Blue plaque to be unveiled for woman who was Churchill’s ‘favourite spy’ | World news | The Guardian

I meant to post this in the middle of September when it was still current news and then promptly forgot about it!

She was a Polish countess and Churchill’s favourite spy whose many dazzling accomplishments included smuggling microfilm across Europe which proved Hitler’s plans to invade…

Source: Blue plaque to be unveiled for woman who was Churchill’s ‘favourite spy’ | World news | The Guardian

See also: The Spy Who Loved: The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville by Clare Mulley

Nazi spy or sad fantasist? Newly-released files finally shed light on the seaside B&B landlady sentenced to death for treason | Daily Mail Online

Unassuming: Dorothy O'Grady's neighbours knew her as a guest house landlady whose greatest pleasure was walking her Labrador, Rob

Unassuming: Dorothy O’Grady’s neighbours knew her as a guest house landlady whose greatest pleasure was walking her Labrador, Rob

To her neighbours, Dorothy O’Grady was a pleasant middle-aged woman who liked walking her Labrador around their sleepy seaside town.

So when the unassuming landlady of Osborne Villa in the Isle of Wight was suddenly arrested in 1940 on suspicion of being a Nazi spy, few believed it possible…

via Nazi spy or sad fantasist? Newly-released files finally shed light on the seaside B&B landlady sentenced to death for treason | Daily Mail Online

A Very Dangerous Woman: Baroness Moura Budberg – Wonders & Marvels

Spy, seductress, aristocrat, Baroness Moura Budberg was a mystery to everyone who knew her, even her closest friends and her children.

In London in the 1950s, she was a renownedMoura in Moscow 1918 saloniste; nobody else had the magnetic charm or the air of danger and mystery that surrounded Baroness Budberg, and her soirées attracted Graham Greene, Laurence Olivier, Guy Burgess, Bertrand Russell, David Lean, E. M. Forster, Peter Ustinov – all came to drink …

Source: A Very Dangerous Woman: Baroness Moura Budberg – Wonders & Marvels

I have just finished reading the book co-authored by Deborah McDonald and Jeremy Dronfield and it’s excellent.  Sarah Vernon

The Intrepid ’20s Women Who Formed an All-Female Global Exploration Society – Atlas Obscura

Journalist and explorer Marguerite Harrison shares a meal with a group of Bakhtiari men. (From the documentary A Nation’s Battle for Life by Merian Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack) BETTMANN/GETTY IMAGES

In August 1923, Marguerite Harrison sailed from New York bound for Constantinople. The 44-year-old had returned just five months earlier from Russia where she had been imprisoned, for a second time, on suspicions of espionage. A widowed mother of a teenage boy, Harrison had thought she would…

Source: The Intrepid ’20s Women Who Formed an All-Female Global Exploration Society – Atlas Obscura

The Brilliant MI6 Spy Who Perfected the Art of the ‘Honey Trap’ | Atlas Obscura

Betty Pack on her wedding day. (Photo: Churchill Archives Center, Papers of Harford Montgomery Hyde, HYDE 02 011/Courtesy Harper Collins)

These days the “honeypot” is a popular trope in espionage thrillers, with seemingly every high-level informant recruited via seduction by a ravishing female spy. But long before James Bond ever jumped across the roof of a moving train in books or film, the globe-trotting spy Betty Pack was wooing suitors for classified information on both sides of the Atlantic. Few people have elevated…

Source: The Brilliant MI6 Spy Who Perfected the Art of the ‘Honey Trap’ | Atlas Obscura

Historians are tracing the story of an incredibly brave army nurse who was also a spy

Army nurses after the war

Madge Addy was as secretive after World War II as she was during the conflict as one of Britain’s top spies in occupied France. Historians are putting the…

Source: Historians are tracing the story of an incredibly brave army nurse who was also a spy

The Incredible Chevalier d’Eon, Who Left France as a Male Spy and Returned as a Christian Woman | Atlas Obscura

A profile view of the Le Chevalier d’Éon. (Photo: Lyon, Bibliothèque municipale/Public Domain)

When the Chevalier d’Eon left France in 1762, it was as a diplomat, a spy in the French king’s service, a Dragoon captain, and a man. When he returned in July 1777, at the age of 49, it was as a celebrity, a writer, an intellectual, and a woman—according to a declaration by the government of France.

What happened? And why?

Source: The Incredible Chevalier d’Eon, Who Left France as a Male Spy and Returned as a Christian Woman | Atlas Obscura

Uncovered: The Spy Who Lost Her Clothes « LAST POST

Betrayed Queen No 1: Anne of Denmark, wife of James VI of Scotland and I of England, by Paul van Somer, 1617. Image: Wikipedia.

A dress recovered from a 400 year old shipwreck reveals secrets from Charles I’s court on the eve of the Civil War. (Source: The Guardian) Betrayed Queen No 1: Anne of Denmark, wife of James …

Source: Uncovered: The Spy Who Lost Her Clothes « LAST POST

Operation Mincemeat: The Biggest Bluff of WWII

History Wench

The Second World War is the setting for some of history’s greatest espionage tales. Public imagination is frequently captured by the image of a suave and intelligent agent undertaking covert missions for Queen and country. This post will detail one of the more unusual of these espionage stories – ‘Operation Mincemeat. A plan which was masterminded by Ewen Montagu and targeted the German intelligence orginisation, Abwehr.

The agent used in Operation Mincemeat was worlds away from the charming and sophisticated agent popular culture often likes to depict – he was a semi-literate tramp from Aberbargoed, Wales. This agent’s name was Glyndwr Michael. Whats more is that Michael was already dead when he successfully carried out his mission.

Michael’s personal history is one of sadness and tragedy. His father committed suicide when he was just fifteen years old and his mother died sixteen years later. He was left penniless, homeless, and depressed. Shortly after the death…

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Phantom – Memories of a U-2 Pilot

A Trivial Mind At Work

A friend of mine sent me this story. Other than Francis Gary Powers, I do not know that anyone has heard much of anything about the U-2 spy plane program. The entire program stands as a forgotten footnote from the Cold War. This article offers a personal glimpse into the life of a U-2 spy…

U-2 PILOT MEMORIES
Men like this guy never get any attention in the press, and that’s how they prefer it. Unfortunately, but understandably, not all U-2 pilots survived to tell their stories in their old age.

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Pic 1

Cliff Beeler was a spy. He didn’t hang out on shadowy street corners with his trench coat collar obscuring his face. The Air Force major, now retired, spent his snooping time in a plane. Beeler, 88, of Riverside, was a U-2 pilot at the height of the Cold War.

Pic 3

His missions took him over Russia, Cuba and China, photographing…

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