A Memorable History of Deception and Spy Capers
A Memorable History of Deception and Spy Capers

A Memorable History of Deception and Spy Capers

Khalid Elhassan - June 7, 2020

A Memorable History of Deception and Spy Capers
American troops advancing through a wrecked French town. Stars and Stripes

2. Going In For the Kill

With Juan Pujol Garcia’s reputation at his highest with his German handlers, British intelligence went in for the kill, to cash in on their carefully crafted deception. Building upon the years of trust, Pujol informed the Germans that the Normandy landings were diversionary: the real blow would fall upon the Pas de Calais a few weeks later. That was coupled with other measures, such as the fictional First US Army Group, under the command of George Patton, that was massed across the English Channel opposite the Pas de Calais.

It worked. The Germans were convinced during the critical weeks in June of 1944, following the D-Day landings in Normandy, to keep powerful formations in the Pas de Calais. There the Germans remained, waiting for an invasion that never came, instead of rushing to Normandy to help destroy the vulnerable Allied beachhead there. By the time the Pas de Calais formations were finally released, the Allies had amassed sufficient forces in Normandy. First, they defeated the German attacks, then went on the offensive, broke out of the Normandy beachhead, and swept across France, liberating it within a few months.

A Memorable History of Deception and Spy Capers
Juan Pujol Garcia was decorated by both the Germans and British. Barbara Picci

1. Getting Medals From by Both Sides

As to Juan Pujol Garcia, he was decorated by both sides. He received an Iron Cross from Germany, plus a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) from Britain. After the war, fearing reprisals from the Nazis, he faked his death in Angola in 1949, then moved to Venezuela, where he ran a gift shop and book store.

A Memorable History of Deception and Spy Capers
Juan Pujol Garcia in old age. Pintrest

Pujol led a quiet life until 1984, when he agreed to be interviewed for a book about agent GARBO. Its publication finally brought his exploits to the light of day. He was received at Buckingham Palace, and was lionized in Britain. On the 40th anniversary of D-Day, Pujol travelled to Normandy, where he paid his respects to the dead. He then returned to Venezuela, and died in Caracas four years later.


Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

Cave Brown, Anthony – Bodyguard of Lies (1975)

Defense Media Network – Dusko Popov, Real Life James Bond, Ran Afoul of the FBI

Encyclopedia Britannica – Arminius, German Leader

Fuller, John – The Generalship of Alexander the Great

Green, Peter – Alexander of Macedon: A Historical Biography

Hesketh, Roger-Fleetwood – Fortitude: The D-Day Deception Campaign (2000)

History on the Net ­- Dusko Popov, the Triple-Agent, Real-Life James Bond Who Warned the US About Pearl Harbor

Holt, Thaddeus – The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War (2004)

Howard, Michael – Strategic Deception in the Second World War (1996)

Latimer, Jonathan David – Deception in War (2001)

Livy – Ab Urbe Condita, 21-22

Loftis, Larry – Into the Lion’s Den: The True Story of Dusko Popov, World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-Life Inspiration For James Bond (2016)

Macintyre, Ben – Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies (2013)

Macintyre, Ben – Operation Mincemeat (2010)

NPR – Dead Man Floating: World War II’s Oddest Operation

Plutarch – Parallel Lives: The Life of Alexander the Great

Toll, Ian W. – Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the US Navy (2006)

Wikipedia – Juan Pujol Garcia

Wikipedia – Operation Mincemeat

Wikipedia – USS Philadelphia (1799)