Juan Pujol Garcia was a Spanish spy acting as a double agent in the Second World War for Great Britain and Germany. Juan Pujol is a very important and pivotal figure from the Second World War as the misdirection he fed to Germany is seen by many as the reason why the war finished when it did and did not drag on further.
Another important point about Pujol was his drive and determination. When he approached Britain to work on her behalf as a spy in 1940 they declined, Pujol did not give up though and worked hard for two years trying to make it as a spy before Britain then approach and accepted him as a spy.
What you are going to find out about Juan Pujol today is that this man was driven by nothing other than his hatred for Communism and his wish to make a difference in the war.
Juan Pujol Prior to World War Two
Juan Pujol was born in Barcelona on the 14th February 1912, information on his youth is sketchy at best but we do know his upbringing involved a good education.
By the time Pujol was 24 the Spanish Civil War broke out; in this war Pujol was able to see the ugly side of fascism and communism, something he grew a hatred for. Because of this hatred Pujol came to despise the Soviet Union and the Nazi regime of Germany.
Juan Pujol and World War Two
At the outbreak of World War Two Pujol decided he wanted to make a difference and approached the British to work for them as a spy, to which the British declined. Rather than give up Pujol that of a master plan to make the British want to employ him so he could help their war effort.
Pujol decided to join Germany as a spy and convinced the Germans he was in Britain by sending information on ship movements that he had gleaned from newsreels and books from the local library. The Germans fell for his trick and employed him.
The interesting part of this employment was not only the information being given was false but also so were his expense reports. Pujol had to use a British railway ticket price list from a magazine as his guide for sending expenses for payment.
Overtime Pujol not only acted as a spy himself giving false information, he also developed a ring of nonexistent spies too, the idea of which was to gain more credibility.
When the United States joined the war Pujol offered his services to them and they accepts, however at this same time he also offered himself to Britain as a spy once again. The British understood the work he had been doing on misdirection to the Germans and thus accepted him and brought him to England.
Because the Germans were starting to wonder why some of the made up spies in his ring were not able to deliver readily available information Pujol went to great lengths to give reasons why. One such episode involved a fictitious spy in Liverpool who did not send information about a large convoy leaving the port of Liverpool. Pujol said he had died and even got an obituary put in the local newspaper to back this up.
As Pujol was now working for the British the information he was now feeding the Germans was false but with a small hint of truth in it to give more credibility to the spy ring. This was to act as a lure into what Pujol would do to help the Allies in a massive and important move.
With D-Day looming for the Normandy landings the British now had the best use for Pujol as he was able to feed Germans information giving misdirection. What Pujol told the Germans was that the landings were going to be in Calais, but while giving the wrong landing place he gave the correct date to corroborate his claims.
Even three days after the Normandy landings Pujol was still sending false information about the event which the Germans believed. This information included telling them that 75 divisions were massed in England when truthfully there were only 50. Also that a made up armed force called the First U.S. Army Group had not taken part in the Normandy landings and that the landings were simply a diversion for a greater attack.
The Germans still believed Pujol and acted as such making the Normandy landings more successful for the British and Americans because the main bulk of German forces were further north awaiting this invasion at Calais.
At the end of the war Pujol was awarded an MBE by the British government. He also happened to receive an Iron Cross from Germany as they never found out he was a double agent sending false information.
After the war Pujol faked his own death and moved to Venezuela where he lived a quiet life running a book store until his death in 1988 aged 76.