The couple quarrel that could have doomed the Normandy landings


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Juan Pujol, nom de code « Garbo » pour le MI5, « Arabel » pour les nazis.

Juan Pujol is considered as the greatest double agent of World War II, perhaps of all time . With a score of “sub-agents” completely fictitious under him, the Spaniard worked for several years with the British intelligence service MI5 (codename Garbo), making believe together with German Abwehr he was one of their (codename Arabel).

His biggest feat of arms will have manipulated the Nazis into believing that the large landing that everything world expected in June 1944 was have place in the Pas de Calais not in Normandy, Allied troops giving enough advance time to take the better of their enemies. According to new documents declassified by MI5 and posted on the website of the British National Archives this crucial operation, carefully prepared, very nearly do long fire because of a domestic dispute between Pujol and his wife, Araceli Gonzalez.

Real threats and false imprisonment

In June 1943, Pujol was already working for MI5 recently. In Madrid, he was thrown into the world spying without any experience or contact, only with a vivid imagination and a capacity for extraordinary get the confidence of his interlocutor . Pretending pass to a fanatical Nazi, he joined the German authorities, who sent him to London after he made them believe that he has a network of spies in the British capital. There, he works secretly with MI5, giving occasionally correct information to the Nazis win their trust.

While his work deception becomes increasingly complex and vital, hedge Pujol threatens to fly. His wife, who can not stand the double life in London, isolation and British food, threat of reveal his identity if he does not let from in Spain . One of the documents revealed by MI5 written by the officer dealing with Garbo, Tomas Harris, gives an idea of ​​the atmosphere:

“As this has not had the desired effect, it has threatened to do so jeopardizing the work [de son mari] and allowing him to leave. “

In another document the situation seems become criticism

“I do not want live five more minutes with my husband. Even if you kill me, I will go to the embassy [espagnole]. “

To avoid to be set ed, Juan Pujol reacted in the only way he knows: by inventing a position to manipulate the person in front . He convinced MI5 to stop and to convince his wife that it was his fault. They will even to arrange a meeting between the pair in the detention camp Camp 020 which is supposedly imprisoned Pujol.

His wife that British agents had tried to coax with a dozen low quality accept sign a document promising never reveal the identity of her husband so that he could be “liberated.”

Carte d’identité brésilienne d’Araceli Gonzalez datant de 1941.

Double Agent to the end

A year later, Pujol manage to believe the Nazi military leaders that the invasion, which began on June 6 in Normandy, is a red herring. This is the “Fortitude” operation. Hitler even read one of the messages of the double agent ensuring that a huge army is preparing to land in the Pas-de-Calais and decide maintain its best Panzer divisions in the north of France long after the first Allied troops landed on the Normandy beaches.

Pujol, who unveiled his history in an autobiography published in 1985, died three years later. At the end of the war, he received the Order of the British Empire for services rendered. He had already received a cross of second class iron Nazis, who have never discovered that he was a double agent.



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