Double Agent Operations

In this release

Juan Pujol-Garcia alias Garbo, alias Bovril, alias Immortal

Catalogue reference: KV 2/41904214
Date range: 23 February 1942–04 August 1948

Code named Garbo, Pujol-Garcia was one of the most important of the wartime double cross agents who were used to channel misinformation to the Germans. Unusually for a double cross agent the Spaniard had not worked for the Germans as an agent, and had set himself up on his own before being incorporated into the MI5 operation.

Pujol-Garcia ‘recruited’ a wide network of imaginary agents, for his German handlers, who sent reports to Germany from the UK, North Africa and Canada. Working together with case officer Tomás Harris he sent the Germans misinformation on various topics including Operations Torch, Husky and an imaginary cave network in southern England. The Garbo network was most influential in the run up to, and immediate aftermath of, D-Day when they provided reports that the landings were merely a diversion.

These files also reveal details of Garbo’s home life, and in particular the immense strain his activities put on his wife Araceli who felt trapped in their small Harrow home with her child. Reports from Harris include harrowing accounts of Araceli attempting to take her own life and fears that she may blow Garbo’s cover through communications back to Spain.

(KV 2/4190, KV 2/4191, KV 2/4197, KV 2/4200, KV 2/4204, KV 2/4205, KV 2/4210, KV 2/4211, KV 2/4213 and KV 2/4214 have been digitised)