He Fought On Both Sides In The Spanish Civil War He Was Awarded The Iron Cross By Hitler And An MBE By Britain To MI He Was Known As Garbo To The Abwehr, He Was Alaric He Also Went By Rags The Indian Poet, Mrs Gerbers, Stanley The Welsh Nationalist And Other Names He Tricked Hitler Over D Day He Was The Greatest Double Agent In HistoryBut Who, Exactly, Was Juan Pujol Using His Intimate Knowledge Of Spain And His Skills As A Crime Novelist, Jason Webster Tells For The First Time The Full True Story Of The Character Who Captured The Imagination In Ben Macintyre S Double Cross He Tells Of Pujol S Early Life In Spain, His Determination To Fight Totalitarianism And His Strange Journey From German Spy To MI Working For The British, Whom He Saw As The Exemplars Of Freedom And Democracy, He Created A Bizarre Fictional Network Of Spies Of Them That Misled The Entire German High Command, Including Hitler Himself Above All, In Operation Fortitude He Diverted German Panzer Divisions Away From Normandy, Playing A Crucial Role In Safeguarding D Day And Ending The War, And Securing His Reputation As The Most Successful Double Agent Of The WarMeticulously Researched, Yet Told With The Verve Of A Thriller, The Spy With Names Uncovers The Truth Far Stranger Than Any Fiction About The Spy Behind One Of Recent History S Most Important And Dramatic Events Amazing Simply amazing.The story of Juan Pujol Garc a aka Alaric aka Garbo aka TWENTY SEVEN other names was told awesomely To tell you the truth, I was going to use masterfully and then wonderfully but decided those sound too I m a wannabe New York Times Book Reviewer but I actually review for The Sun But Jason Webster truly is a stupendous that s a good word I like that word story teller and I m going to go out and get of his books as soon as I can.The reason this book is 4 stars is because I got confused about who one person was though I m sure if I were just a bit smarter I would be able to get it Well, I guess I m just for sure not going to get into the spy section in the Army and because sometimes someone was introduced but their part didn t take place until the next chapter or so and I wanted them introduced chronologically But please, if you re reading this review, GO READ THE BOOK An audacious and almost incredible story of the you just can t make this shit up variety How on Earth had I never heard of this fascinating tale before given my interest in anything of the sort The Spy with 29 NamesBy Jason WebsterGenre War fictionPlotHe fought on both sides in the Spanish Civil War He was awarded the Iron Cross by Hitler and an MBE by Britain To MI5 he was known as Garbo To the Abwehr, he was Alaric He also went by Rags the Indian Poet, Mrs Gerbers, Stanley the Welsh Nationalist and 24 other names He tricked Hitler over D Day He was the greatest double agent in history.But who, exactly, was Juan Pujol Using his intimate knowledge of Spain and his skills as a crime novelist, Jason Webster tells for the first time the full true story of the character who captured the imagination in Ben Macintyre s Double Cross He tells of Pujol s early life in Spain, his determination to fight totalitarianism and his strange journey from German spy to MI5 Working for the British, whom he saw as the exemplars of freedom and democracy, he created a bizarre fictional network of spies 29 of them that misled the entire German high command, including Hitler himself Above all, in Operation Fortitude he diverted German Panzer divisions away from Normandy, playing a crucial role in safeguarding D Day and ending the war, and securing his reputation as the most successful double agent of the war.Meticulously researched, yet told with the verve of a thriller, The Spy with 29 Names uncovers the truth far stranger than any fiction about the spy behind one of recent history s most important and dramatic events.ReviewThis book was absolutely riveting, it contained all the elements I like in a book, about WWII, it was intense, intelligent and an extraordinary factual account.Joan Pujol Garcia, loathed both the Communist and Fascist regimes in Europe Pujol wanted to help his fellow man, he was appalled at how people were being treated by the Nazi s and Russians So he decided to offer his services to the British and Americans as a spy both 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 England, train timetables, cinema newsreels, and magazine advertisements Pujol 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.The family was moved to Britain and Pujol was given the code name Garbo Pujol and his handler Tom s Harris spent the rest of the war expanding the fictional network, Highly recommended.5 stars Moving from the gore and mayhem of the maneuvers of war to the cold huts of Bletchley in 1940 and thence to the mundane safe houses of MI5, Jason Webster has scripted a tale of defiant imagination, unquenched belief and thread hanging gambits that all came together to play a major part in the Allies triumph over Nazi Germany It shows again that pitted against brute force, wit and imagination will often tip the scale A vividly and well written story although one that sometimes left me thinking that the author was interested in telling tales of martial derring do for their imaginative impact than in advancing this tale And, yet, I have been thoroughly educated about British thinking during the Nazi war. This book was very well written It was like reading a fictional story, removing the boredom that readers experience when reading historical non fiction Though the timelines were a bit confusing or were overlapping for someone not so familiar , it did not fail to capture the essence of the story, adding a bit of humour and mixing conflict within THE conflict I have learned so much from reading this book I am not much well versed and not much interested in history, much the war, but because of this, my interest has been awakened and I began to appreciate history and the inside story of it, the untold stories and unsung heroes behind the victory of the Allies during World War II I would highly recommend this to history junkies or even those looking for an interesting, educational read, a brush up from the past and a glimpse of the behind the scenes stories that went along. Who knew Not many people won medals from both sides during WW2 Juan Pujol, a likeable Spanish character who worked for British intelligence can claim this distinction, creating and playing a cast of characters that completely fooled German intelligence and was vitally helpful to the D Day invasion This is a fun and informative read about a little known hero who played an essential part in the winning of the second world war. The spy with 29 namesAn excellent read that cleared up muddles in my understanding of this operation Especially liked the depiction of the amateur energy involved The energy that gets things done the chance, the tightrope, the improvisation. Garbo, Alaric, Rags, Mrs Gerbers and Stanley have two things in common they were all false, and they were all one man However, he did have a real name, and a wife and children, and it is claimed that he is the one of the greatest double agents that we know of but just who was Juan Pujol Pujol was a Spanish man, who disliked totalitarianism He was involved in the Spanish civil war, avoiding serious action, but somehow managing to switch sides With the rise of Germany in Europe, he slowly worked his way into the trust of the Nazi s as a spy providing intelligence and information His intelligent reports were eagerly received by them, and as the transcripts were read at Bletchley Park, they were equally worried by them Pujol really wanted to work for MI5, and so he engineered a way of getting to the UK Not long after he arrived, he was using all his powers of persuasion to convince them to take him on.So began one on the most audacious double crosses yet known Pujol s fertile imagination led to the creation a fictional network of agents These characters supposedly had some grudge against the state, and he placed them at specific ports and area of interest to the Germans The Abwehr thought that they had a whole network of 29 spies in Britain the reality was very different With the assistance of the Double Cross team in MI5 he spoon fed a carefully concocted blend of truth and lies that misled the entire German high command, including Hitler himself This is another of those non fiction books that read like a spy thriller Truth and lies were blended in such a way that agents lives and movements were fabricated with all manner of details, and the Nazi s swallowed the whole thing The whole deception plan had genuine success too, even though it was touch and go at times Operation Fortitude managed to keep the German Panzer Divisions near Calais where the next invasion was expected and away from Normandy after the D Day invasion, this allowed troops to establish themselves with much less resistance This is still a fascinating story about an imaginative and audacious spy first revealed in Macintyre s book, Double Cross Macintyre has the edge on Webster as a writer, but this is still worth reading. A non fiction that reads like fiction A must read for anyone interested in WW 2 I am not a big fan of war literature but love a good spy story and this book provides and incredible spy story, even better that all this really took place.