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Beyond Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Other Moles, Double Agents and Traitors
Posted November 29, 2011 to photo album "Beyond Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Other Moles, Double Agents and Traitors"
In TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDER, SPY, no one is what they appear, especially with a suspected Soviet mole at the very center of the Circus. But turncoats, traitors, moles, double agents, and sleeper cells are nothing new in the world of espionage.
Mathilde Carré, the Femme Fatale
Mathilde Carré on trial in 1949
While Mata Hari was branded as a double, perhaps triple, agent in legend, she was most likely an innocent victim. However, Mathilde Carré, code-named “The Cat,” was one of World War II's real double agents. A beautiful woman whose sex appeal could ensnare men, Carré was also a woman whose life was unfortunately defined by men. A Sorbonne-educated teacher living in Algiers, Carré moved back to Paris after her husband was killed early in World War II. Angry at the Nazis, she met the handsome Polish agent Roman Cherniawski, who persuaded her to join his “Réseau Interallie” espionage network. Her sultry demeanor, feline charm, and, some said, great legs, earned her the name “La Chatte” (The Cat). She soon became famous for flirting strategic information out of German soldiers. In 1941, however, everything changed when she was betrayed. After being arrested and tortured, she was eventually turned by another significant man in her life, Hugo Bleicher, an Abwehr non-commissioned officer (who would also become a double agent). After she was arrested by the British, Carré claimed that she was in fact a triple agent, being sent by the Germans only to work for British intelligence. Unfortunately, no one bought her story. After the war, she was turned over to the French for treason. At her trial, prosecutors used her own journal, in which she wrote, defending her collaboration, “What I wanted most was a good meal, a man, and, once more, Mozart's Requiem," as proof of her guilt. Her death sentence was later commuted to 20 years in jail.