Count Lippe is a SPECTRE operative who appears in the 1961 Ian Fleming novel Thunderball. The Counts of Lippe really existed, and have descendants still living today. However, since 1806 all members of the family have had the title of Prince, not Count.

Novel biography

Count Lippe is described as an extremely handsome womanizer and killer. He has brown hair, is athletic-looking, roughly six foot, and has certain features that suggest he may be Spanish or from South America. Based on stories that Lippe tells the staff at Shrublands, Bond assumes he is of Portuguese blood and is probably from Macau.

Lippe first meets Bond outside of the Shrublands health farm when he pulls up in a Bentley and nearly hits Patricia Fearing who is saved by James Bond's quick reaction. Lippe is later seen by Bond arguing with a Shrublands' masseur who requests that Lippe remove his wrist-watch while receiving a massage. When Lippe reluctantly does so, Bond notices that it was being used to cover a tattoo in red that he learns was the sign of the Red Lightning Tong. Lippe overhears Bond's phone conversation in which he is informed of the symbol and later attempts to kill Bond by turning up the power on a traction table that Bond is using. After being saved by Fearing, Bond retaliates against Lippe by trapping him in a steam bath and turning up the heat. Consequently, Lippe suffers second-degree burns and is hospitalized for a week.

Lippe was actually at Shrublands on behalf of SPECTRE, a terrorist organization. Lippe, called "Sub-operator G" by Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the head of SPECTRE, was tasked to oversee Giuseppe Petacchi at the Boscombe Down Airfield where the bombing squadron was undergoing training. While Lippe's mission was semi-successful he was considered "unreliable" by Blofeld after getting into his childish clash with James Bond. As a consequence of Lippe being put into the hospital, Blofeld orders his elimination.

Because Bond knew of Lippe's connection to Macau's Red Lightning Tong, Lippe was fearful that Bond may be able to take it a step further and learn of Lippe's connection to SPECTRE. For this reason Lippe tracks Bond down and tails him in a Volkswagen unknowing that he himself is being pursued by SPECTRE agent #6. Ultimately Lippe's attempt to kill Bond once again fails and Lippe is killed when his Volkswagen is blown up.

Young Bond

In the second Young Bond novel by Charlie Higson, Blood Fever, Count Lippe's father is mentioned as a guest in attendance at the villain's dinner party. His father is named as "Count Armando Lippe from Lisbon," however, the last name of Lippe only appears in the UK edition. In the U.S. edition he is simply "Count Armando from Lisbon" for unknown reasons.

See also

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