Friday, June 6, 2008

A Day to Remember - Hats Off, Juan!

Sixty four years ago on this date, June 6, the greatest armada in history landed on the beaches of Normandy to begin the liberation of Europe under Nazi rule.
This story is one of the most thoroughly researched in the history of warfare; therefore, it would be a waste of the reader's time for me to re-enact any phase of this great military operation.
I should simply like to acknowledge our eternal gratitude to those who participated in Operation Overlord, and, particularly, those who fell in this magnificent endeavor which ultimately is the cause for placing us where we are at this moment in history.
In addition, may I remind the reader of one fascinating individual who was a kind of linchpin in the success of this undertaking?
His name was Juan Pujol, who was known as 'Garbo', and one of the most brilliant double spies in the history of warfare. Working for the British, and believed at the same time by the Nazis that he was working for them, Pujol kept feeding the Germans false information concerning the location of the coming landings by the Allies, inducing the Germans into thinking that Calais would be the location of the invasion, rather than Normandy, which indeed was where the landings took place.
Imagine! The Germans were so convinced that Pujol was a spy for them, that Hitler had ordered the striking of a medal for his contribution to the Third Reich.
After the war, Pujol, upon visiting the cemeteries in Normandy to honor the Allied soldiers who had fallen, wept, stating that he wished with all of his heart that he could have saved the lives of more men.
He passed away shortly thereafter.

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