Double Cross The True Story Of The D Day Spies

Summary: Double Cross is a true story about the spies who operated in France during World War II, providing intelligence to the Germans but ultimately playing a crucial role in the Allied invasion on D-Day. This article will delve into their recruitment, training, and covert operations as well as the impact they had on the outcome of the war.

1. The Spymasters

The success of the Double Cross operation can be attributed to two key figures: Tommy “Tar” Robertson and John Masterman. Robertson was the MI5 officer responsible for recruiting and managing the double agents, while Masterman headed the Twenty Committee, which oversaw the entire deception plan. They carefully selected and trained the agents, providing them with convincing cover stories and ways to transmit information securely to the Nazis.

One of the earliest recruits was Juan Pujol Garcia, a Spaniard who convinced the Germans he was a loyal Nazi sympathizer. He then formed his own network of fake agents, sending false reports back to the Germans but providing valuable intelligence to the Allies. Another notable agent was Roman Czerniawski, a Polish officer who posed as a Gestapo officer and transmitted crucial information about German troop movements to the Allies.

Robertson and Masterman maintained close contact with their agents throughout the war, using a series of dead-letter boxes, coded messages, and secret meetings to communicate without being detected by the Germans.

2. The Deception Plan

Double Cross was part of a larger deception plan known as Operation Bodyguard, which aimed to mislead the Germans about the location and timing of the Allied invasion. The double agents played a key role in this plan by convincing the Germans that the invasion was coming at a different location than Normandy. They also fed the Germans misinformation about the strength and position of Allied forces, causing them to divert resources away from Normandy.

One of the most audacious deceptions was Operation Fortitude, which involved creating a fake First United States Army Group (FUSAG) that would supposedly invade Norway or Pas-de-Calais. The double agents helped to reinforce this deception by providing fake intelligence about FUSAG’s movements and intentions.

The deception plan culminated in the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, when the Allies landed at Normandy and caught the Germans off guard. Without the double agents, this victory might not have been possible.

3. The Cost of Betrayal

The decision to become a double agent was not an easy one. The agents had to lie convincingly to both their Nazi handlers and their MI5 controllers, walking a fine line between loyalty and betrayal. If they were caught by either side, they faced torture and execution.

One example of the dangers double agents faced was the case of Henri Déricourt, a French pilot who worked for MI6 and assisted in the establishment of secret airfields in France. He was later suspected of being a double agent and was imprisoned and tortured by the Gestapo before eventually being released due to lack of evidence.

Other double agents faced emotional hardships as well. Some had to live with the guilt of betraying their friends and family, while others had to feign loyalty to a cause they despised. For some, the burden became too great and they either turned themselves in or suffered from mental breakdowns.


Double Cross is a fascinating true story of bravery, deception, and betrayal during World War II. The success of the double agents in deceiving the Nazis and ultimately helping to win the war cannot be understated. However, their sacrifice came at a great cost, both personally and emotionally. Their legacy lives on as a testament to the power of intelligence and deception in warfare.

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