5 most famous woman spies of the world
Spy story is always intriguing. May it be James Bond or Elektra Natchios spy stories are most fascinating for people of all age group and gender. While these characters are fictious, what is about the real life spies. It is more surprizing to see that there are many famous woman spies. Here are the interesting life and work of five most famous woman spies of the world.
Mata Hari was a famous double agent. She was sensuous, exotic and an ace dancer. This Dutch exotic dancer’s real name was Margaretha Geertruida Zelle. Her near naked, sensual dance was an instant hit when she began her career in 1905.
With her sensual dances, Mata drew huge audiences across Berlin, Vienna and Madrid, and was said to have had many affairs with both military and political figures of the day.
During the First World War Mata’s many connections in high places allowed her to travel freely around. The precise activities of her spying are unclear, but in 1917 the French accused her of working for the Germans, using evidence from covert British intelligence.
Mata maintained that she was paid to spy for the French in Belgium, but the French authorities said she had turned double agent and leaked some secret information to the Germans. She was arrested and executed by firing squad in 1917 aged 41.
Popularly known as the ‘White Mouse’, Nancy had reportedly killed a Sentry with her bare hands. Nancy Wake became one of the most decorated service women of the war during World War II. She was Gestapo’s most wanted person with a five million franc price on her head.
During her undercover work Nancy once reportedly cycled 300 miles through German checkpoints to replace codes her wireless operator had been forced to destroy in a German raid. Later, when she escaped to back to Britain, she was enrolled into the Special Operations Executive (SOE).
On another occasion Nancy was parachuted back into occupied Auvernge where she provided arms and intelligence to local resistance forces camped out in the Forest of Tronçais. She helped lead attacks on SS soldiers causing 1,400 casualties. On one such raid Nancy killed an SS sentry with her bare hands to stop him from raising the alarm. After the war ended she found out her husband had sadly died under Gestapo torture having refused to reveal her whereabouts.
Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg and her husband Julius were executed by electric chair at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in 1953 for passing on information about the construction of the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union.
She was accused of typing up stolen atomic secrets from notes provided by her brother. The FBI caught the couple, along with other atomic spies, in 1950.
They were executed in June 1953 amid widespread outrage and controversy.
Anna Chapman, known as Russia’s ‘flamed-haired beauty’, was arrested with nine others in 2010 on suspicion of involvement in the ‘Illegal’s Program’ spy ring. The group was a network of Russian sleeper agents whose apparent aim was to infiltrate high-end social and political circles.
Anna was born in the Russian city of Volgograd. She was daughter to a senior KGB official. In 2001 she married British Alex Chapman, gaining her dual Russian–British citizenship and a British passport.
After their marriage broke down she moved to Manhattan, where she was well placed to send sensitive information back to the Kremlin. She was arrested in 2010 by an FBI sting operation in which she was asked to forward a fake passport onto another spy.
After phoning her father for advice, she handed the passport into US police and was subsequently arrested, tried and deported back to Russia as part of a spy swap. Once back in Russia, Anna maintained her celebrity status. Even she received one of Russia’s highest medals for espionage.
Josephine Baker was an America born French dancer, singer, actress, civil rights activist and French resistance spy. When war broke out in 1939 she was recruited by French military intelligence as an ‘honorable correspondent’ to gather information about German troop locations from officials at the many parties she would attend at emabassies and ministries throughout Europe.
Even when Germany invaded France the Nazis, due to her huge popularity, allowed her free movement and she would carry information for transmission to England written in invisible ink on her sheet music.