Canaris: The Life and Death of Hitler's Spymaster by Michael Mueller

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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 new biography follows Canaris's career from the age of seventeen when he joined the German Imperial Navy; by the outbreak of World War I he was serving onboard SMS Dresden as intelligence officer. Her sinking and the subsequent capture of her crew inspired C S Forester's novel Brown on Resolution. From 1934 to 1944 he led the Abwehr department at the Reichswehr Ministry and those years of intrigue are brilliantly evoked by Mueller. Relieved of his post by Hitler in February 1944, he was later implicated in the plots of the resistance movement and was tried for treason at Flossenbuerg concentration camp on 7 February 1945. He was found guilty and executed by hanging two months later. This highly readable biography tells the story of an apparently old-fashioned naval officer, drawn into the web of the Nazi regime and forced to balance the contradiction of his position with his beliefs; inevitably, these last brought about his downfall.



Date published



 Hardback with dust jacket


 Like new. Light shelf wear.