Dusko Popov

Biografie şi Bibliografie

Dušan "Duško" Popov (Serbian Cyrillic: Душан "Душко" Попов) (1912, Titel, Austro-Hungary - 1981, Opio, Alpes-Maritimes, France) was a double agent working for MI5 during World War II under the cryptonym Tricycle.

Origins of Tricycle

Popov was born in 1912 in Titel, Austro-Hungary (now Serbia) to a wealthy Serbian family. His family moved to Dubrovnik (now Croatia) when he was very young.

He spoke fluent German and had many highly placed German friends, but he secretly despised the Nazis after earlier unpleasant brushes during his university years in Freiburg.

Signed up as a spy by anti-Hitler Abwehr agents early in the war, Popov, according to their plan, immediately offered his services to the United Kingdom. He was accepted as a double agent and came to live in London. His international business activities provided cover for visits to neutral Portugal, which was linked to the United Kingdom by a weekly civil air service for most of the war. Popov fed enough MI5-approved information to the Germans to keep them happy and unaware of his actions and was well paid for his services. The assignments they gave him were of great value to the British in assessing enemy plans and thinking.

He is famous for the playboy lifestyle he lived while carrying out perilous wartime missions for the British. His codename of Tricycle was given to him because of his penchant for threesome sex.

Allegations regarding Pearl Harbor

In 1941, Popov was dispatched to the United States by the Abwehr to establish a new German network. He was given ample funds and an intelligence questionnaire, a list of intelligence targets. This questionnaire was later published as an appendix to J.C. Masterman's book The Double Cross System. Of the three typewritten pages of the questionnaire, one entire page was devoted to highly detailed questions about U.S. defenses at Pearl Harbor on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. He made contact with the FBI and explained what he had been asked to do. During a televised interview, Dusko Popov related having informed the FBI on August 12, 1941 of the impending attack on Pearl Harbor. For whatever reason, either the FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover did not report this fact to his superiors,[5] or they, for reasons of their own, took no action in regard to this apparent German interest in Pearl Harbor. Popov himself has said Hoover was quite suspicious and distrustful of him and, according to author William "Mole" Wood, when Hoover discovered Popov had taken a woman from New York to Florida, he threatened to have him arrested under the Mann Act if he did not leave the U.S. immediately.

Operation Fortitude

In 1944, Popov became a key part of the Operation Fortitude deception campaign. However, when his German intelligence handler (who was also a double agent and knew of Popov's control by the British) was arrested, the British feared Popov had been betrayed and ceased giving him critical information to pass along. However after time passed and no indication of any distrust of Popov was discernible, he was brought back into use.

Personal life

Popov was a noted as a ladies' man - while in the US he lived an extravagant lifestyle and had an affair with the well-known actress Simone Simon.

Popov died in 1981 aged 69, leaving behind a widow and three sons. Duško Popov published his memoirs Spy, Counterspy in 1974.

See also

    * World War II
    * Inspirations for James Bond
    * Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge debate

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