Meet These Real Life James Bonds Who Risked Everything To Work As Secret Agents
“The name is Bond, James Bond.” This is the most famous dialogue we have heard from the most popular fictional spies from the Hollywood movie. The image of a spy as seen in television and books has always been of a charming, handsome, playboy agent. When Ian Fleming created this character, it is said that he drew a lot of inspiration from the lives of real-life spies who risked all their lives working for the country. And it is not just men who become spies, history shows that there have been quite a few popular female spies too. Read on to find out the most famous spies in history and how they worked.
The Rosenbergs were the first US citizens to be executed during the Cold War. their case is considered to be the most controversial till date. Many still are not sure if justice was served in the Rosenbergs’ case. They were convicted for conspiring to pass atomic secrets of the US to the Soviet Union. Julius Rosenberg was an engineer and worked for the US Army Signal Corps and his wife Ethel Greens worked as a secretary. Julius was arrested in 1950 and was accused of running a spy ring that passed secret information to the Soviet Union. The couple was implicated by Ethel’s brother, David Greenglass. They were convicted in 1951 even though they kept protesting their innocence. The couple was electrocuted on June 19, 1953.
This British atomic scientist was arrested and convicted in 1950 for passing on important atomic research secrets to the Soviet Union. He researched on the atomic bomb at the University of Birmingham and began passing scientific secrets to the Soviet Union. He later went to the Us to study on the atomic bomb project and gained valuable knowledge on the theory and design of the bomb and passed the information to the Soviet Union. He was arrested in 1950 and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Entrusted with discovering Soviet spies, Aldrich Ames became one of the most successful double agents for the Soviet Union and Russia. In 1985. Ames began selling crucial American Intelligence information to the KGB, foreign intelligence and domestic security agency of the Soviet Union. Aldrich and Maria, his second wife was arrested in 1994 and had already made more than $2.7 million. He is currently serving a life sentence.
He was a Russian born secret agent and is alleged to have spied for four different great powers. Considered as one of the greatest spies of all times, he is also known as the ‘Ace of Spies’. He was a master of disguise and was known to have remarkable acting skills. He gained access to details of Germany’s five-year naval-development plan, which he reported to London. He became famous for his plan to assassinate the Soviet leader Lenin. Reilly was caught and executed by a firing squad in 1925 and was buried in an unmarked grave.
A dancer and a courtesan, Mata Hari became famous as a seductive female spy. After her first divorce, she began dancing professionally. Extremely beautiful and tall, she was an instant success among the public and was known to make nude appearances. While she was working as a French spy in German-occupied Belgium, it is said that a German counsel had paid her to get information from the French. The French suspected her duplicity and she was sentenced to death and was shot by a firing squad in 1917.
A Serbian triple agent who is also considered to be the inspiration behind the creation of the character James Bond. Popov had a way with the ladies and came from a wealthy family. He worked for MI16 during the Second World War and it is also said that he passed off disinformation as part of the Double-Cross System. He dies in 1981 after a long illness.
One of the most famous Confederate spies during the US civil war, Boyd is also known as the “Cleopatra of the Secession”. Her Civil War missions were often about transporting information and supplies to the Southern troops. Once the press made her famous, she was regularly arrested but was never held for more than a few months. She later went on to become an actress. She died in 1900 at the age of 56.
The Cambridge Five
A group of Soviet spies who worked in the British secret service during the Second World War. Kim Philby was the most popular among them. It is said that he gave the details of the American and British spies to the Soviets that led to the deaths of many of them. The names of the others were Guy Burgess, Donald Duart Maclean and Anthony Blunt. The last spy from the group has never been identified.
The most iconic spy ever, Sorge was a spy for the Soviet Union during the Second World War. His missions involved learning about the plans of Germany and Japan and informing the Soviet Union about the same. He was caught by the Japanese in 1941 and was executed. He is considered to be one of the most famous spies in history.
The captain in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, Nathan Hale was the first American spy. He was caught by the British army during one of his missions when he went disguised as a teacher. He was convicted and hanged.
Most of these spies have an impressive profile. But we do feel sorry for The Rosenbergs and Mata Hari. Are you a Bond fan too? What secret mission are you going next?
Sources: geek.com, politico.com, newstatesman.com, historyofspies.com, rbth.com, thevintagenews.com, allthatsinteresting.com, wikipedia.org, irishexaminer.com, thefamouspeople.com, sofrep.com