World War II American super spy: Disabled, but the Gestapo considered the most dangerous agent

2022-07-15 0 By

How to waste less time and enrich yourself more in 2022?My answer is: read more books.The following book tells the true story of a female spy during World War II, and it’s interesting to see how other people live their lives.We all think of secret agents as mysterious and powerful characters, but after watching Virginia Hall, we couldn’t help but sigh that the reality of the business is dull, depressing and risky.How great is Virginia Hall?Disabled, she was considered “the most dangerous allied agent” by the Gestapo;The U.S. Military awarded her the Distinguished Service Medal, “the only medal awarded to a female citizen during World War II.”After the war, she was one of the first women recruited by the CIA.She remained tight-lipped about her spy career during and after the war, until her death in 1982.Virginia’s life is uncomplicated: she comes from a wealthy Family in America and her dream of becoming a diplomat is shattered when she loses her left calf in an accident.After the outbreak of World War II, she joined the British intelligence service and wrote the “legend of the Lame woman spy”.After that, she returned to her old job in the U.S. intelligence community.Carefree “Little Flower” Virginia Hall was born in 1906 into a wealthy family in Baltimore.As a child, she was lively and lovely, and everyone called her “little flower”.She received a good education, gradually formed a leader essence and unique personality.She got good grades and had many hobbies, including sports and drama. She was the editor of the class magazine.While at university, Virginia wrote about her career plans in diplomacy and international trade, revealing for the first time that she wanted to become a diplomat.In 1926, she persuaded her parents to let her study in Paris.In 1927, she went to Vienna for two years of university.In addition to English, French, German and Italian, she taught herself Russian and Spanish, showing remarkable language skills.In 1929, she graduated with honors and returned to the United States, already 23 years old.So far, her life was smooth and carefree.But in the autumn, the American economic crisis broke out, my father’s business teetering, the family business collapsed.In 1931, my father died of a heart attack at the age of 50, leaving only a modest fortune.Virginia had lost her loving father, who had always supported her aspirations to become independent.Her father’s untimely death left a scar in her heart that never really healed.In 1931, Virginia was hired as a secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, and she was happy to take the job.She handled the correspondence, diplomatic visas, coded and decrypted telegrams, and sent countless reports to Washington.Her superiors were pleased with her loyalty at work, and she had no special training.She spent two years in Warsaw before being transferred to Izmir, Turkey.In December 1933, Virginia and her friends went hunting in the country.While climbing, she twisted her foot and the shotgun slipped from her shoulder. She tried to straighten it, but accidentally touched the trigger and the bullet went through her left foot.Her left lower leg was amputated and fitted with a prosthetic leg.The accident completely changed the course of her life.In 1934, she was transferred to the Consulate in Venice to continue her secretarial work.Virginia handled correspondence, passports and visas for Americans, and some notary work, which was not very much.She could go to the Rido Beach, go to the theatre or listen to music.The insular lifestyle of the city soon suffocated her.In 1936, Virginia had been working as a secretary for five years. She always wanted to be a diplomat.In September, she applied for a diplomat interview in December and received an official reply: “You cannot enter the field of professional diplomacy if you have a disability of any part of your body.”Virginia fell into the abyss, she did not think that the stump would be a barrier to her career as a diplomat, this is clear discrimination.She had just turned thirty and all her hopes for the future had gone up in smoke.In 1938, Virginia was transferred to Tallinn, Estonia’s capital. A transfer meant worse.She was not used to the routine of the American mission in Tallinn, which consisted of typing economic correspondence, political reports and visa documents.After eight years of hard work, she still earns $2,000 a year.Virginia was so frustrated, she wrote her resignation.In October 1939, she went from Tallinn to London.By this time, the world situation had changed: Germany invaded Poland, the Soviet Union attacked Finland…She made up her mind not to return to America, hoping to join the Allied struggle against fascism.She signed up for the military service in London, but her American citizenship became an obstacle.She was disappointed and went to Paris to try her luck.Virginia is in the country.When France declared war on Germany in 1940, Virginia was as anxious as parisians.In February, she walked into the French army’s recruiting office and became an ambulance driver.At the end of July, she was discharged from the army.She didn’t want to give