James Bond, Jason Bourne and Ethan Hunt all make us think of those infamous movies that give us the taste of life in espionage. But the best spies are the ones you’ve never heard about. However, their lives may not be filled with martinis and leisure as you might expect.
1. Ravinder Kaushik, the ‘Black Tiger’
With his initial occupation as a theatre artist, Ravinder Kaushik was recruited by RAW India’s Research and Analysis Wing. Kaushik managed to infiltrate the Pakistani Army in 1974. He then soared up to the rank of Major and sent valuable information to RAW. In 1979 he was bestowed the name Black Tiger for his efforts. Kaushik provided 26 years of intelligence to the Indian government. In 1983, his cover was blown and he was sentenced to death. The Indian government got his sentence reduced to life imprisonment, but that only made matters worse. He was tortured up until his death between 1999-2001.
2. Virginia Hall, the ‘Limping Lady’
Notably one of the most feared spies by Nazis during WWll, Virginia Hall earned her reputation in France due to a series of logistical missions and her efforts in sabotaging the Germans. Once France was seized, she joined with (OSS) Office of Strategic Services, predecessor to the CIA. She then carried out sabotage operations, supported resistance groups, and often disguised herself as an old lady. She would also hide critical documents in her prosthetic leg, to divert attention. She was the only civilian woman to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Post-war, she became one of the first female officials in the CIA.