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Crime

Top 10 Famous Spies

Jamie Frater . . . Comments

In and out of wartime, spies play an essential role in information gathering for their nations (and, on occasion, as double-spies for other nations). The spies listed here are the most famous in history.

1. Mata Hari Born: 1876; Died: 1917

Spy Mata Harimed.Jpg
Mata Hari in a dancing costume

Spied For: Germany (and Possibly France)

Mata Hari was the stage-name for Dutch-born Margaretha Geertruida (Grietje) Zelle who was an exotic dancer and high class prostitute in Paris. In 1905, after divorcing her husband, she began her career as an exotic dancer, taking the name Mata Hari (meaning “sun” or “Eye of the Dawn”). She posed herself as a princess from Java. Posing as an exotic person was possible in those days because the lack of telecommunications. During this period of her life she was often photographed in scant clothing or nude.

She mixed with the upper class and became a courtesan to many important high-ranking military men and politicians. This put her in a very good position to gather information. During World War 1, the Netherlands remained a neutral nation, enabling Mata Hari, a Dutch national, to cross national borders freely. At one point she was interviewed by British Intelligence and she admittedly to being a spy for the French. The French later denied this. It is still unknown whether this was true.

In January, 1917, the German Military Attache in Madrid sent an encoded radio signal to Berlin, stating that they were receiving excellent information from a German spy codenamed H-21. French intelligence intercepted the messages and were able to identify H-21 as Mata Hari. On February 13, 1917, Mata Hari was arrested in her Paris hotel room. She was subsequently tried for espionage and found guilty. She was executed by Firing Squad on the 15th of September, 1917 at the age of 41.

Drop yourself right into the real-life action with Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies at Amazon.com!


2. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg Born: 1915, 1918; Died: 1953

Rosenbergs-1
The Rosenbergs

Spied For: The Soviet Union

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were American Communists who were executed for passing nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union. They met in the Young Communist League in 1936, where he was a leader. They had two sons. Julius was recruited by the KGB in 1942 and was regarded as one of their top spies. He passed classified reports from Emerson Radio, including a fuze design which was later used to shoot down a U-2 in 1960.

Julius also recruited many people sympathetic to the cause to assist the KGB. He provided the KGB with thousands of documents from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics including a complete set of design and production drawings for the Lockheed’s P-80 Shooting Star. A former machinist at Los Alamos (the US Nuclear Development Area), Sergeant David Greenglass confessed to having passed secret information on to the USSR, and in doing so, implicated his brother-in-law: Julius Rosenberg. He initially denied any involvement by his sister Ethel. The Rosenbergs were arrested.

In 1951 the case against the Rosenbergs began. Greenglass, the prosecution’s main witness, told the court that his sister Ethel had typed nuclear secrets he gave her at a meeting in their home, and that he gave Julius a sketch of a cross-section of an implosion type nuclear bomb. Both Rosenbergs were found guilty and sentenced to death. Their conviction gave fuel to Senator McCarthy’s investigations into anti-American activities. They were both executed by electric-chair in Sing Sing Prison in 1953.

3. Aldrich Ames Born: 1941

250Px-Aldrich Hazen Ames 488
Ames in FBI custody (1994)

Spied For: The Soviet Union

Ames is a former CIA Counter-intelligence Officer who was convicted of spying for the Soviet Union in 1994. On his first assignment as a case officer, he was stationed in Ankara, Turkey, where his job was to target Soviet intelligence officers for recruitment. Due to financial problems in his personal life as a result of alcohol abuse and high spending, Ames began spying for the Soviet Union in 1985, when he walked into the Soviet Embassy in Washington to offer secrets for money.

Ames was assigned to the CIA’s European office where he had direct access to the identities of CIA operatives in the KGB and Soviet Military. The information he supplied to the Soviets lead to the compromise of at least 100 CIA agents and to the execution of at least 10. He ultimately gave the USSR the names of every CIA operative working in their country; for this they paid him 4.6 million dollars. Ames used the money to live well beyond his means as a CIA agent, buying jewellery, cars, and a $500,000 house.

