war

Family Domestic Among Spies Nearly Scuppered WWII D-Day Plans

By Gary Cutlack on at

Juan Pujol, a double-agent who operated under the codename Agent Garbo and was instrumental in putting the Nazis off the scent when it came to working out where the D-Day landings would take place, very nearly had his cover blown thanks to a heated domestic with his wife.

Newly released files in the National Archives tell the story of Juan and his wife Araceli, who were suffering from the stresses of war in 1943 to such an extent that Araceli threatened to run off to the Spanish Embassy and tell all.

Infuriated by being ordered to stay at home to avoid being recognised and her husband being away all the time on his genuine secret missions to report incorrect information back to the Nazis, Araceli had had enough. She was extremely homesick, with her MI5 case officer quoting her as saying: "I don't want to live five minutes longer with my husband. Even if they kill me I am going to the Spanish embassy."

They then concocted a plan to fake Agent Garbo's arrest, a plan that even included taking his wife to see him in prison. This bizarre bit of manipulation convinced her to give up on her plans to escape back home to Spain. [BBC]


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