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

Historical spymasters[edit]

Name Allegiance Agency/Organization/Service
Motojiro Akashi  Japan Akashi Kikan
Faiz Hameed  Pakistan Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence
Vera Atkins  United Kingdom Special Operations Executive
Lavrentiy Beria  Soviet Union NKVD
Wilhelm Canaris  Nazi Germany Abwehr
Michael Collins  Irish Republic Irish Republican Army
Thomas Cromwell  Kingdom of England
William J. Donovan  United States Office of Strategic Services
Armand Jean du Plessis (Cardinal Richelieu)  Kingdom of France
Allen Dulles  United States Central Intelligence Agency
Zhou Enlai Chinese Communist Party[note 1] Special Service section of the Central Committee
Urban Work Committee of the Central Committee
Sándor Goldberger (alias J. Peters)  Soviet Union
Hamid Gul  Pakistan Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence
Sidney Souers  United States Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Isser Harel  Israel Mossad
David Kimche  Israel Mossad
Ivone Kirkpatrick  United Kingdom British Army
Dai Li  Republic of China National Revolutionary Army
Colin Hercules Mackenzie  United Kingdom Special Operations ExecutiveForce 136
Yuri Modin  Soviet Union NKVD
Hugh Montgomery  United States Central Intelligence Agency
Bhola Nath Mullik  India Intelligence Bureau
Donald Nichols  United States 6004th Air Intelligence Service Squadron
Manuel Piñeiro  Cuba Dirección de Inteligencia
Allan Pinkerton  United States Union Intelligence Service
Wang Puchen  Republic of China Bureau of Investigation and Statistics
Pyotr Rachkovsky  Russian Empire Okhrana
Alfred Redl  Austria-Hungary;
 Russian Empire[note 2]
Mao Renfeng  Republic of China Bureau of Investigation and Statistics
Semyon Semyonov  Soviet Union NKVD
Kang Sheng Chinese Communist Party[note 1] Central Department of Social Affairs
Hugh Sinclair  United Kingdom Secret Intelligence Service
Mansfield Smith-Cumming  United Kingdom Secret Intelligence Service
Richard Sorge  Soviet Union Main Intelligence Directorate
Gustav Steinhauer  Nazi Germany Nachrichten-Abteilung
William Stephenson  Canada British Security Co-ordination
Emanuel Sueyro  Spain
Benjamin Tallmadge  United States Culper Ring
John Thurloe  Commonwealth of England
Francis Walsingham  Kingdom of England
George Washington  United States Continental Army
William Wickham  United Kingdom
Markus Wolf  East Germany Main Directorate for Reconnaissance
Shen Zui  Republic of China Bureau of Investigation and Statistics
R. N. Kao  India Research and Analysis Wing

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ 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.