Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were devoted communists who allegedly headed a spy ring that passed military secrets to the Soviets.The scheme got underway sometime after 1940, when Julius became a civilian engineer with the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He was dismissed in 1945 once the military learned of his communist sympathies, but not before recruiting Ethel’s brother, an Army machinist working on the Manhattan Project, to turn over handwritten notes and sketches pertaining to the atomic bomb.As determined at their trial they were to be sent to the electric chair at New York State’s Sing Sing prison on June 19, 1953, marking the first time American civilians had ever been executed for espionage.
During World War II he was invited to join Britain’s clandestine atomic bomb development program, despite his known communist leanings, and from there was sent to the United States to take part in the Manhattan Project. Upon returning to the U.K., Fuchs secured a prestigious post at a nuclear energy research center. In 1950, however, he was apprehended after U.S. agents discovered that for years he had been handing nuclear secrets to the Soviets, who by now had their own atomic bomb. Fuchs confessed, telling the authorities that he “had complete confidence in Russian policy” and that “the Western Allies deliberately allowed Russia and Germany to fight each other to the death.” Fuchs claimed not to know his American contact’s true name, the FBI quickly traced a trail back to the Rosenberg spy ring, resulting in the arrest of the Rosenbergs and several co-conspirators.After nine years in British prison, he immigrated to East Germany, where he continued working as a nuclear physicist until his retirement in 1979.
in 2012, a dozen years after his death, a BBC reporter unearthed a file showing that Mawby had been a mole for Czechoslovakia, then part of the Soviet bloc. Hundreds of pages of documents revealed that Mawby, who was given the codename Laval, began secretly handing over intelligence.He also apparently provided floor plans of the prime minister’s parliamentary office, as well as details about the prime minister’s security team. For each helpful tidbit, Mawby received £100, which, his handlers implied, went toward his drinking and gambling habits. In later years, they upped the total to £400 per year. Though Mawby at one point met several times a month with his handlers, their collaboration appears to have ended in 1971.
The Cambridge Five
A Conservative member of Parliament could be a communist spy seems hard to believe; the British authorities were likewise thrown off by the elite educations and upper-class backgrounds of the so-called Cambridge Five, who were recruited into the Soviet sphere around the time they attended the University of Cambridge in the 1930.These members include Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Kim Philby, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross had all worked their way up to important intelligence posts, which they used to pass an array of secrets to the Soviets.None of the five ever faced espionage charges.
The son of a CIA analyst, Wisconsin-born Aldrich Ames wasted no time in joining the agency himsel,later becoming a full-fledged spy.Ames spent much of his three-decade-long career attempting to coax Soviet officials into the CIA’s service.In 1985, however, while going through a financially disastrous divorce, Ames walked into the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C., and offered to trade secrets for money (2.7 million to be exact).He in return left classified documents at prearranged drop sites for the KGB to pick up later.Ames avoided arrest until 1994, when the FBI finally closed in after uncovering incriminating evidence in his trash and on his computer.
In early 1977, for instance, Soviet electronics engineer Adolf Tolkachev began dropping notes into the cars of U.S. diplomats, asking to meet with an American official.From 1979 to 1985, he regularly stuffed classified documents into his coat in order to photograph them at home with a CIA-supplied camera. His CIA handlers would then intermittently pick up this film, along with handwritten messages, after taking great care to avoid KGB surveillance.In return for his valuable information CIA paid Tolkachev more than $1 million—the majority of which was held in escrow pending his planned defection—and supplied Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and other Western rock albums for his son.he appears to have been motivated more by revenge than money, telling his CIA handlers about the murder of his wife’s mother and the imprisonment of her father during Joseph Stalin’s purges of the 1930s.The collaboration came to an abrupt end in 1985, when it’s believed that former CIA agent Edward Lee Howard, and possibly Aldrich Ames as well, told the Soviets about Tolkachev’s activities and he was executed the following year.