In early 1985, the CIA began to notice that they were losing their “assets” at a very rapid rate. For unknown reasons they were not willing, in the early stages, to believe that they had been infiltrated by the KGB, instead presuming the leak to be via bugging devices. When the FBI were finally brought in to investigate, Ames became the primary suspect. Fearing he would defect on a CIA trip to Russia, The FBI arrested him at the airport with his wife. He was given a life sentence and is incarcerated in the US Penitentiary in Allenwood, Pennsylvania.

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4. Giacomo Casanova Born: 1725; Died: 1798

Giacomo-Casanova
Casanova, the great lover

Spied For: Venetian Inquisitors

Casanova, born in Venice, is most well known for his womanizing and his book The Story of My Life which gives the best account of life in the eighteenth century that we have. Due to the financial support for many patrons of his mother (an actress) he was able to go to school to receive a very good education. This enabled him to become a lawyer. Over many years his romantic affairs with women in power made him a very powerful man. He gained and lost riches at a rapid rate (in one case he lost the equivalent of over 1 million Euros in one night).

Between the years of 1774 and 1782, he worked as a spy for the Venetian Inquisitors of State. It is not known what his role involved as his famous diary ended the year he began his work. In 1782 he was exiled from Venice for spreading libel against one of the City patricians.

After his exile he became a librarian and lived out his life in the service of the Chateaux of Dux in Bohemia.

5. Klaus Fuchs Born: 1911; Died: 1988

Fuchssecuritybadge
ID photo of Klaus Fuchs

Spied For: The Soviet Union

Fuchs was a German-born theoretical physicist who worked in Los Alamos on the atom bomb project. He was responsible for many significant theoretical calculations relating to the first fission weapons and early models of the hydrogen bomb. Whilst attending university in Germany, Fuchs became involved with the Communist Party of Germany. After a run-in with the newly installed Nazi government, he fled to England where he earned his PhD in physics. For a short time he worked on the British atomic bomb project.

It was while he was working for the British that he began to give information to the Soviets. He reasoned that they had the right to know what the British and the Americans were developing. In 1943 he was transferred to the United States to assist on the Manhattan project. From 1944 he worked in New Mexico at Los Alamos.

For two years he gave his KGB contacts theoretical plans for building a hydrogen bomb. He also provided key data on the production of uranium 235, allowing the Soviets to determine the number of bombs possessed by the United States. On his return to the United Kingdom in 1946, he was interrogated as a result of the cracking of some Soviet ciphers. He was tried and sentenced to fourteen years in prison, the maximum term under British law for passing military secrets to a friendly nation. he was released after nine years and immediately moved to Germany where he lived out the remainder of his life.


6. Major John Andre Born: 1750; Died: 1780

Puc6P7-1
British Officer John Andre

Spied For: The British

John Andre was a British officer hanged as a spy during the American Revolutionary war. At the age of 20 he joined the British Army and moved to North America to join the occupying forces. He was a great favourite in society, both in Philadelphia and New York during their occupation by the British Army. During his nearly nine months in Philadelphia, André occupied Benjamin Franklin’s house, where it is said he took items from Franklin’s home when the British left Philadelphia.

In 1779, he became adjutant-general of the British Army with the rank of Major. In April, he was placed in charge of the British Secret Intelligence. By the next year (1780) he had begun to plot with American General Benedict Arnold, who commanded West Point, and had agreed to surrender it to the British for £20,000 — a move that would enable the British to cut New England off from the rest of the rebellious colonies.

Using common clothes and a false passport, Andre travelled toward New York with documents supplied by Arnold. He was stopped by three men at gunpoint. During the following conversation in which both parties were confused over the allegiance of the others, Andre admitted he was British. The three men searched him and found the papers he was hiding. He was put on trial before a board of senior officers. On September 29, 1780, the board found Andre guilty of being behind American lines “under a feigned name and in a disguised habit”, and that:

“Major Andre, Adjutant-General to the British army, ought to be considered as a Spy from the enemy, and that agreeable to the law and usage of nations, it is their opinion, he ought to suffer death.”

He was hanged as a spy at Tappan on October 2, 1780.

