Betrayal is a rough thing. Nobody wants to be betrayed by anyone; especially when that individual is a trusted confident or a person that is loved. In history, there have been plenty of the greatest religious, political, military and social figures that have been betrayed by someone important to them. The following list will highlight some of the biggest traitors in history and how their deception has impacted the lives of people all around them.
10. Paul Cole
When armies go to war the last thing they want to deal with is a traitor. During World War II a man by the name of Paul Cole was an important military figure who played a role with the French Resistance. However, he betrayed the French and the Allied forces by selling their secrets to the Gestapo.
He gave away important military information and plans that gave the Germans and their allies the advantage. Many people lost their lives because of this betrayal. The French and Allied forces put out a manhunt against Cole and when they found him in 1946 he was killed by the police.
9. Alfred Redl
Alfred Redl was another person that caused over 500,000 people to die during World War I because of his deceptive practices. Redl was an Austrian officer who decided to work for a Russian spy. He was in a key position to leak top secret plans about Austria’s military activities to the Russians. He gave up some vital information about his nation’s plans with invading Serbia. Redl took his life when the Austrian forces discovered that he had betrayed them.
8. John A. Walker
John A. Walker was a top naval commander who was able to sell naval secrets for 20 long years before he was discovered. Walker was selling naval secrets from the 60s all the way until the mid-80s. He informed Russians and other military forces about the American’s navy’s movements. The FBI was only able to capture him when Walker did not want to pay his former wife spousal support. His betrayal set the Navy back and forced them to reorganize how they conducted their affairs.
7. Marcus Brutus
During the era of ancient Rome there lived an emperor named Julia Caesar who was a dictator toward his people. Marcus Brutus was Caesar’s adopted son. Julius adopted him because his father (Julius’s brother) had died. Brutus was Caesar’s nephew before he became his heir. Brutus decided to join in with the Roman senators with the plot to eliminate Julius. No one wanted to deal with him anymore as a ruler. So, they all killed Caesar and Brutus led the way. His tyranny will not be forgotten because he destroyed the man who showed him great love.
6. Mir Jafar
Centuries ago the British decided to take over India. When they did they encountered various Indian forces who tried to stop their encroachment. The Indian’s probably would have held the British in check if not for the betrayal of a military commander named Mir Jafar. He was an important military leader who had a strong desire to rule. He wanted to claim the throne of Bengal.
He betrayed his people by joining forces with the British army. His army was extremely large and their combined strength crushed the opposition. Once the Jafar defeated the Indian forces he claimed the throne of Bengal and the British firmly entrenched themselves into India’s history forever.
5. Robert Hanssen
Robert Hanssen was a former FBI agent who had access to sensitive information from the CIA. He was able to sell CIA secrets to the Russians for well over 22 years and netted millions from this activity. His betrayal was extremely damaging to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and it created the worst intelligence disaster in the history of this nation. Hanssen is currently serving time in prison but the damage he has done has cost the U.S. dearly. He too caused a major government organization to change their protocols and how they conduct their affairs.
4. Ephialtes of Trachis
Most people might familiar with the name Ephialtes from the cult movie “300”. This film told the story of King Leonidas and his bold Spartans as they stood against King Xerxes and the powerful Persian army who tried to overthrow Greece. The Spartans were holding the Persians off and defeating them. Until they were betrayed by Ephialtes of Trachis who led the Persians up a secret pathway that caused the Spartans to be compromised. Ephialtes betrayal was so devastating that his name became a word for treason and nightmares in Greece.
3. Guy Fawkes
During the late 1500’s and early 1600’s, Europe was in an uproar over religion. This religious battle was mainly being fought between the Catholics and the newly emerging Protestant groups. England was once a stronghold for Catholics but that situation changed. When King James I was ruling the throne in 1605, he supported a Protestant rule. The English Catholics did not like this and wanted him eliminated.
Guy Fawkes was a loyal member in King James army. The fact that he betrayed the king that he supported for many years was very alarming to King James I at the time. After King James I survived the assassination plot all of England lit bonfires and honored this day as Guy Hawkes Day which occurs on November 5th of every year. Hawkes was eventually captured and hanged for his part in the plot.
2. Benedict Arnold
The American Revolutionary War was a part of a huge movement that helped to create the modern day nation of America. This particular war was bloody and brutal – just like any other war. It also had its fair share of traitors just like any other type of conflict.
One of the worst traitors in all of history is known as Benedict Arnold. He was a former American military officer who won many battles for the American cause. However, he eventually betrayed his people to the British. Once he was discovered he left the American side and joined the British as a Brigadier General. He died at the age of 60 due to health reasons.
1. Judas Iscariot
Judas Iscariot is considered the ultimate traitor of all time. His betrayal of Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver is truly a horrible act. Jesus Christ came into the world to save people. Christ had started a new religion called Christianity and he introduced monotheism into the world. Christ chose his 12 Disciples to spread his message to the world and Iscariot was one of them.
Iscariot betrayed Jesus because he did not believe him to be the Son of God. Instead, Iscariot wanted Christ to be the leader that would deliver the Jewish people from Roman rule at the time. Iscariot made a deal with the Jewish officials who did not want Christ around. He eventually betrayed Christ with a kiss and Christ was ultimately crucified from this betrayal.
This was all a part of God’s ultimate plan for Jesus coming into the world to die for people’s sins. However, Christ still felt the stinging pain of this betrayal. Iscariot hung himself after he realized what he had done to the innocent savior of humanity.
All of the people that have been included on this list are among the biggest turncoats in all of history. Their betrayals have been so great and destructive that they will forever be remembered as some of the worst people to have ever lived.