Espionage is part of the picture when it comes to war. Nations would send ordinary-looking, unexpected people to gather intelligence reports and information that they could use to get a few steps ahead of the enemies. There were even double agents who worked as spies pretending to be spies of the enemy. It was a whirlwind of lies and deception that it was really hard to tell who was working for the government with a secret agenda and who genuinely wanted to help. As proof, here are some wartime secret agents that you didn’t really expect:

Graham Greene

Graham Greene
Graham Greene in 1975. (FOTO:FORTEPAN / Magyar Hírek folyóiratCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The English writer and journalist regarded by man as one of the 20th century’s leading English novelists who wrote “Brighton Rock,” “Our Man In Havana,” and “Dr. Fischer of Geneva,” and some more well-known books turned out to be one of the secret agents for MI6 once, in 1941. For more than a year, he stayed in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to search for ships sailing from Africa to Germany, find out if diamonds and other documents were being smuggled, and monitor Vichy forces in French Guinea. These experiences of his in West Africa helped him write his best-selling novel “The Heart of the Matter.” In 1943, he went back to London and worked for MI6 under the supervision of Harold “Kim” Philby, the British spymaster who turned out to be a long-term mole that was exposed in 1963.

In 1957, he played a small role in helping the revolutionaries after Fidel Castro began his final revolutionary assault of the Batista regime. He worked as a secret courier for warm clothes that the rebels hiding in the hills needed so much during the Cuban winter.

Josephine Baker

Joséphine Baker
Joséphine Baker photographiée par Paul Nadar. (Paul Nadar , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

The American-born French entertainer who also became the first black woman to star in a major film called “Siren of the Tropics” in 1927, as it turned out, was a French Resistance agent.