (1963) and The Living Daylights (1987).
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