7. Nathan Hale Born: 1755; Died: 1776

Hale
The execution of Nathan Hale

Spied For: The Continental Army

Nathan Hale was a captain in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He is Widely considered to be America’s first spy after he volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission, but was caught by the British. He is best remembered for his speech before his hanging, in which he said: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country”.

Hale was born in Connecticut and went to Yale University where he graduated with first class honors. After leaving University he became a teacher until the break-out of the Revolutionary war in 1775. He immediately joined a Connecticut militia, becoming a first Sergeant. During the Battle of Long Island, Hale volunteered to go behind enemy lines to monitor the movements of the British. He disguised himself as a Dutch teacher and made his way to New York. He was captured in a tavern after he was tricked into betraying himself as a patriot. He was apprehended near Flushing Bay in Queens.

He was reportedly questioned and found with physical evidence. According to the traditions at the time, he was found guilty of being an illegal combatant – a crime carrying the death penalty. He was taken to what is now 66th Street and Third Avenue and hanged. He was 21 years old. A British officer wrote this of Hale at the execution:

“He behaved with great composure and resolution, saying he thought it the duty of every good Officer, to obey any orders given him by his Commander-in-Chief; and desired the Spectators to be at all times prepared to meet death in whatever shape it might appear.”


8. Belle Boyd Born: 1844; Died: 1900

Boyd
Confederate Spy, Belle Boyd

Spied For: The Confederates

Bella Boyd, born Maria Isabella Boyd, was a confederate spy in the American Civil War. She operated from her father’s hotel and gave valuable information to Confederate generals. Her career in espionage had a rather startling begining: when a group of Union soldiers broke in to her parents home with the intention of raising the US flag, one of them insulted Belle’s mother. Belle pulled out a pistol and shot one of them. She was 17 years old. A board of inquiry acquitted her but she was placed under surveillance. She profited from this by charming military secrets out of at least one of the Union sentries guarding her. She later wrote of him:

“To him, I am indebted for some very remarkable effusions, some withered flowers, and a great deal of important information.”

Belle passed the secrets she learned to the generals through her slave Eliza Hopewell. One evening in mid 1862 she overheard a general laying out plans for a move that would temporarily lower the Union military presence at Front Royal. That evening Belle rode to a confederate general and confided the details to him. When the confederates rode on Front Royal, Belle ran through bullets to greet the captain. For her contributions she was awarded the Southern Cross of Honor.

Belle was arrested after her lover gave her up on July 29, 1862. She was held for a month in the Old Capitol Prison in Washington but was freed one month later. She was arrested again but was set free on that occasion also. After a short time living in England, she returned to the united States and toured the country giving talks on her time as a Civil War spy. She died, during her tour in Wisconsin, of Typhoid at the age of 56.

9. The Cambridge Five Born: 20th Century; Died: 20th Century

Burgess-Maclean.Jpg
Cambridge Five Wanted Poster

Spied For: The Soviet Union

The Cambridge Five was a ring of Soviet spies in the UK who passed information to the Soviet Union during World War II and into the early 1950s. It has been suggested they may also have been responsible for passing Soviet disinformation to the Nazis. Whilst they are called the Cambridge Five, the fifth member is still unknown. Here is a short profile of each of the four known members:

Kim Philby: Of the five, Philby is believed to have done the most damage to British and American intelligence, providing classified information to the Soviet Union that caused the deaths of scores of agents. He was born in India to St. John Philby, a British officer and eventual advisor to the King of Saudia Arabia.

Donald Duart Maclean: Donald was recruited as a straight penetration agent while still an undergraduate at Cambridge. His actions are widely thought to have contributed to the 1948 Soviet blockade of Berlin and the onset of the Korean War. Maclean was brevetted a colonel in the Soviet KGB.

Guy Burgess: Burgess and Anthony Blunt contributed to the Soviet cause with the transmission of secret Foreign Office and MI5 documents that described Allied military strategy. He was most useful to the Soviets in his position as secretary to the British Deputy Foreign Minister, Hector McNeil.

Anthony Blunt: Blunt was an English art historian, formerly Professor of the History of Art, University of London and director of the Courtauld Institute of Art. After visiting Russia in 1933, Blunt was recruited in 1934 by the NKVD (forerunner of the KGB). A committed Marxist, Blunt was instrumental in recruiting Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean.

