Unlike the Goldfinger mission, which began with James Bond rising from the sea with a fake duck on his head to disguise his underwater breathing apparatus, Mr Tazelaar’s operation did not run smoothly after the initial success.
On 18 January 1942, another party night, he was supposed to meet Mr Hazelhoff Roelfzema on the beach to collect two radio transmitters. But on his way to the rendezvous he was picked up by the Gestapo and taken away for questioning.
He managed to bluff his way out, however, by sticking to his story of being a drunken reveller and offering his interrogators a drink from a bottle of genever, or Holland gin, which he had taken with him. A local policeman, luckily also a member of the Resistance, vouched for him, and the Germans let him go.
But the Dutch Resistance was betrayed soon afterwards and he was unable to extract the two men he had been sent to rescue, although he was able to escape from the country himself.
Later in the war, he went to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to help in the struggle in the region against the Japanese. After the end of the war, he served with the military police during the Dutch colonial war in Indonesia, and became a CIA agent, carrying out missions in eastern and central Europe during the 1950s. He died in 1993.
Victor Laurentius, author of a recently published biography, De Grote Tazelaar, Ridder en Rebel (‘The Great Tazelaar: Knight and Rebel’), said that, like Bond, Mr Tazelaar was an inveterate daredevil who, during his missions, spent a lot of time in casinos and other places crowded by German officers.
“He had a lot in common with James Bond,” Mr Laurentius said. “He was good-looking, a cool womaniser, and in many ways an atypical spy.”