28. The Jailbird Who Double Crossed the French Resistance
English career criminal Harold Cole (1906 – 1946) had the dubious distinction of serving during WWII in the British Army, the French Resistance – and double crossing both by working for Germans. During his extraordinary wartime career, he lied and conned his way across France, joined the Nazis, and snitched on the Resistance, resulting in the arrest and execution of many.
Cole got started on crime early, and by his teens, he was a burglar, check forger, and embezzler. No criminal mastermind, by 1939 Cole had served multiple stints in prison. When WWII began, he lied about his criminal history to enlist in the British Army and was sent to France. Promoted to sergeant, he was arrested for stealing money from the Sergeants’ Mess to splurge on prostitutes. He ended up as a POW in May of 1940, when the Germans captured the guardhouse where he was locked up.