Great events in history bring out both heroes and villains among us. They are a good test of character and separate the brave from the cowards. There have been many traitors in history who have betrayed those closest to them or who have betrayed their own nations. In Dante’s Inferno the deepest circle of hell is reserved for traitors where Satan chews on three biggest traitors including Judas. Let’s look at 7 such traitors who betrayed those who trusted them.
Harold Cole was a British traitor during WWII. He was the deputy commander of the Scotland Yard and helped create the French resistance escape lines. But he gave this information to the Gestapo and also provided information about the French resistance leaders. He is considered responsible for the death of about 150 people. He is considered the worst traitor during the Second World War. He was caught by the French police in 1946 and shot dead after capture.
Alfred Redl was an army officer in the Austrian army. He worked as a spy for Russia for many years before and during World War I. He sold many secrets about the Austrian Army including their invasion plan for Serbia. Russia sold the plan to Serbia. Not only did he provide information to Russia but he double crossed his own country many times by providing wrong information about Russia’s military and exposed Austrian agents to the Russian intelligence. In terms of numbers he is one of the biggest traitors in history as his actions caused the death of about half a million Austrians. When the Austrian police was about to capture him he committed suicide.
Robert “Bob” Ford was an outlaw who betrayed his own gang leader, the notorious Jesse James and shot him from behind to receive the bounty on his head. They say there is no honor among thieves and it surely is true because Bob had always admired Jesse James and considered him a sort of personal hero but still betrayed him for money. He and his brother were trusted by Jesse as the last few remaining members of his gang. The brothers didn’t get the $10,000 bounty and instead were almost hanged for the prison but were pardoned at the last minute. Despite a deal with Crittenden they only got $500. Ford was shot in 10 years later by Edward O’Kelley who at least had the decency to not shoot from behind.
Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger was part of one of the most heinous betrayals in history. He was the nephew of Julius Caesar and stuck with the Optimates during the Great Roman Civil War. Julius Caesar showed him mercy and reinstated him into the senate. Some say that he was Caesar’s son but this is not provable. But it is true that Brutus was very close to Caesar’s heart. When the senate attacked Caesar he was heartbroken on seeing Brutus there. Shakespeare made the line “Et tu Brutus?” Caesar’s last words which means “Even you Brutus?” This is definitely one of the biggest betrayals in history.
Benedict Arnold was an American commander who fought very well from the American side during the revolution. But his rivals discredited his victories and humiliated him. His pride made him decide to betray the Americans. He planned to sell West Point to the British which would have changed the course of the war. But the plan was exposed and he fled to the British side. As if that wasn’t enough he led the British army in raids against the Americans. It is said that on his death bed in London he regretted what he had done. But the Americans still equate his name with the greatest treason that anyone can ever do.
Mir Jafar did in India what Benedict Arnold did in America. But while Benedict Arnold was motivated by anger and revenge, Mir Jafar just wanted to fulfill his ambitions and he felt that helping the British would further his cause more. He was a commander in the Bengal army under the Nawab of Bengal. In 1757 Robert Clive made an accord with him according to which he didn’t participate in the Battle of Plassey and the British were able to defeat the Nawab. They formed a puppet state and put him in charge as the new Nawab of Bengal. He later realized that the British wanted full control and tried to stop them by supporting the Danish but failed and he was deposed. Later he came into the good graces of the British again and was reinstated as the Nawab till his death in 1765. It is said that the British rule of Indian subcontinent began with the betrayal of Mir Jafar. He is considered a disgrace to faith, humanity and the nation.