Hitler's Spy Chief

Hitler's Spy Chief

Book - 2012 | 1st Pegasus Books hardcover ed
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Admiral Wilhelm Canaris was appointed by Hitler to head the Abwehr (the German secret service) eighteen months after the Nazis came to power. But Canaris turned against the Führer, believing that Hitler would start a war Germany could not win. In 1938 he was involved in an attempted coup, undermined by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. In 1940 he sabotaged the German plan to invade England, and fed General Franco vital information that helped him keep Spain out of the war. For years he played a dangerous double game, desperately trying to keep one step ahead of the Gestapo. SS chief Himmler became suspicious of Canaris and by 1944, when Abwehr personnel were involved in the attempted assassination of Hitler, he had the evidence to arrest Canaris himself. In this true story of intrigue and espionage, Richard Bassett reveals how Admiral Canaris' secret work against the German leadership changed the course of World War II.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Pegasus Books : Distributed by W.W. Norton, 2012, c2011
Edition: 1st Pegasus Books hardcover ed
Branch Call Number: 943.086092 B
Characteristics: 319 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9781605983707


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Jul 19, 2014

This author acknowledges that a substantial portion of this 'historical biography' is derived not from the best sources, but the only now-existing sources since Canaris' 5-volume 'diaries' were discovered by the Nazis after the 1944 attempt on Hitler's life. Two volumes had copies re-created so there is a good amount of first-hand info in here, but the author does well to point out 'likeliest speculative events'.

It also reinforces my belief that WWII was fought by idiots, and the greatest losses were by the most idiotic decision makers.

Canaris seems so keenly aware of German political psychology, but is completely deluded when it comes to a truthful understanding of British political psychology. His arrogant delusion creates many more problems if he'd only done better research, if he'd been willing to learn the truth. But no...

Nov 12, 2011

While the information in this book may be of interest, it is unobtainable to the average historian. It is written as if it were a novel and is incredibly irritating. I managed to get to page 30 before giving up in disgust.


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