They were originally known as the Cambridge Spy Ring because all became committed communists while attending Cambridge University in the 1930s. There is some conjecture as to when they were actually recruited to Soviet intelligence, but Anthony Blunt claimed that it did not happen at Cambridge. Rather, they were recruited after they graduated.

10. Richard Sorge Born: 1895; Died: 1944

Sorge
Soviet Spy in Japan

Spied For: The Soviet Union

Richard Sorge is considered to have been one of the best Soviet spies in Japan before and during World War II, which has gained him fame among spies, and espionage enthusiasts. Sorge was born in Azerbaijan during the reign of the Czars. His great uncle was an associate of Karl Marx. In October 1914 Sorge volunteered to serve during World War I. He joined a student battalion of the 3rd Guards, Field Artillery. During his service in the Western Front he was severely wounded in March 1916 when shrapnel cut off three of his fingers and broke both his legs, causing a lifelong limp. During his convalescence he read Marx and adopted communist ideology.

After being fired from a teaching and mining job, he fled to the Soviet Union where he was recruited as a spy for the and using the cover of being a journalist was sent to various European countries to assess the possibility of communist uprisings taking place. In 1922 the Communists relocated him to Frankfurt, where he gathered intelligence about the business community.

In May 1933 the Soviet Union decided to have Sorge organize a spy network in Japan. On 14 September 1941 Sorge advised the Red Army that the Japanese were not going to attack the Soviet Union until a) Moscow was captured, b) the size of the Kwantung Army was three times that of the Soviet Union’s Far Eastern forces and c) a civil war had started in Siberia.

Sorge was arrested on October 18, 1941 in Tokyo, in the house of his lover after a policeman picked up a note that he threw on to the road instead of destroying, warning him that he was being watched. Even under torture, he denied all ties with the Soviets. Sorge was not exchanged for Japanese prisoners of war, because the Soviet government as well as Sorge himself denied that he was spying for USSR. He was hanged on November 7, 1944, 10:20 a.m. Tokyo time. The Soviet Union denied all knowledge of him until 1964.

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Jamie Frater

Jamie is the owner and chief-editor of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and collecting oddities. He is fascinated with all things historic, creepy, and bizarre.

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  • So tell me – what do you all think of the new keyword highlighting? Should it stay or should it go?

    • Yvonne

      What the hell are you talking about?

    • Simmy Reddy

      It’s great actually,especially since most of the time I’m speed reading.Helps make sure i take more in:)

  • How is gaining Independence not Revolutionary???

    • MorganGray

      I guess technically, it was a civil war. And, I guess it depends upon from which side of “The Pond” you come.
      It was a revolution in that it was a change not only in the governing body, but the *TYPE* of that body. Republics were thin on the ground in those days, and so it was a revolutionary form of government.
      It was a rebellion against the existing government.
      It was a civil war in that we were fighting to change one government for another of our own.

  • Fe

    Since I like stray, rather ignoble facts, here's a couple y'all might like.

    Mata Hari's body was sold to a medical school. The students would cut up and study cadavers as part of their training.

    Casanova died of syphillis. Shocking, I know. :)

    • Simmy Reddy

      Jeez, where did you find this out,that’s so ironic!

  • rob

    Nathan Hale: There was no revolutionary war in america, it was a war of independence. It staggers me how often people get this wrong.

  • Monteze

    what exacly does the highlighting do

  • Rob: It was a revolt against the Monarch of the country – the King of England. It resulted in the King being removed as head of state – that makes it a revolutionary war.

    Monteze: it is the square boxes around some of the words – it is really there for the purpose of people who do a quick scan to determine whether they want to read something – I am hoping it will help make the article content clearer.

    Fe: Thanks for that information – why am I not surprised he died of Syphilis?

    • jonathan

      do u think he didnt die of syphilis???

  • Morphy

    Jamie- kind of annoys me as I want to be able to hover the mouse over it to click to somewhere. Kind of leaves it looking unfinished, like the spell-checker is high-lighting mistakes. JMO.

