Did you know the “real” James Bond was Serbian? Ian Fleming was the writer for Reuters and earned his fame for his writings on the “show trials” in Russia of several Royal Engineers up on espionage charges. He was fascinated by a Serbian double agent named Dušan Popov. Popov spoke fluent German and was recruited to work for the Nazi intelligence group. He notified his friend in British Intelligence because he had a secret hatred for the Nazis. The friend signed him up to work for his agency. Dušan provided the Nazis just enough approved material to keep them happy and shared numerous bits of information to the Allies.
Dušan was very well paid from both sides and developed a playboy lifestyle. He stayed at the best hotels, ate at top restaurants and frequented casinos. His hedonism and adventurist lifestyle didn’t fit the cliché of the profession, and he often attracted attention. He was noted as a womanizer and was dating many famous actresses (some of them were Hollywood stars). He loved to live the high life and is said to have developed the code name Tricycle because his love for threesome sex.
In 1941 Dušan Popov warned the FBI about an impending attack on Pearl Harbor. Popov handed the information to the FBI on August 12, 1941, almost four months before the attack. But unlike the Brits, who had so much confidence in Popov, the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover didn’t trust him. Hoover thought Popov was “just a Serbian playboy” and didn’t want anything to do with him, or his intelligence information. Either Hoover didn’t pass on the information to his superiors or they didn’t take it as a serious threat.
lt was a possibility that the US government didn’t act on the intelligence precisely because the president was looking for an excuse to bring Americans into a war he had promised not to involve them in. Even though Hoover may not have liked or trusted anyone personally, if he was given such important and valuable information such as this, he would’nt have dared not to report this to his superiors. Who knows if things would have been any different but the USA lost 2,402 military personnel and civilians on Sunday, December 7th, 1941. This date will forever be remembered by Americans throughout the country.
- told the British about the invasion of France
- informed them how the Germans did not have enough troops to invade Britain
- warned the Americans about Pearl Harbour – though they chose to ignore the information
- was a key part of the XX Committee which led to the successful landings in Normandy on “D-day”
In recognition of all this and more, Dušan was awarded The Order of the British Empire.