Hitler's Spy Chief by Richard Bassett
The Wilhelm Canaris Betrayal: the Intelligence Campaign Against Adolf Hitler

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A remarkable tale of espionage and intrigue—the true story of Wilhelm Canaris, Hitler’s intelligence chief, and his role in the conspiracy to assassinate the Führer 
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 Fu¨hrer and the Nazi regime, 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. The SS chief, Heinrich 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. Canaris was executed a few weeks before the end of the war. In a riveting true story of intrigue and espionage, Richard Bassett reveals how Admiral Canaris’s secret work against the German leadership changed the course of World War II.

About Richard Bassett

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Richard Bassett has worked in the City for the last fifteen years advising several of Europe's largest companies. Previously he worked in Central Europe for many years, first as a professional horn player and then as a staff correspondent of the London Times in Vienna, Rome, and Warsaw, where his dispatches covered the end of the Cold War and gave early warning of the impending disintegration of Yugoslavia. He divides his time between London and the Continent.
Published June 5, 2012 by Pegasus Books. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, War. Non-fiction

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Bassett carefully considers Canaris’ rather uneven record, from his pressure on Hitler to support Franco during the Spanish Civil War, and ability to provide Franco with the key intelligence required to withstand Hitler’s wooing of Spain to the Axis side, to his subtle foiling of what he consider...

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Publishers Weekly

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Canaris, certain Hitler was leading Germany to disaster, turned against Hitler in 1938, attempting repeatedly to sabotage the fuehrer’s military efforts.

Apr 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Hitler's Spy Chief: The Wilhe...


In 1935 Adolf Hitler appointed Canaris—a decorated World War I intelligence officer—director of the Abwehr, the German military intelligence service.

Sep 06 2012 | Read Full Review of Hitler's Spy Chief: The Wilhe...

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