  • Morphy: thanks for that – I will play around with some alternative methods for highlighting them and see what I come up with :)

  • rob

    It’s only a revolution if the head of state is changed and the country remains the same. What we came out with was a new country. Thus independence, not revolution. If we’d had a revolution we’d have had a new head of state but still been part of britain (how that would have worked, I’m not sure). We had already signed the declaration of independence before the fighting began and fought to remove the occupying forces here. That’s not a revolution.

  • Rob – that is totally wrong. The French revolution removed the head of state (King Louis) and after his fall it changed massively – the replaced the months of the year, the days of the week, the legal system, the religious system. The same is true of Russia after their revolution – they removed the Czar, and implemented communism – I am sure you know the differences between monarchism and democracy and communism. These are two countries that had revolutions that resulted in dramatic change to the nation. In fact, I can not think of a single country that had a revolt that remained the same. Why revolt if things don’t need to change?

  • rob

    Yes, but they remained the same countries. They didn’t declare themselves independent of france or russia because they are france and russia. These *are* two good examples of a revolution. It doesn’t mean they didn’t change politically – they did. It means the head of state changes and the new one rules the same people as the last one. Not the case with america. We had a war of independence; when it was over king george was still king george. He just had no say over us. You have to pick – was it a war of independence or a revolution?

  • Rob: The czar was still the czar too – he just had his throne stolen. This is all semantics; in all three cases a revolt against the governing body occurred. The war of independence was a revolutionary war.

  • rob

    someone find me a brick wall, it’ll be less painful

  • The American Heritage® Dictionary states:

    Revolution: NOUN: The overthrow of one government and its replacement with another

    Independence: NOUN: The state or quality of being independent.

    July 4, celebrated in the United States to commemorate the adoption in 1776 of the Declaration of Independence. Also called Fourth of July.

    Therefore: In order to gain TOTAL Independence from England there had to be a revolution.

    Rob: Do you Yield?

  • Crimanon: thanks :)

  • Che

    Americans call it the war of independance.
    The Brits (and others) call it the revolutionary war.
    It’s a question of perspective, presumably.

    One of those to-may-to, to-mah-to things.
    Let’s call the whole thing off. ;+)

  • Che: your last sentence might be a give-away to your age :)

  • As far as I know people of the US, namely myself, learned that it was the Revolutionary War. It was Always called that and will always be called that. It doesn’t matter where you are That is it’s name. Even the ALL KNOWING, wikipedia says American Revolution.

  • Crimanon: where have you been? You vanished for a couple of days! I agree with your point btw :)

  • New job, Third shift, heavy lifting, Ow. As it is, that I’m beaten to the ground, I won’t be around too much. I’ve been trying to check things out for the past, said couple of days, but I haven’t made it to my mailbox. It pays good and it’s nice and Honest, I think thought that this will be a weekend thing for me.

  • Crimanon: oh – congrats on the new job! Don’t let it take too much out of you :)

  • Jack

    Just gonna jump in real quick and say that the American war against the British was a War of Independence as well as a revolution. It was both, not one or the other.

  • It will but thats one of my goals. To get my old build back. I miss my abs.

  • Lothar

    Rob is technically correct. However, this dialogue is bordering on splitting hairs. More interesting is the way Canada and America evolved. Both came into existence near the same time but the British influence in Canada is overwhelming.

  • Lothar: that is probably because the Canadians didn’t have a revolution – they are still part of the Commonwealth.

  • Simon Templar

    I remember seeing a documentary on BBC about the Rosenbergs, quite fascinating. They maintained their silence till the very end, the FBI was willing to offer them a deal till literally a minute to their execution if they only accepted their crime, but they never did. Pretty impressive dedication to their cause, no matter how wrong it might have been.

  • Simon: I would love to see that

  • Pingback: Celeb » Comment on Top 10 Famous Spies by jfrater()

  • I had to do a report on mata hari last year… the books i found on her were pretty good…but my report wasnt…i got a c…lol

  • Scott

    Kind of disappointing to see the Juan Pujol Garcia (aka Garbo) wasn’t listed. His story is amazing! And it has a happy ending!

