Carl Hamilton (fictional character)

Carl Hamilton (fictional character)
See Carl Hamilton (disambiguation) for other people with the same name.

Count Carl Hamilton (code names Coq Rouge and Trident) is a fictional spy created by Jan Guillou and appearing in a number of Guillou's spy novels, as well as film and TV adaptations.



Hamilton's life

Carl Gustaf Gilbert Hamilton was born a Swedish noble. He rejected his family values and became involved in leftist activity. In the 1970s he was active in pro-Palestine movements and in a Swedish Maoist organisation called Clarté. He entered compulsory military service with intent to infiltrate the system, in order to strengthen it. While training to be an attack diver, he was given an offer. The state would pay for a double education for him in the United States: he would study computers openly and special operations secretly (in Navy SEAL training) for five years. He accepted, and so he became Sweden's newest weapon for (counter)intelligence. During his training, he got his code name he and his colleagues used in the field: Trident. When he lived in the US, he was involved with Tessie O'Conner, an American woman of Mexican and Irish descendence, but she eventually left him because he could not tell her what he was doing half of his time.

After returning from United States as a lieutenant (Navy reserve), there was no place for him in military intelligence. He was temporarily assigned to the Swedish Security Police (SÄPO), where he investigated the murder of a SÄPO agent. The investigation resulted in Hamilton single-handedly confronting an Israeli assassination squad in action at the (unofficial) embassy of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The operation was an extension of Operation Wrath of God. He was however too late in stopping the massacre, only one of the victims survived, but he killed the entire Israeli command of soldiers from Sayeret Matkal.

During this investigation, the director of SÄPO gave Hamilton the code name Coq Rouge, the red rooster. He received a medal of valor (För tapperhet i fält) from the Swedish Government for his actions.

His next assignment was to infiltrate a terrorist group in Germany, part of the Red Army Faction (RAF), that supposedly were planning an operation in Sweden. He becomes one of the group, takes part in bank robberies (the preferred way of the RAF to finance their operations. In the end, when all terrorists are in one place he leads the German Counter-terrorism unit GSG 9 to the location.

He plays his role so well that he identifies himself with the terrorists, and briefly is not far from fighting with the terrorists. Nevertheless, for his help, he received another medal, this time from West Germany.

He finally was transferred to where he belonged, to Sweden's military intelligence. His first job there was to escort a defecting Soviet Admiral from Cairo to Sweden. He did this, but in order to defeat his opposition's attempts to recapture the admiral, he had to kill plane hijackers, and hijack said plane himself. These actions drew quite a lot of attention in the press but his identity was kept from the public.

Through the defector, Hamilton and his superiors found out that the Soviet Union had three secret underwater bases for special operations, set to target Sweden's highest political and military leaderships in case of a war. Hamilton and two junior members of his team, also graduates of dual Navy SEAL and civilian skills training, destroyed the installations, killing 228 or 248 Soviet special operations soldiers. He got another medal, this time in secret.

In the middle of all this, Hamilton accidentally killed a woman he was seeing. In the interest of national security, however, the investigation was removed from civilian police, and a court martial acquitted him.

Hamilton met and married a police officer, Eva-Britt Jönsson. They had a daughter, Johanna Louise.

Shortly after the destruction of the Soviet base, a phony defector fed Sweden false information that Hamilton was a double agent, working for Soviet Union. This allegation was investigated, and the information was eventually found to be false. It was found out that the Swedish spy Stig Sandström (who was based on the real-life convicted spy Stig Bergling) was behind the information used by the phony defector. A Swedish businessman visiting Moscow identified Stig Sandström as he went into his apartment building, and Carl Hamiltion was dispatched to Moscow as a Military attaché, with the covert mission to assassinate Sandström. After fooling GRU, he kills Sandström and returns home.

However, an information leak blew Hamilton's cover, and the international press got a new hero: his past actions in SÄPO and during the plane hijacking incident became public knowledge. The Soviet base incident remained secret, though. Hamilton was brought before a parliamentary committee for questioning. "Do you have a license to kill?" was one of the questions. He answered that every member of the military was licensed and even required to use lethal force in certain situations.

