Harold Cole

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Harold Cole (24 January 1906 - 8 January 1946) was a British soldier during World War II who betrayed many members of the French Resistance, doing severe damage to the Allied cause.

World War II

In September 1939, Cole enlisted in the British army. However, he was soon arrested for stealing money from his own unit, before being captured by enemy troops after his unit retreated and left him to be captured. After escaping and moving to Lille, Cole became a black marketeer. He later relocated to Marseilles, and joined the French Resistance, helping to establish safehouses and escape networks. However, in 1941 he was caught embezzling money from the resistance and confined to one room while the Resistance put him on trial. The Resistance ultimately decided to execute him, but he escaped through the window during the deliberation.

In order to escape from the Resistance, Cole turned himself in to the Nazi Party occupation forces. He was recruited as a spy, and supposedly betrayed at least 150 Resistance members to the Gestapo, 50 of whom were executed. He was "arrested" by the Gestapo multiple times in order to cover up his treachery.

Arrest, escape and death

After the liberation of France, Cole began impersonating a British Intelligence official on a mission to capture escaped Nazis, but was identified by a former girlfriend and arrested by MI9. He was imprisoned in the SHAEF military prison, but escaped on 18 November 1945 disguised as an American soldier. Cole managed to evade the police until 8 January 1946, when French police received a tipoff that he was hiding on the Rue de Grenelle in Paris. During the ensuing police raid, Cole attempted to escape, but was shot and killed by a police officer.