  • Scott: you are right about Garbo – I do think I should have put him on at least as a bonus. Thanks for mentioning him. For those that are curious about him:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Pujol_%28alias_Garbo%29

  • melissa

    Do any of you know of a male spy who pretended to be a woman? i can only remember that much, and perhaps that he pretended to be a geisha, but i may be confusing two stories. was he real? anyone else heard of this? thanks!

  • midou

    i keen on the game of espionage. i had read for the famouse spy especially for the MOUSSAD spies the personality which attached me is…..sorry it is a secret since we are beside the game . finaly for all espionage agencies protect ur spies when they catched

  • Rich

    This was a great blot with a vety interesting thread which followed. I’m going to check out Garbo, now. Thanks to all for the wonderful conversation. I only wish I was here as it evolved. Be well all.

  • This was a great blog with a vety interesting thread which followed. I’m going to check out Garbo, now. Thanks to all for the wonderful conversation. I only wish I was here as it evolved. Be well all.

  • ally

    actually ‘mata hari’ means ‘sun’, or ‘eye of the day’ in Indonesian

  • Sean

    the power changed hands. the cycle was in motion.
    sounds like a revolution to me.

  • geronimo

    i am not sure if the story is true..but many people attribute Germany’s defeat in WW II to a still unknown spy called Wood pecker who used to transmit data from Hitler Wolfschannze bunker where he was holed up for sometime…..

  • Alice

    Melissa: (if you’re still here) I don’t know of a man who pretended to be a woman, but there’s a woman who was quite often a man. Sarah Edmonds, the Canadian Chameleon.

  • Vic

    I think its both a Revolution and a War of Independence. It’s a revolution because the Government changed, the Head of State changed, and the colonies fused together into a “united states” (sic). But it is also a war of independence because the newly formed nation fought against ruling government to earn freedom from its control. Thus, it is fair to say that the American Revolution is also a Declaration of Independence. There’s no rulebook saying it can’t be both. So, I agree with Jack.

  • Muttley

    No mention of Baden-Powell; founder of the Boy Scouts movement and a very successful spy for the British.

  • Double

    What about JAMES BOND ????? Surely he should head the list! Everyone has heard of him! On a more serious note…………. isn’t being a ‘famous’ spy an admission of failure? Surely the best spies are the ones who have never been discovered?

  • ellie

    its ok lol

  • Dave

    Any one got thoughts on who was the fifth member of the cambridge 5?

  • Ayaan

    I really want to know about Mata Hari .

    If you are intressted to tell me the story write to me on…..

    [email protected]

  • sheikh saif

    Mata Hari excites me.I want to know more about her spying service through sex and her nude pics ofcourse.

  • zigra

    A little late to the game…

    I was a little surprised not to see Robert Hanssen here.

    As for the man dressed as a woman, you may be thinking of Shi Pei-Pu, a Chinese man who lived as a woman and had a relationship with a (male) British diplomat whom he extracted information from – immortalized in M. Butterfly.

    • averagelistverseuser

      He had a *relationship* with her and never figured out she had a penis? Makes you wonder what they were doing.

  • g8rBryan

    I am also a little late to the game on this particular thread, but I was thinking, at least as of late in the US, Valerie Plame Wilson is a rather famous, CURRENT, spy, particularly since she was outed by Novak and Libby. By the way, her story is presented in the very solid book, “Fair Game.”

    On a side note, I love the “Show me a Random List” link. I am rather new to the site and love looking around randomly!

  • Mark

    ROB!!!!!
    Holy moly! Look up the word “revolt” in Webster’s. And yes, the words “revolt” and “revolution” are both from the Latin word “revolvere”.
    The definition reads: “a renouncing of allegiance (as to a government or party); esp: a determined, armed uprising.”
    It also says that the word revolt is a synonym for rebellion.
    The American War of Independence was an armed rebellion, or revolt against the British Crown!
    The word “revolution” means “a fundamental change in political organization”.
    AND- the head of state WAS changed! Out with the Monarchy!
    It’s OK to be hard-headed at times, but only if you are right!
    Rob- you’re wrong!