up the fight. The United States was a neutral country, and her passport guaranteed her freedom of movement.In August she went to Spain and asked about ways of getting to England.She met a British businessman, George, who actually worked for British intelligence, and he introduced the contact details of several friends in England.In September, she arrived in London, and tensions reached a boiling point. Britain and Germany were at war.Virginia made contact with the American Embassy and was rehired as a secretary, writing reports to send to Washington by day and often having to take cover at night as bomb sirens sounded.At this point, she thought about returning to the United States, but because she had quit her job for more than a year, the government would not cover her return expenses, so she was stuck in London, waiting to buy her own ticket home.She saw the retreat of the French army and wanted to do something useful in France.1941 SOE, Virginia in the personnel file photo (taken in books) curve of “saving the nation”, to join the British SOE she and her friend “journalists” nicolas, nicolas is actually the SOE (Churchill was established in 1940 the British special operations group) members, know her idea, reporting to the boss, she join SOE agent.Virginia was one of the first SOE recruits to be an agent in France, a bold choice.She was a special conscript. Most of the other conscripts were French-British soldiers who had been trained to go straight into combat.Virginia, on the other hand, is American, walks with a slight limp and is female, and the stakes are very risky.After being vetted, Virginia joined SOE.Her public identity in France was that of a special correspondent for the New York Post, but her secret identity was that of an underground liaison agent working for the SOE.This is the first female SOE agent to be sent to France, and to stay long.Based in Lyon, Virginia continues to write for the New York Post while fulfilling her mission.She gathered intelligence, transmitted documents, arranged for agents and pilots to live and move, visited politicians, and helped organize and arm the French resistance.In Lyon, Virginia formed the Heckler Network.She has a full schedule and travels everywhere as a journalist.Instead of hindering her mobility, the prosthetic became a “secret mailbox” : she made a cut in its heel.In the fall of 1941, she was running an interresistance operation for the underground newspaper.Lyon became one of the hotbeds of a rising resistance movement.Lyon’s location on the Banks of the Rhone, in the free zone and close to Switzerland, makes it a good choice.The city has many stairs and corridors and winding alleys, which are convenient for hiding.And the adjacent river plain is suitable for airborne landing;The combination of workers, entrepreneurs, businessmen, intellectuals and military personnel also facilitates party activity and promotes a spirit of cooperation.In December 1941, the United States declared war on Japan following its attack on Pearl Harbor, followed by Britain.Then Germany and Italy declared war on the United States, ending American neutrality.Virginia’s American passport, which had been a talisman in France, suddenly became meaningless.London advised Virginia to return as soon as necessary.In the early months of 1942, Virginia’s work in Lyon went far beyond SOE’s simple task of contacting agents. She became an indispensable pillar, and SOE reports noted that “she had her way everywhere.”Virginia builds an effective spy base at great cost, can’t trust anyone, and has no love life to speak of.She had to keep changing herself, playing with her identity, turning her language into a code, not taking anyone for a walk.She peeps, she pricks up her ears, she waits, loneliness follows her all day.In 1944, Virginia’s portable radio (pictured in a book) eluded capture and crossed the Pyrenees on foot. In June 1942, an SOE agent was arrested and Virginia’s name became known to the Gestapo.SOE decided it was time for her to leave Lyon and had the New York Post call her back to the United States.Virginia thought the evacuation order had come too soon and the visa had not come, so she naturally delayed her return.In August, abbe Robert Alahi took her eye.The priest was a double agent who had infiltrated British intelligence and worked for German counterintelligence.The priest took outdated and accurate German military information to Lyon to gain British trust.Virginia unwittingly played a central role in the intelligence war between Germany and Britain, and the Germans found ways to use her.It was not until 1943 that the SOE identified the priest as a double agent.By the way, this treacherous, greedy, vain double agent was eventually sentenced to death and shot in 1949.Virginia’s sixth sense told her that danger was imminent, she kept changing code name, residence, leaving Lyon in November.With two companions, she took a guide and crossed the Pyrenees mountains.She trudged into Spain with her broken limbs behind her, only to be captured by a patrolling militia and taken to prison.After spending two weeks in a cell, Virginia was released through the efforts of the U.S. Consulate in Barcelona.She managed to escape, but most of her friends