Tomás Harris

For other people named Thomas Harris, see Thomas Harris (disambiguation).
Tomás Harris

Tomás Harris
Born 10 April 1908
Hampstead, London, Great Britain
Died 27 January 1964
Majorca, Spain
Cause of death Motor accident
Nationality British
Other names Tommy Harris
Occupation Spy
Employer MI5
Known for Operation Fortitude

Tomás (Tommy) Joseph Harris (10 April 1908 - 27 January 1964) was a Spanish-speaking officer with MI5 during World War II who worked with Garbo, an important double agent for the British.

Harris and Pujol

Together they made up a fictional team of 27 fake sub-agents, who were created in order to convince German intelligence that Garbo was a reliable spy. This resulted in what became known as the Garbo deception.

Pujol's and Tomás' Network of Fictitious Agents

                AGENT                               SUB-AGENT
               |Agent ONE -------------------------|J(2) KLM pilot and courier
               |KLM steward                        |
               |-resigned in 1943                  |J(3) Head of   Section
               |                                   |
               |                                   |J(4) Censor in MOI
               |                                   |
               |                                   |J(5) Secretary in Cabinet Office
               |Agent TWO -------------------------|2(I) WIDOW
               |William Gerbers                    |     Mrs. Gerbers
               |-died in ,  in 1942
               |Agent THREE -----------------------|3(I) Pilot Officer
               |BENEDICT                           |
               |-"Carlos", a n student    |3(2) Officer in 
               | in Glasgow, Scotland              |
               |                                   |3(3) Greek seaman and deserter
GARBO/ARABEL --|Agent FOUR ------------------------|4(I) ALMURA
(Juan Pujol)   |CHAMILLUS                          |     radio operator
               |-Gibraltarian NAAFI waiter based   |
               | in Chislehurst (London), England  |4(2) Guard based in Chislehurst
               |                                   |
               |                                   |4(3) US NCO based in London
               |Agent FIVE ------------------------|5(I) Agent FIVE's cousin in Buffalo, USA
               |-a Venezuelan based in Ottawa,
               | Canada
               |-brother of "BENEDICT"
               |Agent SIX
               |Field Security NCO
               |-died in 1943
               |Agent SEVEN -----------------------|7(I) Soldier in British 9th Armoured Division
               |DAGOBERT                           |
               |-Ex-seaman in Swansea, Wales       |7(2) DONNY
                                                   |     Leader of World Aryan Order
                                                   |7(3) Wren in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)
                                                   |7(4) DICK
                                                   |     Indian fanatic
                                                   |7(5) DRAKE in Exeter, England
                                                   |7(6) Welsh fascist in South Wales
                                                   |7(7) DORICK in Harwich, England

Double Agent?

In August 1962, during a reception at the Weizmann Institute, Flora Solomon told Victor Rothschild, who had worked with MI6 during the Second World War, that she thought that Tomás Harris and Kim Philby were Soviet spies. [1] She then went on to tell Rothschild that she suspected that Philby and his friend, Tomás Harris, had been Soviet agents since the 1930s. "Those two were so close as to give me an intuitive feeling that Harris was more than a friend." [2]

As a result of this information Kim Philby was forced to resign from the SIS. However, before Harris was interviewed by MI5 he was killed in a motor accident at Llucmajor, Majorca. Some people have suggested that Harris was murdered. [3]

Chapman Pincher, the author of Their Trade is Treachery (1981), agrees that it is possible that Harris had been eliminated by the KGB: : "The police could find nothing wrong with the car, which hit a tree, but Harris's wife, who survived the crash, could not explain why the vehicle had gone into a sudden slide. It is considered possible, albeit remotely, that the KGB might have wanted to silence Harris before he could talk to the British security authorities, as he was an expansive personality, when in the mood, and was outside British jurisdiction. The information, about which MI5 wanted to question him and would be approaching him in Majorca, could have leaked to the KGB from its source inside MI5." [4] Pincher goes on to argue that the source was probably Roger Hollis, the director-general of MI5.

British Museum

Harris was an avid collector of Spanish prints, which were mostly acquired by the British Museum after his death.[5]

Further reading

In January 1999 The Security Service released Tomás Harris's case files on GARBO. Harris's "Summary of the Garbo Case 1941-1945" is also published, entitled Garbo: The Spy who saved D-Day (ISBN 1-903365-58-9).

Tomas Harris was an Art Dealer, Artist, Goya Specialist and MI5 Officer (Garbo's case officer). He resided with his wife at Chesterfield Gardens, Mayfair, W1.


  1. Biography of Flora Solomon
  2. Flora Solomon, Baku to Baker Street (1984) page 226
  3. Biography of Tomás Harris
  4. Chapman Pincher, Their Trade is Treachery (1981) pages 169-170
  5. British Museum Collection

See also

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/28/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.