Monday July 28, 2014
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09-009 Juan Garcia I

Monday Jul 28, 2014

Lead: In July 1941 Spaniard Juan Pujol Garcia, operating out of Lisbon under the codename "Garbo," began his career as a double agent.

Intro: A Moment In Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Juan Pujol Garcia believed that Franco's fascist rule would bring Spain to ruin and that an Allied victory was the only means of deposing him. At first Garcia offered his services to British intelligence and was rejected, so he turned to the German Embassy in Madrid where he was signed up by the Abwehr, the German military intelligence organization.

Garcia's daring plan was to establish himself in the trust of the Germans and thus prove his worth to British intelligence. Equipped with secret ink for communication, accommodation addresses, funds, and a list of questions, Garcia ostensibly went to England to spy for the German Abwehr in July 1941. In reality, he simply crossed the border to Lisbon in Portugal, where with nothing more than a Portuguese publication on the British fleet, technical journals from the public library, a military dictionary, and a tourist guide and map of Great Britain, Garcia convinced the Germans that he was operating from a hideout in London and was building a vast network of operatives all across Europe.

In April 1942, after nine months, the British intelligence detected Garcia's operation and became convinced the Spaniard was indeed fooling the Germans with his bogus reports. Garcia, along with his wife and young son, were flown to London where he became the most successful agent in the British double cross system, the Allies' key counter espionage operations of World War II.

Next Time: Garbo's great deception.

Research assistance by Ann Johnson. The producer of A Moment In Time is Steve Clark. At the University of Richmond, this is Dan Roberts.


"Double Cross Ensured D-Day Success," BBC News

Kross, Peter. The Encyclopedia of World War II Spies. Barricade Books Inc.: Fort Lee, NJ, 2001.

Travis, Alan. "Normandy Victory Relied on Agent So Good They Called Him Garbo." The Guardian 17 Sept. 1999,

Polmar, Norman and Thomas B. Allen. Spy Book: The Encyclopedia of Espionage.

Random House: NY, 1996.

Garbe, David. "Retired Military Man Shares Secrets Behind D-Day Invasion Scheme." Naples Daily News 17 April 2002,

"Spaniard Behind the D-Day Landings," BBC News

Copyright 2014 by Dan Roberts Enterprises, Inc.


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