We have grown up watching crazy movies about spies with fancy gadgets and high adrenaline action stunts that made our mouths drop in wonder. But what if we told you that many of these fictional spy characters were inspired from true stories?
Here are some true and incredible stories of spies that are awe-inspiring:
1. Along with being a spy, Harriet Tubman was a scout, soldier and nurse who worked with the U.S. Army. She was part of a classified operation during the term of President Abraham Lincoln that involved using former slaves as they had lived a life being, “invisible”.
2. Popular fashion designer Coco Chanel was a spy for the Nazis. She was also addicted to morphine had was strongly prejudiced against the Jews, particularly one Jewish family who controls the Chanel House until today. She was also in a relationship with a German aristocrat.
3. Juan Pujol Garcia, a man who had failed at everything in life became a British and German double agent. His one lie helped Britain win the World War II. He created an army of millions that fooled Hitler.
4. A professional dancer turned spy, Mata Hari was one of the most mysterious spies of all time who worked for France. She became a spy to support her lover, a Russian soldier who became blind in one eye after being injured at The Front. She was shot after she blew a kiss at the French firing squad.
5. William Lamport, the spy on whom the story of “Zorro” was based was sent to Mexico to spy on its viceroy but after seeing the injustices of the Inquisition, he ended up inciting rebellion against Spain.
6. Noor Inayat Khan was recruited by Special Operations Executive to work in Paris as a British spy. Great-great-great-grand niece of Tipu Sultan, the princess frequently changed her appearance and single-handedly ran a ring of spies in France.
7. Richard Sorge was a Soviet military intelligence officer who was a spy working as a German journalist in Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan. He uncovered Adolf Hitler’s plan to attack the Soviet Union. His modus operandi was to go drinking with his Nazi companions and stay sober himself.
8. When RAW started looking for agents in secrecy, they found Ravindra Kaushik while he was performing a play at a drama event. He served as an Indian spy in the Pakistani army and had a law degree.
9. A spy on whom James Bond could have been modeled, Sidney Reilly was involved in the plot of over-throwing the Russian government, backed by Britain. A womanizer, he also obtained oil concessions from Iran and naval secrets from Germany.
10. A Russian spy working as a model, Anna Chapman passed on the secrets of the United States. When she was arrested and deported as part of a deal, she attained celebrity status in Russia and even modeled in lingerie for the cover of a magazine.
11. Marika Rökk, Hitler’s and Germany’s favourite film star was a Soviet spy who quit her career as a cover to continue to spy for Moscow. Hitler once sent her flowers in appreciation.
12. John Stonehouse was a British MP who faked his own death and then moved to Australia to live with his mistress. He was discovered and the truth came out when he was mistaken for another missing person. 20 years after he died it was found that he was a Czech spy. He died after getting a heart attack on live TV.
How many of these stories did you know?