Talk:Wilhelm Canaris

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Editing & sources[edit]

I fixed up some grammar, but it was difficult to edit because this page needs a LOT more cited sources. It's hard to edit and improve the style and structure if the actual events are unclear.

Similarly a lot of this reads too well (although with imperfect grammar) and has too much detail, as if it is a translation of a foreign book or article. If so, the source should be cited.

I agree with the unattributed comments below: Canaris is fascinating and his story deserves a better article.

Troy88 08:04, 18 September 2006 (UTC)[]


I think this entry needs a lot more work: 1) The quality of writing needs improving 2) There are too many claims made without citing sources or references

Canaris is a fascinating figure & this entry doesn't do him justice!

The "Family" section is repeting the same info at "Early life and WWI" section! Please try to fix it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.196.207.173 (talk) 15:40, 1 February 2009 (UTC)[]

Rosa Luxemburg[edit]

Was this man the officer with the same name involved in Rosa murder? 201.51.44.148 00:16, 4 June 2006 (UTC)[]

He was not involved with the murder. He was a member of the courts martial of the people accussed of the murder. See http://www.dhm.de/lemo/html/biografien/CanarisWilhelm/ TinyMark 05:31, 14 August 2007 (UTC) She was leading a Communist insurrection.That certainly deserves a death penalty. 190.241.63.32 (talk) 14:27, 29 November 2010 (UTC)[]


I don't think you can use such certain language to describe Canaris' involvement with assassination plans - are these historical facts? There seems to be much more ambiguity here than the entry indicates. --Krupo 07:03, 1 May 2004 (UTC)[]

Sorry, Canaris was involved in several bad "plans" to both his country and his neck. 201.51.70.168 01:09, 11 June 2006 (UTC)[]


Canaris was executed by slow strangulation

I thought Canaris was hanged? Is supposed to imply that the hanging wasn't very well, uhm, executed? Fornadan (t) 14:45, 13 August 2005 (UTC)[]


Trying not to get into the gruesome details, yes an efficient hanging is an acquired art form. The distance the body drops should be far enough so that the rope instantly breaks the victim's neck and not too far that the head is severed. If the body does not fall far enough then the victim dies slowly by strangulation. The Nazis deliberately preferred the latter method; often using piano wire, the victim was allowed to fall just a few inches or was hoisted-up off the ground by the neck, resulting in a very slow, painful and barbaric death. I don't know if there is any evidence of this method being used on Canaris but other members of the conspiracy to assassinate Hitler were strung up with piano wire on meat hooks with the event being filmed for Hitler's viewing pleasure by all accounts. --Psywar 06:42, 29 January 2006 (UTC)[]

"hanging" can either be by dropping the victim with the knot under one ear - thus breaking the neck due to lateral forces (most 'modern' hangings are done this way) - or by placing the rope around the neck of the victim and dragging them upwards - as done in lynchings - death is caused by slow, painful strangulation. I have heard that they were 'half-hung' with piano wire and filmed, for the Fuher's enjoyment. Is this true? I can't find any reliable sorces that can confirm this.

In the case of Canaris, there was a rope noose which was attached to a wooden roof beam above with a hook. They climbed up a short series of steps, then the steps were kicked out and they strangled to death. There is a difference between a hanging designed to break the neck and a hanging designed to kill by strangulation. Short-drop was the usual way to hang people until the mid 1800s. The nazis started reviving it as early as 1942. Its a well repeated myth that it only came back into use after the 20 July 1944 plot against Hitler. But they were actually doing it long before that. 75.17.126.128 (talk)

Male strippers?[edit]

Why has Canaris been put under the category of "Male Strippers"?

Is there something we don't know about him? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 203.25.82.46 (talk) 00:32, 8 March 2007 (UTC).[]

The IP above 203.25.82.46 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) placed the category of 'Male Strippers into the article. I have removed the vandalism and placed a warning on their userpage. Cynrin 01:02, 8 March 2007 (UTC)[]

SMS Dresden[edit]

"While preparing to surrender in Camberland Bay, the Dresden was attacked and finally sunk by the British in a largely disputed act withstanding the Geneva Convention."

