Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Famous Five

No, not the book series by fictional author, Enid Blyton, but five famous female spies.

Who are there - here is the list according to CNN:
1. Mata Hari: Margaretha Geertruida Zelle MacLeod (1876--1917) - Having spent time in Java with her husband, Captain Campbell MacLeod, Margaretha returned to Holland and sued for divorce. To make ends meet she took up exotic dancing and the name Mata Hari (meaning "the light of day" in Malay). With her sensual performances becoming the attraction of the major European cities came the men and the gifts for her favors. Many of these favors came from royalty and high-ranking French and German military officers.

2. Noor Inayat Khan: Khan was born in 1914 and at a young age moved with her family first to England and then to France. In 1940, Khan, along with her mother and sister, escaped back to England just before France surrendered to Germany. On September 13, 1944, Khan and three other female British spies were executed by the Nazi SS. In 1949, Khan was posthumously awarded the George Cross.

3. Belle Boyd (aka "La Belle Rebelle"): In 1864, Confederate president Jefferson Davis asked Belle to carry letters for him to England. The Union Navy captured her ship, but the officer in charge fell in love with Belle and let her escape. The officer, Lieutenant Samuel Harding Jr., after being courtmartialed and discharged from the Navy, traveled to England, where he married Belle.

4. Elizabeth Van Lew: After developing a hatred for slavery, Elizabeth returned to Richmond and freed all her family's slaves. She also went so far as finding where her freed slaves' relatives were and purchased and freed them also. When the citizens of Richmond found out that Crazy Bet was an act, they shunned her. However, at her death, the state of Massachusetts placed a memorial marker on her grave.

5. Sarah Emma Edmonds (or Was It Frank Thompson?): In 1861, Frank (Sarah) enlisted in the Second Michigan Infantry and over the next two years not only fought in a number of Civil War battles, but also served as a spy for the Union Army. Solders in her unit called Frank "our woman" because of his feminine mannerisms and his extremely small boot size. However, none of her comrades ever figured out that Frank was really Sarah.

Who would have made your top five list.

1 comment:

Zeinobia said...

Well in the modern Egyptian and Arabic history we got our own 5 top female spies
You got the famous or infamous Heba Salim who used to spy for the Mossad and got executed after 1973 war , Israel demanded her exchange without knowing that she was executed and President Sadat in Camp David said his famous words "Sure you can take her ,we do not know where to bury her"

You got Asmhan or Princess Amal Al Atrashe of the Druze mount in WWII, still we can't be sure on her role exactly there are too many stories about her,whether she was a patriot princess working for Syria's independence or she was a wild person made with money and alcohol but we are somehow sure that she was killed by the British in 1944 in a terrible car accident

You got the famous Hakmet Fahmy ,the Egyptian belly dancer in WWII,she used to spy for the Germans, she was with the same spy ring of late President Sadat , caught and executed by the British

And in WWII also there is Amina El-Barudi who recruited Princess Amal Al Atrashe ,there is no much info about her in Egypt no despite I am currently searching for,she died alone in Cairo

and Dalia ,Dalia was a double agent who was originally spied for Israel after the 6 days war because of her hate to the 23 July Regime that nationalized her father , still she was not a bad person because she cooperated with the Egyptian Intelligence in the end