Agent Garbo

Agent Garbo

The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day

Book - 2012
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Were the D-Day landings saved from failure because of a lone secret agent?

Agent Garbo tells the astonishing story of a self-made secret agent who matched wits with the best minds of the Third Reich -- and won. Juan Pujol was a nobody, a Barcelona poultry farmer determined to oppose the Nazis. Using only his gift for daring falsehoods, Pujol became Germany's most valued agent -- or double agent: it took four tries before the British believed he was really on the Allies' side.

In the guise of Garbo, Pujol turned in a masterpiece of deception worthy of his big-screen namesake. He created an imaginary million-man army, invented armadas out of thin air, and brought a vast network of fictional subagents whirring to life. His unwitting German handlers believed every word, and banked on Garbo's lies as their only source of espionage within Great Britain.

For his greatest performance, Pujol had to convince the German High Command that the D-Day invasion of Normandy was a feint and the real attack was aimed at Calais. The Nazis bought it, turning the tide of battle at the crucial moment.

Based on years of archival research and interviews with Pujol's family, Agent Garbo is a true-life thriller set in the shadow world of espionage and deception.
Publisher: Boston ; New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2012]
ISBN: 9780547614816
Characteristics: xvi, 301 pages, [8] plates ; 24 cm
Call Number: 940.58641 TAL


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Jul 25, 2017

This is a dandy WW2 espionage book and true. Fiction could not be more strange than this story. Pujol (code name Garbo because he was such a magnificent actor) and other spies created deception and diversion. Garbo had the Germans convinced he was the real thing - a Hitler lover who had access to the highest levels of Allied intelligence. Together with the Brits and then the Yanks, they created a deception that was staggering in its bravado. Many many thousands of lives were saved and the Allies were able to hold their beach head because the Germans believed Normandy was a hoax and Pas de Calais was the real front. Eisenhower knew of him, as did Montgomery and Churchill.

ChristchurchLib Dec 18, 2012

"This true-life thriller describes Juan Pujol, a poultry farmer who opposed the Nazis and concocted a series of staggering lies that led to his becoming one of Germany's most valued spies, while actually acting as a double-agent for the Allies." Biography and Memoir December 2012 newsletter


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