Hitler perhaps more so than any tyrant before him survived by creating competing police organizations. These volatile and lethal organizations were navigated by only the most experienced politicians. The path to success was among the paranoid and dynamic forces was anfractuous and fraught with death at any turn.
January 1, 1935, sobersided Wilhelm Canaris was Hitler’s leader of Abwehr, an intelligence gathering organization from the 1920s that was firmly embedded with in the German military. Abwher threatened competing intelligence and paramilitary groups like the SS and the SA. Himmler’s intelligence official was Nazi loyalist Reinhard Heydrich in the SS. He helped create the clandestine agents’ plans to help capture the Sudetenland and help start World War II with false flag operations. He was so bold as to move documents in a huge feud that flared up between the groups before the Stalinist purges. Stalin asked Hitler to conceal his intent to expunge his political and military enemies in the mid 1930s. Canaris knew that the dissilient Red Guard was on the verge collapse and desertion, and dealt directly with many of the Red Guard that he knew would be killed. Stalin made few friends on is way to the top and was now about to reprise the Roman Emperors in times of tumult: with a blood bath of his high officer corps. Canaris had a bordereau detailing the daily contacts between the German Abwehr members and in a mysterious break-in SS operatives stole the documents and burned Abwehr’s offices.
Canaris was a fighter and resisted to the very end of the war. Abwehr was actuallyquite capable and had a number of victories and a number of dabacles. It did help overtake the Poles by creating a fake Polish unit that attacked a German radio station, and then went on air and threatened Germany in Polish for hours, spruiking propaganda which gullible and terrified German public believed totally credible. The faux outrage was a Fox News operation. The result was the first day of World War II when panzer tanks introduced Blitskrieg to the Polish people.
Abwher also was responsible for securing bridges, and cutting communications in key places during the replevin of Austria and Czechoslovakia. Abweht was able to penetrate the US aluminum factories and power plants and arms manufacturing industries in Operation Pastorius. Inside operatives turned coat and called the FBI and informed them of the plot to attack US industries inside of the United States. All ten were found and tried and sentenced to death, not by courts mind you, but by military tribunal because President Franklin Roosevelt felt a civilian court would be lenient. Two of the plotters had their sentences commuted by Roosevelt for turning themselves in, and the other eight were all killed on the electric chair in a DC jail.
Canaris himself was actually an anti-Nazi and hated not only Himmler, but Hitler as well. He convinced the Spanish Government not to allow Germany purview over the Straits of Gibraltar. He also fed vital travel coordinates of Hitler and their staff to intelligence forces attempting to assassinate Hitler. In a sense, Canaris was a double agent. He did wage war on the Allies. He did kill Allies and aid the Nazi war machine. He also tried to subvert it at the same time.
He was arrested on July 23, 1944 for the July 20th plot, or the Wolfs Lair bomb in Hitler’s planning redoubt in far East Prussia. No one is certain actually his role in the plot, but he was exposed nonetheless, and became a complex figure who along with many other rejected in full the Nazis. He and his deputy Oster were hanged in Flossenburg concentration camp for high treason. Abwehr was decreed banned by Hitler and that was that.