Ethel Rosenberg was an American citizen who was convicted along with Julius Rosenberg of spying in favor of the Soviet Union. Ethel and Julius were convicted of passing top-secret information about sonar, radar, valuable nuclear weapon designs, and jet propulsion engines to the Soviet Union. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed by the American government in 1953.
Peggy Shippen was a spy who was active during the American Revolution. She was the highest-paid spy and worked alongside her husband General Benedict Arnold, who started conspiring with the British in the late-1770s. Peggy Shippen's role in the conspiracy was exposed in September 1780, when British Major John André was captured by the Americans.
Manuela Sáenz was an Ecuadorian revolutionary who supported women's rights. She received the Order of the Sun, honoring her services in the revolution. Today, she is widely regarded as a feminist symbol of the 19th century. In 2007, the Ecuadorian government honored her with the rank of General.
Violette Szabo was a British-French spy who worked as a Special Operations Executive agent during World War II. During her second mission in occupied France, Violette Szabo was captured by the Germans. She was tortured, interrogated, and deported to Ravensbrück, where she was executed on 5 February 1945 at the age of 23.
The first and the longest-serving British female secret agent, Krystyna Skarbek was born in Poland. Her contribution to the Allies during World War II won her honors such as the OBE and the Croix de Guerre. She was 37 when she was stabbed to death in a London hotel.
Born in Lyon, Frenchwoman Maximiani Julia Portas later changed her name to Savitri Devi and adopted Nazism. The ardent cat lover earned a PhD in philosophy and later acquired Greek nationality and served as an Axis spy. She claimed Adolf Hitler was an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu.
Ursula Kuczynski was a German Communist activist. She is best remembered for her work as a spy for the Soviet Union. She coordinated with Klaus Fuchs, a German atomic spy, who started passing information on the British atomic bomb project through Ursula Kuczynski to the Soviet Union.
Belle Boyd was a Confederate spy who was active during the American Civil War. Operating from her father's hotel in Virginia, Boyd provided key information to Confederate Commander Stonewall Jackson in 1862. Belle Boyd's life and career inspired a series of silent films called The Girl Spy.
Tamara Bunke was an Argentine-born East German spy and revolutionary. She played an important role in the Cuban government and in various revolutionary movements across Latin America. She also fought during the Bolivian insurgency and was killed in an ambush by Bolivian Army Rangers while fighting alongside communist guerrillas led by Che Guevara.
Rose O'Neal Greenhow was a well-known Confederate spy who was active during the American Civil War. She is credited with securing the South's victory at the Battle of First Manassas in July 1861. After her demise, Rose O'Neal Greenhow was given a Confederate military funeral.
American abolitionist Elizabeth Van Lew is best-known for developing and running an extensive and efficient spy-ring for Union Army during American Civil War. She was the first person in Richmond who raised the US flag in the city after it fell to US forces in April 1865. She later served as Postmaster General of Richmond and modernized the city's postal-system.
Legendary heroine of the American Revolutionary War, Nancy Hart was a skilled frontierswoman and herbalist from Georgia. Folklore has it that she was a 6-feet tall, muscular, red-headed woman, known as “war woman” to the locals. She is said to have fought and spied dressed as a man.
Canadian-born Sarah Emma Edmonds is best-remembered as the woman who served the Union Army, disguised as a man, during American Civil War. She also claimed that she served as a spy. She later used her real identity and served as a nurse at a hospital in Washington, D.C. In 1897, Edmonds was admitted to the Grand Army of the Republic.
Eileen Nearne was a Special Operations Executive agent during the Second World War. She served as a radio operator in occupied France, for which she was honored by the French government with the Croix de Guerre after the war.
Irish woman Lydia Darragh is said to have saved George Washington’s Continental Army from a British attack during American Revolutionary War. She eavesdropped on a secret conference of British officers quartered in her house and after learning about the impending attack on the Continental army camped at White Marsh, she delivered the information and saved Washington's army from an ambush.
Benita von Falkenhayn was a German baroness best remembered for her role as a spy for the Republic of Poland. She is also remembered for her association with Major Jerzy Sosnowski, who encouraged her to obtain secret documents pertaining to German's invasion of Poland. Benita von Falkenhayn was found guilty of treason and espionage and was sentenced to death.