The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day
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“The book presses ever forward down a path of historical marvels and astonishing facts. The effect is like a master class that’s accessible to anyone, and Agent Garbo often reads as though it were written in a single, perfect draft.”—The Atlantic
Before he remade himself as the master spy known as Garbo, Juan Pujol was nothing more than a Barcelona poultry farmer. But as Garbo, he turned in a masterpiece of deception that changed the course of World War II. Posing as the Nazis’ only reliable spy inside England, he created an imaginary million-man army, invented armadas out of thin air, and brought a vast network of fictional subagents to life. The scheme culminated on June 6, 1944, when Garbo convinced the Germans that the Allied forces approaching Normandy were just a feint—the real invasion would come at Calais. Because of his brilliant trickery, the Allies were able to land with much less opposition and eventually push on to Berlin.
As incredible as it sounds, everything in Agent Garbo is true, based on years of archival research and interviews with Pujol’s family. This pulse-pounding thriller set in the shadow world of espionage and deception reveals the shocking reality of spycraft that occurs just below the surface of history.
“Stephan Talty’s unsurpassed research brings forth one of the war’s greatest agents in a must-read book for those who think they know all the great World War II stories.” —Gregory Freeman, author of The Forgotten 500
Juan Pujol changed the world with his imagination, and this fascinating book tells you how he did it. Pujol was a nobody working as a hotel manager when he decided to "fight a personal war with Hitler." He tricked the Germans into believing he wanted to spy for them and was smuggled into England, where he turned double agent. What followed is one of the most amazing espionage or adventure stories I've ever come across.
I truly found it hard to put the book down, which is not something that usually happens to me. Pujol has to outwit the German High Command, make Hitler believe that the D-Day invasion is coming somewhere besides Normandy, AND outsmart his own wife, who at one point threatened to reveal the whole operation until Pujol cooked up a scheme to win her back. The book reads like a Hollywood film, part "Casablanca" and part "The Great Escape."
Incredible storytelling in the service of an incredible story. Highly recommended!
Great glimpse into the real world of espionage
True story that reads like a Vince Flynn novel
Truly amazing story
Well written and truly inspiring. Heard the author on a radio program discussing the book, which I then purchased. A good reminder of the debt we owe to many of these unknown heros. I genuinely enjoyed the true life action story that unfolded and the implications on the characters lives, and ultimately on the lives of many of us. Thanks to the author.