Real Women who Spy Part. 1

I'm no historian but I believe the first female spy in history was Delilah who was approached by the Philistines to discover the secret of Samson's strength. Delilah was a temptress and was extremely attractive and Samson fell completely in love with her. She used her powers of seduction and manipulation to eventually get Samson to reveal the source of his power which led to his downfall.

Since Delilah, many women have been successful spies because they have good emotional resources and are able to multi-task.

In this 5-part series, we look into the extraordinary real life stories of some of history's most notorious female spies. These are the women who sacrificed all - their freedom, children and in some cases, their lives - to gather information in dangerous, do-or-die situations.

1.Mata Hari

Mata Hari was the stage name for Margaretha Zelle, a Dutch-born exotic dancer and courtesan who began her career in Paris in 1905. Her sensual near-nude routines were an instant hit and she drew in audiences of thousands across Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, conducting many affairs with military and political figures along the way. With the outbreak of war in 1914, Mata Hari's many international connections brought her to the attention of the French authorities as she continued to travel around Europe.

Now nearing 40, plumpish and with her dancing days clearly behind her, Mata Hari fell in love with a 21-year-old Russian captain, Vladimir de Masloff, in 1916. During their courtship, Masloff was sent to the Front, where an injury left him blind in one eye. Determined to earn money to support him, Mata Hari accepted a lucrative assignment to spy for France from Georges Ladoux, an army captain who assumed her courtesan contacts would be of use to French intelligence.

Mata Hari later insisted that she planned to use her connections to seduce her way into the German high command, get secrets and hand them over to the French-but she never got that far. She met a German attache and began tossing him bits of gossip, hoping to get some valuable information in return. Instead, she got named as a German spy in communiques he sent to Berlin- which were promptly intercepted by the French.

It was British intelligence that finally unmasked "evidence" of her spying and on her return to Paris in early 1917, she was arrested and convicted of being a German spy. At her execution in October that year, Mata Hari, aged 41, refused to wear a blindfold and spent the last few seconds of her life gazing steadfastly at the firing squad. Many still contest her guilt, with theories suggesting she was a victim of a media frenzy and vague - or at worst, fabricated - evidence.

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About Dan Abubakar

Dan Abubakar

Dan Abubakar started writing at the age of nine and for years writing remained just a hobby. After University and working in the I.T industry as a Web Developer/Consultant for almost ten years, Dan decided to give writing a real chance. His debut novel is the political thriller The Galadima Conspiracy.

When not writing, Dan is an avid reader, a movie buff and sometimes a music enthusiast. His favorite movies include The Usual Suspects, Con Air, L.A Confidential, The Shawshank Redemption, 50 First Dates, Inception, The Dark Knight and Casino Royale.

Dan's influences include Sidney Sheldon, James Patterson, Vince Flynn, Dean Koontz and Lee Child. More recently, writers like Rachel Abbott and Simon Wood have also inspired him.

Dan loves thrillers and mysteries but is open to all genres.He is currently working on his second and third books simultaneously. They are Hersassin and Yahooligans.