Hamilton's college sweetheart, Tessie O'Connor, came to Sweden after learning the truth about who Hamilton was, and he divorced to marry her. They had a son, Ian Carlos.

Hamilton led a mission to Italy to rescue Swedish businessmen from the Mafia. After a diplomatic session with the mafia leader Don Tommasso, which evolved into a desperate fight to survive inside Tommasso's villa, Hamilton's companion and friend Joar Lundwall was gunned down and killed on an open street in Palermo. This event affected Hamilton hard which made him to take bloody and un-conventional tactics to rescue the Swedish businessmen. Even though Hamilton managed to finish the mission with help from his associates at the military intelligence, Åke Stålhandske and Luigi Bertoni-Svensson, many people died during the desperate fight to free the businessmen. Don Tommasso was one of them. The effect of this was a vendetta against Hamilton.

Hamilton is now tasked with preventing nuclear warheads from being smuggled out of Russia. An operation is underway to transport a number of warheads from Murmansk into Finland, and then on to Libya. Hamilton and a number of Swedish airborne rangers perform a HAHO infiltration over the Russian border, locate the smugglers and execute them all, on order from the US, Russian and Swedish governments.

It is later found that this was just a diversion, there was another, less modern, nuclear warhead smuggled out another way, and it made it all the way to Libya. Hamilton is again working with the PLO military intelligence, and takes part in an operation to blow up the warhead inside Libya, as well as kill all the western scientists helping Muammar al-Gaddafi getting the bomb operational.

In the mean time, the Sicilian mafia waited. When the time was right, they first tried to kill Hamilton right outside Rosenbad, the Prime Minister's office. Hamilton survided, with serious injuries, and managed to kill the two assassins. The mafia killers decided then to go after his loved ones instead. One by one, his ex-wife: Eva-Britt, wife: Tessie, children: Johanna Louise and Ian Carlos and even his mother were killed. He was alone and haunted.

Hamilton had advanced to the rank of Vice Admiral. He became the director of SÄPO, where he was called the Black Admiral by the personnel.

During his leadership of SÄPO a number of immigrants were serial-murdered. An investigation discovered that the murderer was the Black Admiral himself. At his trial, he did not defend himself - he even helped the prosecution. Finally, he informed the world that what he did had to be done to clean up SÄPO. The organisation were using informants that were either forced to work for them with threats, or by being paid. This caused innocent people to be listed as terrorists, put in jail and even expelled from Sweden. The victims were all connected to this, and had in some cases indirectly caused multiple deaths by their actions.

He said he would accept the punishment the law ordered for him. After a few weeks in prison, he escaped and fled to America under a pseudonym, Hamlon.

Hamilton lived there in America (in La Jolla to be exact) for ten years under the new identity, keeping his body in shape and getting psychologial help. But then on a spring day his old friend: the Palestinian intelligence officer Mouna al Husseini came to him with an offer he couldn't refuse. To be a part of a big secret project of striking down the Israeli fleet.

Hamilton's character

Hamilton displays very little personality throughout the books. His actions are described with journalistic neutrality, but his thoughts and feelings usually entirely left out. He has no fear of darkness, "harboring a well-grounded belief that he is the thing that go bump in the night." He likes fair play, disdainfully stating that "it's not so strange that a diver should dive better than a cop" after outmatching a number of police officers in a diving contest.

He has a particular talent for sharpshooting, which works as meditation for him: No matter how chaotic his emotional or physical situation, he becomes calm when aiming a gun, "blanking out everything except the line between eye, sight and target."

He sometimes visualizes his inner demons as "blocks of black ice surfacing in a raging river", and routinely suppresses them.

Hamilton in the Swedish society

Carl Hamilton was created by author and journalist Jan Guillou after he had been sentenced to prison for espionage - for exposing a secret spy organization inside the Swedish military (see the IB affair). His aim with the Coq Rouge books was to write what he knew about the world of counterintelligence, even though he was forbidden to tell.

See also

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