Who's Who - Carl Lody

Carl Lody Carl Lody (1877-1914) was shot for espionage as a German spy at the Tower of London in November 1914.

Lody's spying activities began in the years immediately prior to the outbreak of war in 1914.  Appearing in Britain as a travel guide by the name of Charles A. Inglis - using a U.S. passport stolen from a man of the same name - Lody made careful note of Royal Navy establishments in Britain, subsequently providing reports to Berlin.

Consequently when war arrived in August 1914 Karl Boy-Ed, the German U.S. naval attaché, selected Lody as an ideal agent in Britain.  From there he sent back reports upon London's state of air defences, in addition to notes concerning the Rosyth naval base.

Having spent some time in Liverpool Lody embarked for Ireland where he was finally arrested in Killarney.  Given his possession of incriminating documents at the time of his arrest his conviction as a German spy at London's Old Bailey in early November 1914 was a virtual formality, although Lody felt his trial to have been fairly handled by Major-General Lord Cheylsemore.

Lody had nevertheless pleaded not guilty to the two counts under the Defence of the Realm Act under which he was charged.  He was subsequently found to be responsible for the sinking of a British cruiser following a report of its sailing to Berlin.

On the morning of his death at the Tower of London rifle range, on 6 November 1914, Lody addressed the Assistant Provost-Marshal who came to release him from his cell with the words, "I suppose that you will not care to shake hands with a German spy?"  The Assistant Provost-Marshal, impressed by Lody's bearing throughout his imprisonment replied, "No.  But I will shake hands with a brave man."

Lody was executed by members of the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards.  Aside from being the first German spy to be executed in Britain during the war his was also the first execution at the Tower of London in 150 years.

Click here to read a transcript of Lody's final correspondence on the eve of his execution.

A howitzer is any short cannon that delivers its shells in a high trajectory. The word is derived from an old German word for "catapult".

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