Many battles and wars that shaped the history of the world were concluded not only from the efforts of leaders and heroes but by spies as well. Numerous espionage and spy-hunting efforts were launched to gain information and secure victories, which many times proved successful. Because of intelligence brought by agents and double-crossers, many lives were saved or lost and history was shaped. Here are 25 betrayals that changed the course of history.
20. The First Black Double Agent (James Armistead)
www.sar.org Armistead was an African American slave that became a double agent spy for the United States in 1781. He pretended to be a British spy and gained the confidence of Generals Arnold and Cornwallis only to gather information about the British plans for troop and arms deployment and send them to American spies. His espionage greatly helped the Americans secure victory during the Battle of Yorktown.
15. The Charming Spy (Fritz Joubert Duquesne)
xman.idnes.cz Duquesne is one of the prominent members of the Duquesne Spy Ring which was dubbed the largest espionage conviction in the United States. He was a German spy that relayed significant amounts of information regarding Allied weaponry and shipping movements to Germany and was responsible for numerous murders and arson. One of his greatest achievements as a spy was the sinking of HMS Hampshire in 1916.
10. The Catholic Treason (Guy Fawkes)
www.sevdaselim.net Contributing to the “largest one act of treason in English history”, Fawkes was a member of the group of English Catholics who started the failed treason plan, the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. He joined against the Protestant Dutch and fought for the Spanish in the Low Countries during the Eighty Years’ War. He was part of the plan to assassinate King James I by guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder but was found by the authorities, sentencing him to death by hanging.
5. Partners in Crime (Julius and Ethel Rosenberg)
perspective.usherbrooke.ca The Rosenbergs were a married couple who were convicted of committing espionage during the height of the Cold War. They sold information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union and also recruited spies for the Russians. Upon capture by the FBI, their co-conspirators confessed about the espionage and were not executed while the couple were sentenced with Capital Punishment in 1953.
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