How female spies changed the course of history
The world has seen several women spies who have proven disastrous to the establishment. Gupta will always be remembered as India's deadliest woman spy and will go down in history books as India's Mata Hari. Here is a list of the deadly women spies who have made it into the history books.
Madhuri Gupta: The 53-year-old Indian diplomat has claimed that she was harassed mentally by her superiors and this is what led her to seek revenge. Investigations have also revealed that she had a love interest in her Pakistani handler, with whom she shared information.
Image: Madhuri Gupta
Mata Hari: The 'Indian princess'
Mata Hari who was born in Holland and later she married a Dutch army officer. She later became a dancer and became immensely popular in Paris. During the First World War she shot to the limelight as a courtesan to many high-ranking officials in the German army..She masqueraded as an Indian princess to gain access to army officials in Paris.
There are conflicting reports about her allegiance during the war with some reports claiming her to be working for the Germans and others saying she was a French agent. She was tried in France in February 1917 and executed on October 15, 1917.
Image: Mata Hari
Virginia Hall: The Limping Lady
Hall later joined the British Special Operations Executive and was posted to France. During this time the Gestapo chief regarded her as the most dangerous person in France.
Hall incidently had suffered an unfortunate accident where she shot herself in the foot and had to use a prosthetic limb. Inspite of her handicap, she proved to be a successful agent and was honoured by the British and the French after the war.
Image: Virginia Hall
Belle Boyd: The Cleopatra of the Secession
She used her charming ways to become a major attraction in the social circles in Washington which helped her get information. During one of her missions in 1864 she was asked to carry a letter to England but was captured by the Union Navy. However the officer in charge fell in love with her and let her escape.
Boyd was caught atleast 30 times by the Union forces during the American Civil war.
Image: Belle Boyd
Roxana Saberi: The spy who denied it
The Iranian government which arrested her in 2009 charged her with espionage and sentenced her to 8 years imprisonment. However based on an appeal, the charge was reduced to possessing classified information.
Her sentence was then reduced to two years, but she continued to deny all charges against her.
Image: Roxana Saberi
Nora Baker: The Nazi hater
She was however arrested on October 13 1943 in Paris. She was very aggressive during her interrogation and was classified as a highly dangerous prisoner. Interestingly she never gave up any information and lied constantly. She was executed along with four other spies. She was posthumously awarded the British Mention in Dispatches and a French Croix de Guerre (Cross of War) with a Gold Star.
Image: Noor Inayat Khan alias Nora Baker
Elizabeth Van Lew: Crazy Bet
Elizabeth Van Lew: alias Crazy Bet was a prominent Union spy during the American Civil War.
While working undercover she gave the impression that she was mentally ill, which earned her the tag of Crazy Bet. When the Libby prison was opened up in Richmond, Virginia, she was permitted to bring food and clothing to the soldiers who were imprisoned there.
She not only helped them escape but also carried crucial information on the troop movements which she later passed on to the Union's commanders.
Image: Elizabeth Van Lew