The Dresden was scuttled by her crew, not sunk by the British. And who says this is a "largely disputed act withstanding the Geneva Convention"? And that the Germans were preparing to surrender? Weasel Words and needs citations. Benea 21:11, 18 September 2007 (UTC)[]
Come to think of it, I'm going to take most of that out. Dresden had been in the bay for 6 days, was flying her war ensign to the end, and was very unlikely to surrender. As in fact happened, they would probably have scuttled her and gone into internment with the Chilean authorities. There's a distinct difference between flying the white flag (requesting a truce) and striking her colours (surrendering). Dresden wasn't in a neutral harbour, she was anchored in a bay off a neutral island. If she had put into a neutral harbour, she would have been interned, that is to say the neutral country would have taken the ship over to prevent it being used as an enemy warship in the future, thus violating their neutrality. She was a German warship flying German colours. If anyone was being illegal, it was the Dresden, violating neutral territorial waters. I can't find any evidence of a dispute due to the Geneva convention. Benea 21:34, 18 September 2007 (UTC)[]
The Dresden was no longer operational when it entered the bay. It had contacted Chilean authorities about internment long before the British arrived. There was a Chilean vessel present when the action occurred. When the British arrived, they were signaled by the Dresden that they were no longer a combatant. They refused to talk to the Chileans. The British closed and opened fire on an immobile ship. The actions of the British Officers involved were cowardly and despicable. Certainly not following the laws of war or the Geneva Convention. The man responsible (John Luce) had a rather questionable naval record (to say the least). He ran away from the Battle of Coronel deserting his Admiral (who died) and escaped with almost no damage. Later, during the Battle of the Falkland Islands, he heroically took on a ship that was out of ammunition. It sunk and nearly the entire crew were lost. His attack on the immobile Dresden largely completed his rather sad naval record. A better man would have shown more restraint. 75.17.126.128 (talk) 02:26, 24 November 2015 (UTC)[]

Canaris Photograph[edit]

The Canaris photograph is printed incorrectly. The ribbon bar on his uniform should be on the left side of his uniform, not the right as seen in the photo. ```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vlupiano (talkcontribs) 18:08, 22 December 2008 (UTC)[]

Wilhelm Canaris in popular culture[edit]

Eye of the Needle

Canaris is mentioned multiple times in retrospective and as the handler of abwehr agent "Die Nadel"s in Ken Follet's fiction novel, The Eye of the Needle. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 198.31.184.166 (talk) 20:15, 22 January 2009 (UTC)[]

NCIS

Is this likely to be the same Canaris mentioned by 'Ducky' in the NCIS episode 'The Immortals' - S01E04? 125.237.96.178 (talk) 07:44, 19 July 2011 (UTC)[]

Righteous among the Nations ???[edit]

Canaris may by a Righteous among the Nations http://derstandard.at/fs/1246543875069/Ultraorthodoxe-fordern-Ehrung-des-deutschen-Admirals-Canaris —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.216.89.205 (talk) 09:01, 6 August 2009 (UTC)[]

The link doesn't work. Furthermore, Canaris was an anti-semite, so I really doubt he'll ever be considered "righteous among the nations". The andf (talk) 03:36, 30 May 2018 (UTC)[]

Dissident?[edit]

The article creates an impression that the head on Nazi Germany's military intelligence performed primarily anti-German activity during WWII. This contradicts to the fact that Abwehr was one of the most efficient intelligences during WWII. It is quite necessary to tell more about Canaris' primary activity.--Paul Siebert (talk) 15:53, 15 August 2009 (UTC)[]

He was not anti-German but exactly the opposite!! He was a German patriot as well as he was a convinced human rights activist. For both reasons he could only fight for a better and human Germany - for such a Germany, he liked. He saw, that Hitler's victories bolstered the regime more and more and wished a situation that made it possible to sweep the regime away. He also saw the evil of Stalinism. I think, he wished both totalitarian inhuman regimes to hell.

P.S.: No light without shadow. Canaris anticommunism in the time after WW1 was often a source of controversal discussions and also on this discussion page. (s. chapter 'Rosa Luxemburg' above.)

"a convinced human rights activist"??? hahahahaha... HAHAHAHAHAHA. Sorry. Yes, in a few decades history will be re-written to make it seem Canaris, a member of an intelligence agency of NAZI GERMANY, was the world's greatest freedom fighter and human rights activist. Probably the number 1 savior of all the jewish people. Perhaps we will also re-write history so that the Axis was composed of the Soviet Union, while Nazi Germany was one of the allies. 190.16.184.138 (talk) 23:08, 26 February 2014 (UTC)[]

--Henrig (talk) 15:55, 17 August 2009 (UTC)[]

Sorry, obviously, I meant "Anti-Nazi". With regards to his wishes, they are irrelevant in that case. He was a leader of German intelligence, and, obviously, it was impossible for such a high rank person to perform only dissident activity. The article, however, tells almost nothing about successful Abwehr operations inspired or directed by Canaris. In other words, it tells almost nothing about Canaris' primary activity. This is a critical omission, in my opinion.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:35, 17 August 2009 (UTC)[]
The Abwehr was actually one of the most inefficent intelligence agencies of WWII. For example, every Abwehr agent sent into Britain was captured and either "turned" or executed. And that had nothing to do with Canaris's anti-Nazi activities. He was a very inept spy chief. The lack of any mention of his achivments as an intelligence chief may be due to the fact that he didn't have any. However, I do agree with Mr. Siebert's contention that this omission is quite starting.--A.S. Brown (talk) 16:31, 14 October 2010 (UTC)[]
Actually there are some accusations that, when he could, Canaris deliberately turned a blind eye to British activities, and that the Abwehr's ineptitude was to some extent a deliberate policy on Canaris' part - the only real success they had was in Holland with the Englandspiel and that was only because of the poor - some would say uncharacteristically bad - handling of that area of operation by the British. There is also some suspicion that throughout the war he may have maintained clandestine top level contact with MI6 - who had a different agenda from the SOE. Canaris was a competent naval intelligence officer and his 'failure' is nevertheless puzzling otherwise.
BTW, if you are interested in the German High Command's pre-war attempt to stop Hitler then see the talk page on Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg and the Peter Ustinov (the actor) section. The linked interview video is now here: [1] and the relevant part starts at around 14:00 minutes. Ustinov's father, who was Press Attaché at the German Embassy in London, was revealed in 1999 to have been working for MI6 at the time.
The record shows that he turned against Hitler before the war and started his secret resistance movement then. In the wake of Hitler's run of success in mid-1940, he somewhat limited his activities, but still helped Franco to keep Hitler out of Spain. By 1943, he had restarted his resistance work That is why he was killed. Valetude (talk) 00:35, 6 December 2017 (UTC)[]

