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A spymaster is the person that leads a spy ring, or a secret service (such as an intelligence agency).

Historical spymastersEdit

Name Allegiance Agency/Organization/Service
Alfred Redl   Austria-Hungary;
  Russian Empire[note 1]
Allan Pinkerton   United States Union Intelligence Service
Thomas Cromwell   Kingdom of England
Allen Dulles   United States Central Intelligence Agency
Armand Jean du Plessis (Cardinal Richelieu)   Kingdom of France
Benjamin Tallmadge   United States Culper Ring
Bhola Nath Mullik   India Intelligence Bureau
Dai Li   Republic of China National Revolutionary Army
David Kimche   Israel Mossad
Donald Nichols   United States 6004th Air Intelligence Service Squadron
Emanuel Sueyro   Spain
Francis Walsingham   Kingdom of England
George Washington   United States Continental Army
Gustav Steinhauer   Germany Nachrichten-Abteilung
Hamid Gul   Pakistan Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence
Hugh Montgomery   United States Central Intelligence Agency
Isser Harel   Israel Mossad
Ivone Kirkpatrick   United Kingdom British Army
James Jesus Angleton   United States Central Intelligence Agency
John Thurloe   Commonwealth of England
Kang Sheng   Communist Party of China[note 2] Central Department of Social Affairs
Lavrentiy Beria   Soviet Union NKVD
Hugh Sinclair   United Kingdom Secret Intelligence Service
Mansfield Smith-Cumming   United Kingdom Secret Intelligence Service
Manuel Piñeiro   Cuba Dirección de Inteligencia
Mao Renfeng   Republic of China Bureau of Investigation and Statistics
Markus Wolf   East Germany Main Directorate for Reconnaissance
Michael Collins   Irish Republic Irish Republican Army
Pyotr Rachkovsky   Russian Empire Okhrana
R. N. Kao   India Research and Analysis Wing
Sándor Goldberger (alias J. Peters)   Soviet Union
Semyon Semyonov   Soviet Union NKVD
Shen Zui   Republic of China Bureau of Investigation and Statistics
Vera Atkins   United Kingdom Special Operations Executive
Wang Puchen   Republic of China Bureau of Investigation and Statistics
Wilhelm Canaris   Germany Abwehr
William J. Donovan   United States Office of Strategic Services
William Stephenson   Canada British Security Co-ordination
William Wickham   United Kingdom
Yuri Modin   Soviet Union NKVD
Zhou Enlai   Communist Party of China[note 2] Special Service section of the Central Committee
Urban Work Committee of the Central Committee

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Redl was appointed as the head of counterintelligence at the Evidenzbureau, the Austro-Hungarian military intelligence organization in 1907. However, Redl was already compromised by Russian agents c. 1900, and provided information to the Russian Empire until he was caught by Austro-Hungarian authorities in 1913.
  2. ^ a b Years of service as a spymaster with the Communist Party of China predates the foundation of the People's Republic of China (1949)