There are many famous fictional spy characters which we might have all read in books or seen them in movies. However, there have been some
On the other hand, there were dangerous spies too that posed a serious security threat to the countries by revealing secret information to the enemy countries.
Here is a look at some of the most successful spies of all times:
10. Frederick Joubert Duquesne (1877-1956)
Fredrick Joubert Duquesne was the secret agent for Germany and he fought on the side of the Boers during the Second Boers War. He was also known as “Black Panther” and in the World War II, he worked using the code name DUNN and also known as “ The Duke” in FBI files. Frederick was involved in many sabotage missions across Great Britain, South Africa, The United States including Central and South America.
On several different occasions, he covered his real identity and operated as a newspaper journalist, a pimp, novelist and was the member of the biggest Nazi spy operation that existed during the World War II. He was caught on a number of occasions but he managed to escape, especially between 1899-1902. In the year 1941, Frederick and other spies were finally arrested for supplying information to Germany about the US shipping plans and their weapons.
9. Sidney George Reilly( 1873-1925)
Sidney Reilley was one of the most famous spies of his times and was also known as the “Ace of Spies”. He was the secret agent for the British Secret Service Bureau or now the modern Secret Intelligence Service commonly known as M16. He was a very clever and witty conman, spy and impressed everyone with his sheer acts of courage and intelligence. He was hired as a spy agent across various missions for Japan, Germany, Canada and other countries.
8. Major John André (1750 – 1780)
Major John Andre was a famous British general who was also a spy that tried to undermine the Continental army and prevent Americans from declaring independence. He lived in Benjamin Franklins house for a long time before being caught. John tried to get Americans to give away West Point, one of the main forts the Continental army had. He was caught soon after. If John would succeed history might have been very different today.
7. The Cambridge Five (20th century)
The Cambridge Five or Spy Ring were employed in the United Kingdom and were involved in the task of passing on information to the Soviets during the World War II. They got this name as they all completed their education from the Cambridge University in the 1930’s. Kim Philby, Donald Duart Mclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt were the core members of this spy group and it went on increasing, but the name of one of the group members was always missing.
6. Virginia Hall ( 1906-1982)
Virginia Hall was known to be one of the “most dangerous spies of all allied spies” according to the Germans. She was an American spy agent who worked for the British Special Operations Executive at the time of the Second World War and employed by the American Office of Strategic Services along with the Special Activities Division by the Central Intelligence Agency. She continued to work as an intelligence agent until 1966 and died in 1982.
5. Richard Sorge ( 1895-1944)
Richard Sorge worked as an undercover German Journalist both in Germany and Japan during the World War II. He gained fame for his valuable role in gathering intelligence in this period and before that he was a Soviet military intelligence officer. He worked using the codename- Ramsay and his contribution was most valuable when he revealed about Nazi’s plans to attack the Soviet Union between 1940-1941. However, he was not able to pinpoint the exact date of the attack.
He even had a spy network set up in Japan and revealed information to the Soviet Union that Japan had no plans to attack them in the coming future. This allowed them to transfer Far Front forces towards the Western Front against Germany, which became one of the major turning points during World War II for the Battle of Moscow. However, he was arrested in Japan on the charges of spying and hanged in 1944.
4. Klaus Fuchs (1911-1988)
He was a German Theoretical physicist who was involved in the hydrogen bomb project and was arrested in 1950 for revealing information about the American, British and Canadian Manhattan Project to the Soviet Union. He made several complex theoretical calculations regarding the nuclear weapons. In 1944, Klaus Fuchs joined the Los Alamos Laboratory and was involved in the area of implosion which was core to the development of the plutonium bomb. He leaked important and sensitive information to the Soviet Union about the number of bombs that existed in the United States.
Later, he confessed to being a spy and was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment and was later sent to Germany, after serving 9 years in the prison.
3. Aldrich Ames (1941 – Present)
CIA didn’t pay Aldrich enough money for his spy job and the KGB knew that and exploited it. While he was in Turkey the KGB offered him money, an expensive house and other luxuries if he would give them secret information about CIA agents. He did just that. Soon enough the CIA started suspecting him and made him take 2 lie detector tests. He passed both tests but couldn’t hide his luxury house and money. He was caught in 1984 and is still in prison today.
2. Isabella Marie Boyd (1843-1900)
Isabella Marie Boyd was popularly known as one of the most famous spies. She was actually a Confederate Spy during the American Civil War and revealed valuable information to Stonehall Jackson, who was the Confederate General in 1962. However, she was caught and arrested in 1962, where she remained in the prison for a month and was later released when she left for England.
1. Nathan Hale (1755-1776)
Nathan Hale was the first American spy who worked for the Continental Army at the time of the American Revolutionary War. At the time of the Battle of Long Island, he even volunteered for the mission for gathering intelligence information, but was unfortunately was caught, arrested and executed by the British at a young age of 21. In 1985, he was hailed as an American Hero and also officially named as the “Hero of Connecticut”.