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Summary

How Hitler's spy chief sabotaged the German war effort.

Wilhelm Canaris was appointed by Hitler to head the Abwehr (the German secret service) 18 months after the Nazis came to power. But Canaris turned against the Fuhrer 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 the Abwehr 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.

©2006 Richard Bassett (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

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Excellent, insight

Excellent insight into the dilemma of men trapped on the wrong side of history.

What would you do if you realised you were on the wrong side?

Our hats have skulls on.

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Not recommended

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

No reader with a serious interest in biography or history shiould read this book. The use of words such as “if, “it seems likely that” and “there is no evidence in the files but it is probable that” do not belong in any authoritative work.

Would you ever listen to anything by Richard Bassett again?

No

What about Mark Topping’s performance did you like?

A very good performance.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No.

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  • Allen
  • 27-03-18

Canaris, a spy, but for who?

A must read for anyone even remotely interested in espionage. Couldn't stop listening. Looking forward to getting a hard copy to add to my library.