Let me tell you about Juan Pujol García, a Spanish man. In 1940, he thought to do something good for humanity and wanted to join Britain against Spanish dictator Francisco Franco who was not supporting Britain.
Juan approached the British three different times showing interest to join them as spy. He was rejected all three times. He could get disheartened but he was Juan, he cannot give up. He planned to be a German spy and then approach British to be a double agent.
He kept his personal choices away and created his identity as Pro Nazi Spanish Government official and contacted a German agent in Madrid. He agreed to his request and trained him in espionage. After having his training, he was instructed to move to Britain and make a network of Spies.
He was so confident, he did not went to London, just went to Lisbon(Portugal). Using tourist’s guide, magazines and references from Lisbon Public Library, he created credible reports of London which actually seemed true.
He created a network of fictitious German spies who all were living in different parts of London. His reports got in hands of MI5 and they started a full scale spy hunt.
Finally, he approached the US, contacting Lt. Patrick Demorest of US Navy who was impressed by his potential and told his British counterparts to consider him. Finally, He joined British spy agency MI5.
Pujol worked with an intelligence officer in MI5 and both of them wrote 315 letters to fictional spies. The Germans were so impressed with him they did not hired any more spies in the UK.
Pujol was so brilliant that he mixed fiction, with military reports of very low value with some real intelligence delayed. Some of his reports were marked the days before the real thing happened but British agents deliberately mailed it so late that it arrived when the event had happened which made Germans believe how Good was Pujol.
Pujol’s biggest contribution to the war was the confusion about D-Day. Hitler and his commanders were forced to believe that something big is going to happen at Strait of Dover.
While he sent as much as 500 messages between Jan 1944 and D-Day. Germans were totally convinced that nothing will come to them from Normandy. The Britishers made Germans believe that they have a huge army stationed at south and East of Britain, which was nothing but dummy and inflatable tanks, even some bogus radio chatter made Germany believed that and they did not kept any troops at Normandy.
Pujol took $300,000 for the salary and funds for running his 27 fictitious spies from Germany and even took pension of a fictitious spy’s widow. the can you imagine that?
Germans believed that there were 75 divisions in Britain, in actual it was only 50. They even took as fictitious units to be real units.
A lot of it was possible because of Pujol who was named as GARBO on Great Garbo who is famous Swedish actress.
Pujol was honoured with Iron Cross Second class from Germany on 29th July 1944, the award came directly from Hitler’s authorization. Iron class was the award only for the men fighting a the front. He received his medal after the war from his German handlers. That was not it, just after six months, he received MBE(Most Excellent Order of British Order) as GARBO. He is one of the very few who received decorations from both sides during World War II.
The set of fictitious spies of GARBO.
Pujol later faked his death and remained absolutely well, even traveled to Normandy.