Joan Pujol Garcia
- Category : 1912-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 6/3 - Role Model / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Revolution 1
Spanish spy who acted as a double agent loyal to Great Britain against Nazi Germany during World War II, when he relocated to Britain to carry out fictitious spying activities for the Germans. Also known as Joan Pujol Garcia, he was given the codename Garbo by the British; their German counterparts codenamed him Alaric and referred to his non-existent spy network as "Arabal". Pujol had the possibly unique distinction of receiving decorations from both sides during World War II, gaining both an Iron Cross from the Germans and a Member of the Order of the British Empire from the British.
After developing a loathing of both the Communist and Fascist regimes in Europe during the Spanish Civil War, Pujol decided to become a spy for the Allies as a way to do something "for the good of humanity". Pujol and his wife contacted the British and American intelligence agencies, but each rejected his offer. Undeterred, he created a false identity as a fanatically pro-Nazi Spanish government official and successfully became a German agent. He was instructed to travel to Britain and recruit additional agents; instead he moved to Lisbon and created bogus reports from a variety of public sources, including a tourist guide to England, train timetables, cinema newsreels, and magazine advertisements. Although the information would not have withstood close examination, Pujol soon established himself as a trustworthy agent. He began inventing fictional sub-agents who could be blamed for false information and mistakes.
The Allies finally accepted Pujol when the Germans spent considerable resources attempting to hunt down a fictional convoy. The family was moved to Britain and Pujol was given the code name "Garbo". Pujol and his handler Tomás (Tommy) Harris spent the rest of the war expanding the fictional network, communicating at first by letter, later by radio. Eventually the Germans were funding a network of twenty-seven fictional agents.
Pujol had a key role in the success of Operation Fortitude, the deception operation intended to mislead the Germans about the timing and location of the invasion of Normandy near the end of the war. The false information Pujol supplied helped persuade German intelligence that the main attack would be in the Pas de Calais, keeping two armoured divisions and 19 infantry divisions there for two months after the Normandy invasion.
He was arguably the greatest double agent in history. He died on 10 October 1988 at age 76 in in Caracas, Venezuela.