  • courtney

    I hate to beat a dead dog, but really, if you think about it, they’re right, it could be called either, because in all history books it is referred to as the Revolutionary War. the root of the word revoltutionary is revolt. it was a revolt against the british rule. The war started april 19th (or possibly 18th, depending on your sorce, 1775 with the shot heard round the world at the battle of lexington and concord.Then, two months later on june 11th (i think) the declaration of independance was drafted. then, on July 4th, 1776, the declaration was adopted, officially changing the name of our country. So, the first year or so could be called a war for independence. But, i would call it the Revolutionary War because by the time the head of state changed officially, with the end of the war and the Treaty of Paris, we were a seperate country, just to set it upon Robs point.

  • DL

    Yes, someone give Rob a brick wall. It will be less painful for the rest of us who know how to use a dictionary and understand that a revolutionary war can result in independence.

  • whoopee

    What about Garbo? Can’t remember his real name but he got his alias on account of being a beautiful actor. Misled the nazis about the dday landings, or some such

  • whoopee

    Ah yes, just read the other comments. Catching up

  • little.princess

    Casanova.
    ;)

    LOL

  • jasperismine!1

    jasper hale.

    ;)

    LOL

  • mrsedwardcullen

    Edward Cullen.

    ;)

    That’s what i’m talkin boutt!!

  • HodgePodge

    ugh! dunno where im comming from but Stephenie Meyer totally killed twlight with the rest of the series. I liked the first book then as soon as I read the second it became shitty and i couldnt get my self to read the rest. Its all that lovey dovey fantasizing bull without any themes at all, ruining our young minds with riduclious balderdash. In my opinion she’s trying way to hard…no pun intented mrsedwardcullen.
    …than again its ONLY my opinion :)

  • npc

    rob is such a fucking dumbass, why did he even try to make that argument

  • fg

    whatever

  • Amanda H.

    I’m pretty sure it was later discovered that Ethel Rosenberg had nothing to do with the conspiracies against her. I’m pretty sure she also didn’t die right away when she was electrocuted.

  • Norman

    The Soviets were frightened and respectful of the SIS due to the Bolshevik Revolution, that they were worried the spies had been planted into the KGB. A lot of KGB officers thought it had been too easy for the Cambridge Spies to infiltrate the British Government, especially as they had left wing backgrounds and Philby had helped communist escape from Vienna and married a Viennese communist. In fact, the information they gave wasn't trusted, unless someone else proved it right, because the suspicious KGB reckoned the SIS was feeding them disinformation.

    • KING KONG

      GOOD

  • Bobnoxious

    Being the ten most famous surely defeats the object!

    “Ooh Boris its that spy again”
    “Oh brilliant ivor, well spotted, I’ve always wanted his autograph”
    “Excuse me dear, sorry to interupt your spying, but could you sign this lethal injection. Only its for my niece, she’s always been a big fan of yours ever since you sold all our millitary secrets to the yanks and compromised our national security”

  • saber25

    Where is “uhurm” Bond, James Bond? 0.o

  • mouse

    the soviet were frightened people they felt that if they were not in the lead they were lossers meaning they were not good enuff lol

  • mouse

    lol james bond is working another case lol jk jk hes dead =)lol na im just joking hes working on another movie hopfuly this one will be better then his last lol

  • mousse

    hi, I’m only 11 and I want to know “Ran through bullets” mean?

  • atruna

    just wondering weren’t Julius and Ethel Rosenberg husband and wife not brother and sister? or else how would they have met at a young communist league.

  • Rafael

    Hey! Donnie brasco should of been in the top 5

    BTW i love your lists

  • Bigcheese

    Hi if anyone sees this please type back. who are some famous spies in the civil war besides just women.

  • Bigcheese

    Sry im a horible typer and speller

    • jonathan

      um……i dont know any????

  • Don

    Does anyone know the name of any British spy executed during the war between the colonists and the British, sometimes called the Revolutionary War or the War for/of Independence. Any name at all except John Andre. When and where executed?

  • Dave

    Normally during revolutions, the country changes it's political system (for example, Monarchy plus beginnings of democracy changes to Communist as in Russia). But I can't find any evidence that that happened to America.