were not so lucky.Virginia returned to London in January 1943.Unbeknownst to her, she had been added to the list of resistance leaders, and the Gestapo ordered: “The crippled woman is one of the most dangerous Allied agents in France. She must be found and destroyed.”Virginia’s wanted poster, 1944.Transfer to OSS, help with the general SOE all agents return to the same vetting process, and Virginia is being interrogated by the director.The officials who studied the report asked more questions.Mi-6 and MI-5 officers in charge of counterintelligence and security cross-assessed the veracity of intelligence, studying what was happening in France and attempts by German agents to infiltrate their networks.SOE gave Virginia a new job, and in May 1943, Virginia arrived in Madrid as a correspondent for the Chicago Times.Her new job depressed her and she longed to return to France.The SOE disapproved of her return to France, and she applied to the OSS (an American intelligence agency founded by President Roosevelt himself in 1942), and the British agreed to the transfer.In March, Virginia was sent to France to deliver papers.She lived in the country, taking up the life of a peasant again to hide her true identity, and sending London reports from her barn at night.Dressed like a peasant woman, she tended sheep by the side of the road and watched German military vehicles speed by.She drove the cows into the fields and sent their milk to other villages to find useful clues.Virginia keeps moving the radio to avoid detection by the Germans.She threw herself into the war, surveying the terrain, organizing airdrops, sending and receiving telegrams.She was not directly involved in the fighting, but was instrumental in coordinating guerrilla supplies, supplying weapons, providing information, sabotaging railway lines and power lines, slowing German movements, and leading offensive operations.During these months she had not thought of her future.She would not allow herself a moment of pause, weakness, or long personal relationships.Her mission is overwhelming. War is law.Allied forces entered Paris, and Virginia’s mission ended.She returned to London, but Nazi Germany was not defeated, and she returned to new operations as a team leader and dispatcher into Austria, the enemy’s “last bastion”.This time, she harvested love: her spy partner Paul.In 1945, word came from Washington that President Harry Truman would personally present Virginia with the Distinguished Service Award “for her rare heroism in military action against the enemy.”In Paris, Virginia was stunned. She was a quiet person who thought she was just doing her duty.She politely but firmly declined an invitation from the president of the United States to attend a public investiture ceremony in Washington.In September, the HEAD of OSS honoured Virginia in her office.Then the OSS agency disbanded.In fact, the American woman showed no interest in official accolades, preferring, she often said, to “do what I do.”The war was over, but she planned to remain a spy, one way or another.On September 27, 1945, the head of OSS decorated Virginia.In December 1946, Virginia was sent abroad, first to Rome and then to Venice, to join the newly formed CIG, the forerunning of the CIA.She officially joined the CIA in December 1951.Confined to the headquarters, she endured the political infighting and sexism of the office, with no chance of promotion and no hope of working abroad.You can imagine how unhappy Virginia was, being overqualified.Over sixty, Virginia applied for early retirement for health reasons.For the next sixteen years she lived in the country, and the house in Maryland became her home.Virginia, in a well-made dress and a permanent bun, became a gray-haired old lady.She was kind and lively, but she could be caustic.No one spoke of her past, her adventures, her alias.Her anonymity was her best chance of protecting herself.Looking back on Virginia’s legendary life, I can’t help feeling that “character is fate”.”When God closes a door, he opens a window,” but Virginia fought for it every step of the way.She is strong and determined, and always finds a way to get around the obstacles to progress.Hunting accident, diplomat dream is broken, she resigns to find another way out;Rejected by the British army in 1939, she went to France to work as an ambulance driver;Marooned in Paris in 1940, she joined British intelligence in the war effort;In 1944, when the British did not approve of her return to France, she turned to American intelligence to help with the general offensive;Back in the United States, she stuck to her roots and joined the CIA.The glory of her life turned over, she retired to the countryside, loyal to the promise, took all the secrets of the French Resistance, the British SOE agent, the American OSS agent, CIA.Or she had already seen through, how many heroes forgotten by time, why not her one more?Virginia avoided talking about her past, her mission until the very end, and whenever anyone wanted to know about her past, she would reply solemnly, “Many of my friends were killed for talking too much.”(Except for the explanation, the pictures in this article are from the Internet, and the copyright belongs to the original author)