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Even today Wilhelm Canaris is the principal mystery man of the Nazi regime – a man that historians cannot easily classify; a man who rarely showed his hand, who talked little and preferred to listen. Few who knew him ever understood his intentions or plans.
We do know that he was the great protector of the German opposition to Hitler – but at the same time, he was the one who prepared all the major expansion plans for Hitler and the Third Reich. While he protected and motivated those who were eager to bring down Hitler, at the same time he was hunting them as conspirators – one of the many contradictions he was forced to live with in order to stay in control of the Nazi spy network.
This superbly researched biography follows Canaris's career from his first dabbling in the intelligence business during the First World War through his time as head of the Abwehr to his execution in 1945 for his role in the July Plot. A highly readable account, it tells the story of an apparently old-fashioned naval officer, drawn into the web of the Nazi regime.
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