1925: Sidney Reilly 1944: Richard Sorge and Hotsumi Ozaki

1914: Carl Hans Lody

November 6th, 2007 Headsman

On this date in 1914, German spy Carl Hans Lody was put to death in the Tower of London during the opening months of World War I.

Lody‘s was the first execution in the Tower since its heyday as the chopping-block of disfavored nobility had passed in the mid-18th century. Times had changed by the era of trench warfare: Lody was not beheaded, but shot inside a wooden shed erected for the purpose in the Tower yard. Ten more German spies, who seem to have had a harder go of infiltrating Britain than their English counterparts had in Germany, would suffer the same fate by war’s end.

A Berlin-born naval officer, Lody had no experience spying but was tapped for the job because he had traveled abroad and spoke English well enough to pass for an American tourist. He was dead scarcely three months after he entered the Isles, though his work may have helped a U-boat sink a British warship.

According to A.W. Brian Simpson in Domestic and International Trials 1700-2000, the case was a legal landmark as the first espionage trial in England held partly in camera — outside the public view. The outcome, however, was a foregone conclusion, and Lody himself didn’t bother to contest his guilt — seemingly fixated on going to his grave with nothing short of the utmost in romantic gentlemanly decorum.

Part of the Themed Set: Spies.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,England,Espionage,Execution,Germany,History,Milestones,Notable Jurisprudence,Shot,Soldiers,Spies,Wartime Executions

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4 thoughts on “1914: Carl Hans Lody”

  1. NJRAH says:

    Gentlemanly decorum? More like cold hearted arrogance. So he did’n’t fight walking to his death. Don’t attempt to glorify anything in this scumbag’s life. He likely contribute to the death of many Brits. 25 years later and he would have been a Nazi. Good riddance.

    1. eric rachut says:

      “Scumbag”? His captors didn’t think so. Do a little more research on it.

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  3. Oops… I should have posted my today’s article here :)

    November 6 in Russian history
    The German fascists executed 16 years old Alexander (Sasha) Chekalin. He was born on March 25 1925 in village Peskovatskoye and lived in small town Likhvin, between Tula and Kaluga. In July 1941 he joined the local paramilitary group where he was taught to act as a scout and saboteur.

    More here

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