    King George had no practical power, even in England where democractic ministers ruled through a bi-cameral legislature, with open elections. America replaced that with a president and a bi-cameral legislature and, er……. open elections. Capitalism remained unchanged, the large companies remained unchanged, the top men were still the top men. Local democracy was already well advanced (eg in Massetusats), even as a British colony.

    Laws that were based upon Common law, the Magna Carta (1215) limiting the authority of powerholders, Habeas Corpus Act (1679) and the English Bill of Rights remain. The impeachment of Clinton used exactly the same laws that were used by Cromwell to impeach King Charles. The political, social and religious changes wroght by Cromwell on Britain were far greater than that which the new U.S.A. experienced. Yet we don't call that a revolution because too much of the social order remained the same.

    The main reason given for the AWI was taxation, but that remained the same too!

    • averagelistverseuser

      They overthrew the government that was ruling them, thus making it a revolution. And they did change their governmental system, from a monarchy to a federal republic, and being free of monarchical rule was one of the primary rallying cries of the revolution's supporters. And King George knew damn well everything that Parliament was doing, and gave his assent. Learn your history.

  • Yamama

    Aleister crowley

  • Maria

    How about Julia Child? Yes, THAT Julia Child. She was a spy, that's actually how she met her husband.

  • haven

    sidney reilly, inspiration for james bond

  • SunjayJK

    You missed out WW 2 Woman Spy Extraordinaire NOOR INAYAT KHAN (2 be Honored with Memorial in London), A Sufi Muslim of Indian-US Parentage http://sunjayjk.posterous.com/noor-inayat-khan-to

  • dth

    What? No Fritz Joubert Duquesne on this list? Oh, come on Mr Frater!

  • tdp

    10 of the agents Aldrich Ames turned in were executed. As far as I'm concerned he should have been, too, especially since it was for money. Also, the fifth member of the Cambridge 5 was John Cairncross. It strikes me as interesting that the Cambridge 5, all rich aristorcrats who attained their wealth because of the system the Marxists sought to overthrow, continued to live like rich, spoiled college students while the millions of Soviet peasants they were supposed to be helping lived at best a hand-to-mouth existence.

  • Grade8BookGeek

    Great info for my social studies project, really helpful

  • kimberly

    Enter your comment here.

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  • Cole Winn

    this is boring

  • Adano van Java

    MataHari = “SUN” Mata mean Eye and Hari mean Day so it is “Eye of the Day” not “Aye of the Dawn”

  • Robert

    IT IS AMAZING!
    GOOD WORK>

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  • it

    I agree with number 1.

  • will walsh

    this is fffffffffffffffffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucccccccckkkkkkiiiiiiiinnnnngggg awsome

  • Patricia Edwards

    What are 10spies that worked for Canada during the 1900’s

  • Rei

    Thx for your great post. I’m researching spies at the moment, so this is a awesome find. Where did you find the image of the wanted poster of Maclean and Burges? I am looking for a bigger version of that poster. Any help will be hugely appreciated.

  • I don’t usually comment but I gotta tell regards for the post on this special one : D.

    Well, if everyone lived this way, his rural area would look like suburbia, wouldn’t it?!

  • shannon

    lol x

  • Klgms

    I wanna know about american spies! Duh, the winner always makes history.

  • Emmanuelle

    Why don’t we have Violette Szabo on this list?

  • Joe Bob

    don’t mind me just coming though!

  • California Wing Tsun

    It is appropriate time to make a few plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have learn this post and if I may I want to counsel you some fascinating things or tips. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles regarding this article. I want to read even more issues approximately it!

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  • Yvonne

    This story’s was really fun to read!
    I liked it a lot. :)

    I’m only 12 I never read so many words before on computer, I just find it really hard to read on computers, but this was really interesting that I just capt on reading.

  • Yvonne

    Hi I’m only 12 and I just read this top 10 spies and I really liked it, I can’t believe that the Soviet union had 4 spies they must’ve really want those military information so that they can win the war or for another reason. :p

  • KING KONG

    BAD

  • monkey3137

    You can find out more here about Mata Hari, she had a very interesting life! http://www.thefunbler.com/index.php/11-home-artic

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