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Curbing The Fate Of WWII…

He had a family, livestock and chickens in his farm, and food grains aplenty in his dwelling in rural Spain. He was enjoying a peaceful life. All on a sudden, Juan Pujol García (February 14, 1912 – October 10, 1988) evinced an interest to become a SPY… and, his dream changed the world history of the 20th Century. He can be considered as the James Bond of real life…
Superspy Juan, born in Barcelona, was also known as Joan Pujol García. Apart from studying, he used to work in a hardware store during his childhood. Later, he started a poultry business! He had also planned to start other businesses, but those had failed. When the Civil War began in Spain in 1936, the Spanish Police arrested Juan for his alleged involvement in radical activities. After getting released, he started leading a normal life. However, Juan openly opposed the aggressive policies of the Nazis, as well as the Communists!

Juan Pujol García.jpg
Juan Pujol García

When the Second World War broke out in 1939, Juan opposed the actions (that were) taken by the Government of Spain, and decided to work for Britain! However, he was not (physically) fit for (actively) taking part in the War. It was hence, he decided to try a hand at espionage! It became difficult for Juan to fulfil his dream due to lack of experience in that job. Although he contacted the British domestic counter-intelligence and security agency MI5, the Security Service rejected his candidature a number of times! The refusal made Juan desperate, and he met the Nazi officers in Madrid, telling them that he was a high-ranking Spanish official and a supporter of German Chancellor Adolf Hitler! Juan also informed the Nazi officers that he would like to serve as a spy for the Nazis. In order to convince the German officials, he managed to secure some fake diplomatic visas!
Although Juan was not fluent in English, he somehow managed to convince the senior Nazi officials. The German Government agreed to train him and gave him USD 42,000 for recruiting more spies upon his arrival in London! The Spaniard rightly realised that it would be a difficult job for him to win the trust of Britons. However, he had no other option… else, he would not be able to stay in London. So, Juan decided to become a Double Agent … and planned to leak German information in Britain…

Adolf Hitler

Before his arrival in London, he started making preparations for the job. He delivered each and every information about Britain from newspapers and advertisements to Berlin, along with some original information. Juan used to do this from Lisbon and Madrid, although the Germans thought that he was in London!
Juan committed some blunders, too! Once, he told the Nazi officers that there were some people in Glasgow who could do anything for wine! He hardly had the information that the Scots love German beer


Meanwhile, the British spies came to know about Juan Pujol García. When the British authorities tried to find him out, Juan, himself, met the British officers in London and (this time) became a member of MI5. He was given the code-name ‘Agent Garbo’ by the British, while their German counterparts code-named him ‘Alaric’ and referred to his non-existent spy network as ‘Arabal’. Yet, the Germans failed to realise that Juan was a Double Agent! Instead, he informed the Nazi officers that he recruited 27 spies in Britain to collect information from the British government. Juan also asked the Nazi administration to send a huge amount of money to him!

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With first wife Araceli González Carballo

Gradually, the Nazi officers became heavily dependent on Juan. Therefore, they had no plan to eliminate him. The Nazi officials thought that the success of their intelligence network would depend on Juan! The Allied Forces launched attacks on the German troops in Normandy off the northern coast of France on June 5, 1944. Berlin had prior information that the Allied Forces could attack the Germans. However, the Nazi officials did not take any precautionary measures, as they had full faith over Juan! Despite having the information, the Spanish Double Agent assured the Germans that the Allied Forces would not attack the Nazi forces in Normandy. He informed the Nazis that 150,000 Allied soldiers were moving through the Strait of Dover, connecting the English Channel or Atlantic Ocean with the North Sea.

García’s Passport

It is to be noted that the attack on German Forces in Normandy changed the course of history. The Allied Forces took just one year to defeat the Axis Powers in the Second World War after their victory in Normandy! Historians are of the opinion that Juan ensured the defeat of the Axis Powers by providing fake information to the Nazi officers. The Germans failed to counter the Allied Forces in Normandy, as they were not fully prepared for such an attack.
Even after the Normandy attack, Juan worked for the MI5… his job was to monitor the activities of the Nazis and to inform Britain whether Germany was regaining its strength! Juan wanted to leave Europe at the end of the War. First, he arrived in Venezuela and found that many Nazi officers had taken shelter there in order to avoid punishment. Then, the Double Agent left the Latin American country.

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García in Caracas

The fear of death prompted him to call his MI5 handler Tomás ‘Tommy’ Joseph Harris in 1948. During their telephonic conversations, he urged Harris to announce that he had died of malaria! One year later, the British envoy informed Spain about Juan’s death. After that, the Double Agent settled in Venezuela. Juan also changed his look with the help of spectacles and beard! He started running a book store there. The British (Conservative Party) Politician Rupert Allason became interested in Agent Garbo in 1971. He used to write books and articles on the subject of espionage under the pen name ‘Nigel West’. He managed to meet Juan on May 20, 1984, after making several attempts to do so! Incidentally, Juan arrived in Normandy on June 5 to take part in events to mark the 40th anniversary of the Allied occupation of Normandy. Juan passed away on October 10, 1988 in Caracas (Venezuela) at the age of 76.

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With second wife Carmen Cilia Alvarez & sons

Juan had reportedly tied the nuptial knot twice. He married Araceli González Carballo (m. 1940-47), and then Carmen Cilia Alvarez (m. ?-1988). The Double Agent had two sons and a daughter with his second wife. His daughter died at the age of 20 in 1975. Several documentaries and movies have been made on Juan Pujol García, the person who fooled Adolf Hitler during the Second World War!

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