5 Of The Worst Spies in History Who Never Really Succeeded

The spy game is truly a dangerous one which could end in fatal results for spies being caught. Espionage and the spy dramas we read about in Robert Ludlum and John Le care novels were dramatic enough yet reflected the dangers of the game too. However when you mess up as a spy, then it really means you suck as one and there have been bungling spies in history. So without further ado, here are the worst spies in history.

1 The, Corrupt “Wheat Collectors” Of Ancient Rome

The ancient Romans were good in espionage. A roman emperor devised a group of espionage officers called the Frumnetarii or wheat collectors who travelled across the empire collecting information. The problem, however, was that it soon became a free for all and they soon started an extortion racket where they would demand bribes in exchange for withholding reports of traitors and thieves to Rome. The Frumentarii ended up plundering and installing fear throughout the countryside.

The ancient Romans

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2 The Schoolteacher Nathan Hale who became a spy for the Revolutionary War

Nathan Hale was a volunteer spy who dressed as a school teacher and spied on the British during the revolution. Hale volunteered to spy on the British and proceeded to wander around enemy lines dressed as a school teacher. He made sketches of military installations and noted down vital information. It isn’t clear how he was captured but the story has it that a British officer lured him into admitting he was a spy by pretending to be a spy himself.

Hale may have been an inept spy but he was also hailed as a patriot whose last words before being executed were “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country,”. Unlike the others in this list who bungled their operations, Hale may have not been successful but he was definitely a hero.

The Schoolteacher Nathan Hale

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3 The secret intelligence head that got thrown out of a brothel

Among the worst spies in history, Captain Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming was the first man to head England’s secret service in 1800. According to his own admission, his spy career was not a very glorious one. Historian Harry Ferguson says that Smith Cumming was involved in several bungling incidents while trying to commit espionage including one where he tried speaking to a German spy despite not knowing German. He was also once thrown out of a brothel when he mistook it for a hotel.

Captain Sir Mansfield

Image Source: www.english-heritage.org.uk

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