This month’s talk was by club member Paul Rundle.
We learnt that during WWII Britain rounded up all of the spies which Hitler had sent over; all but one of these had already been identified before their arrest, largely thanks to Enigma messages which had been decrypted. Some spies were arrested soon after landing in Britain, having injured themselves in their parachute landings. Moreover, the training of these spies had not been notably efficient and many or most of them could not even speak English! Some spies were executed for treachery, including Josef Jakobs (1898-1941), who was the last person ever to be executed at the Tower of London.
Paul spoke to us also about those who became double agents, having been ‘turned’ by MI5. Such double agents would for example feed false information to Germany about such things as troop locations or troop movements. A well-known example was Agent Zigzag who provided false information to Germany about the landing places of the V1 and V2 missiles, claiming they had overshot their marks. As a result, the aim was adjusted and remaining V1s and V2s fell short of central London! Furthermore, ‘Garbo’ (a.k.a. Juan Pujol Garcia) invented a complete but false spy network, to fool Berlin.