Other Titles by Stephan Talty
But Garbo invented an entire espionage network and issued frequent bulletins that the Germans intercepted. He earned the movie-star moniker by being such a good actor. He was such a successful double agent that he was awarded high honors by both Germany and Britain. Most remarkably, when caught red-handed, he could affect high dudgeon and angrily convince accusers that he was an honest man.
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Garbo not only had the honor of revealing the D-Day Normandy invasion to Germany but also of arguing persuasively that Normandy was just a distraction. Those feats of espionage provide the finales for both books. But Mr.
The Agents Who Fooled the Nazis About D-Day
The threat is important, but it was never realized, just as Jebsen appears never to have informed his German captors about Allied activities. Ultimately the books are complementary, not competitive. Perhaps Mr. And Mr.
‘Double Cross’ and ‘Agent Garbo’ - The New York Times
Talty supplies — via his reporting on David Strangeways, a deception expert who barely figures in Mr. Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser. See next articles. Crown Publishers.
Pretending to be a Spanish government official who was sympathetic to the Nazi cause, he got in touch with a German agent in Madrid. The British had an effective and extensive spy network on the continent, but the German secret service the Abwehr did not have one in Britain — though not for lack of trying.
They had sent spies to Britain, but all had been caught and either executed or turned into double agents. Desperate to have more spies on British soil, the Abwehr therefore accepted Pujol. They trained him in basic espionage, gave him a codebook, put him on their payroll, codenamed him Arabel, then sent him to Britain to recruit more agents.
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Pujol instead went to Lisbon, Portugal where he got to work. He also invented a vast network of non-existent spies. Though none of these reports would have passed close scrutiny, the Abwehr apparently was not an effective organization so they never caught on. After the war, former Abwehr agents explained that it was better to send in numerous false reports than few or none at all.
The alternative was to be sent to the front. He sent so many reports that the British eventually intercepted them. The US entered the war in , so Pujol approached them in February offering his services. It was only when Pujol sent the German navy on a wild goose chase looking for a non-existent convoy that the British finally took him seriously. The two men continued sending their reports to a post office box in Lisbon, producing so many reports that the Abwehr stopped trying to recruit more spies. Pujol informed the Abwehr of the attack after it had happened, but the British had postmarked the letter to make it look like he had sent it before.
In cases where Pujol failed to give valuable information, he would claim that the agent responsible had died or was caught. In , for example, a large British fleet set off from the northwest coast of England.