Juan Pujol García MBE (14 February 1912 – 10 October 1988) was a Spanish citizen who deliberately became a double agent against Nazi Germany during World War II. He relocated to England to carry out fictional spying activities for the Nazis, and was known by the British codename Garbo and the German codename Alaric.
Pujol had the distinction of receiving military decorations from both sides during World War II, gaining both an Iron Cross from Germany and an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) from Britain.
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 Britain, 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. After the initial interviews carried out by Desmond Bristow of Section V MI6 Iberian Section, Joan Pujol was taken on. 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 to the German handlers and 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 in 1944. The false information Pujol supplied helped persuade the Germans that the main attack would be in the Pas de Calais, so that they kept large forces there before and even after the invasion.