Some Great Spies in History of The World – Espionage and spies are not only seen in movies. Of course, there are many movies about spies such as Mission Impossible and 007. However in real world, they really exist. In history, even some spies are recorded and this can become interesting information. When you are curious about spies and espionage, you can check some of these figures that are labeled as great spies in the world.
First, it is Sir Francis Walsingham. He lived between 1532 and 1590. He was a spymaster of Queen Elisabeth I. He played important roles to support Queen Elizabeth I in her power, especially in collecting important information. At that time, Queen Elizabeth I was afraid of the Catholic uprising. She thought that this could endanger her authority. Because of that, she appointed Sir Francis Walsingham. He serves as spymaster and he also recruited some people who worked as informers, seal-breakers, and even cryptographers. These were to protect the crown as what was ordered by the queen. One of the best results of his espionage was during the attack of Spanish Armada in 1588. Because he could know the information better, the attack could be subdued. Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots was also the results of his espionage and Mary got executed in 1587. Because of his great work, even it is said that Walsingham becomes the antecedent of MI5. This is the domestic counter-intelligent agency of British government.
Next, there is Belle Boyd. Her full name is Maria Isabella Boyd. Even if she was a woman, she was considered as one of the female spies. She served during the American Civil War. She was recruited and became confederate asset. She was actually almost got arrested because she shot a soldier who tried to harm her and her mother. In the end, he got killed by the shot. Then, Boyd was spared and she started her career as spy. She worked by attracting Union-affiliated soldiers. With her charms, she could attract the solders and officials. By doing so, she could gather strategies and information of the Union. Even when she was imprisoned, she still could get information from the guard who supervised her cell. That is why she was regarded as one of the best spies in the world.
Next female spy is Mata Hari. Her birth name is Margaretha Geertruida Zelle. She was born in Holland. Then, she was known as Mata Hari and she became dancer of royal Indonesian heritage. In Indonesia, her name of Mata Hari means sun. Her performance on stage made her famous during World War I. However, she was not just a great performer. She served as spy and her popularity made her get into interaction with some important figures so she could get information and secrets. Then, she sold the information to Germans during the World War I. Her act in seducing the targets made her able to get many important secrets that helped Germans during the war.
Fritz Joubert Duquesne was a spy from South Africa. He was born and grew in South Africa. In his life, he witnessed and experienced the atrocities of British army during the Boer War. Even, his mother and sister were the victims and they were got imprisoned in concentration camp. The experience made him hate British army and then he was recruited by German to become spy in World War I. In his espionage, he became scientist that allowed him to gain accesses to the army and various kinds of important information. It is said that he was the one who detonate bombs and made some ships exploded during war. Even, he was also said to become the one who caused HMS Hampshire to sink in 1916.
Another female spy was Lise de Baissac. She was Mauritian and later she became British spy. She served during World War II and she became member of Special Operative Executive or SOE. She was recruited and became member of SOE in 1942. She conducted solo espionage in France that was occupied by German. She even lived in Gestapo headquarter and she could stay in the headquarters as spy for 11 months. In her espionage, she became an archeologist. This made her able to collect information about weapons and networks.
Dusan Popov was born in Serbia. Later, he was known as Dusan Dusko Popov when he served as spy in MI6 during World War II. One of his prominent services as spy was in 1941. He could find some important information regarding Japanese movement in the war. Then, he delivered the message saying that Japanese was going to launch attack to the Pearl Harbor. The information was sent to FBI 4 months before the attack occurred. Although Popov successfully delivered the information, it did not change anything because FBI’s director at that time, Edgar Hoover, did not really trust the message sent by Popov. Thus, Pearl Harbor really got attacked by Japanese army and they could not defend the harbor.