Canaris May Have Been Part Greek After All[edit]

Some historians believe that Wilhelm Canaris was not mistaken about his relationship with the Greek Admiral (who died only 10 years before Wilhelm was born), and that this 'official' family history was politically motivated, due to Nazi Germany's alliance with Fascist Italy and its hostility with Greece, which coincides suspiciously with the time of the Greco-Italian War of 1940-1941. This should be worked into the article. Otherwise we my be enabling Nazi lies to endure.--Nikoz78 (talk) 15:42, 21 October 2009 (UTC)[]

What is needed is a WP:RELY source. This has not been available. Either family could dig up their relative and do a DNA and solve it once and for all. Neither family has and presumably doesn't beleive this. As far as we can determine this was just idle rumor, based on a young person's speculation. No facts from either family suggest this relationship. Student7 (talk) 14:38, 24 October 2009 (UTC)[]
In the article and the ref. No 1 the family origin is confused with the linguistic origin of the name. The name may (or may not) be of latin origin but this is common with many Greek names, especially in the islands and western Greece which were under Venetian rule for many centuries. This Gr. site gives the information that the original name of the Canaris' family was Spiliotes, a byzantine family that can be traced back to the 12th c. with members holding nobility titles in Venice and Genoa.
Constantine Kanaris.
This article by Vice-Admiral Xenophon Mavrogiannis questions the greek origin of Von Kanaris but gives details about his contacts with Greek officials (including King George of Greece) from 1908 till WW2.
http://www.sa-snd.gr/docs-pdfs-xm/xm-wilhelm%20von%20canaris.pdf

--Euzen (talk) 11:03, 18 April 2011 (UTC)[]

Canaris suggested the star of David as early as 1935[edit]

Why isn't this mentioned in the article? "...Admiral Wilhelm Canaris provides an example as he “had grown up in the atmosphere of “moderate” anti-Semitism prevailing in the Ruhr middle class and in the Navy believed in the existence of a “Jewish problem”” and would “suggest during 1935-1936 that German Jews should be identified by a Star of David as special category citizens….” http://padresteve.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/the-ideological-war-how-hitlers-racial-theories-influenced-german-operations-in-poland-and-russia/ --41.19.207.84 (talk) 17:13, 24 November 2009 (UTC)[]

Hmm. This arouses a number of different questions. Catchwords: Camouflage and Dodge? (He was a secret service man and Heydrich was his neighbour, with whom he had private contacts and whom he feared. The (or a?) base sources are apparently the memoirs of Heydrich's widow. ((in German)[2])
Or was it perhaps some day a "Road to Damascus" experience? (Such kinds of experiences really can change one's mind within few minutes of meditation - usually after a time of inner development in the background.) Or ... --Henrig (talk) 17:58, 31 August 2010 (UTC)[]
So when presented with evidence Canaris, who belonged to an agency in the service of Nazi Germany, and was an early supporter of Hitler, had something to do with discriminating the Jewish people we choose to believe he faked this in order to camouflage himself from fellow Nazi sympathizers?. This display of self-delusion is... appalling. Maybe he was an anti-semite racist after all? Nah, let's pretend otherwise. 190.16.184.138 (talk) 23:14, 26 February 2014 (UTC)[]

Several things missing and biased portrayal[edit]

1-At least until 1939 ha was enthusiastic supporter of Hitler and Nazism. Not just a follower of events,but he repeatedly supported Hitler and wrote several praises about him. 2-The article doesn't mention that Canaris was an anti-semite. Not in the magnitude seen in Nazis like Hitler or Himmler, but he did believe according to authors that write about him in "Jewish problem" and wanted Jews out of Germany. He actually developed a plan to expel them to Africa from Europe. 3-I believe there was also some planning of Canaris with Ukrainian nationalist organisations regarding actions against civilians. According to Pure soldiers or sinister legion: the Ukranian 14th Waffen-SS Division by Sol Littman "In advance of the 1939 campaign against Poland, Canaris ordered Ukrainian exiles smuggled into Poland to weaken Polish defenses by launching a terror campaign against the Jews and the Polish farmers"

This things ought to be mentioned and article correct with proper information. --MyMoloboaccount (talk) 16:29, 2 December 2011 (UTC)[]

Fully agreed. This article is disappointing. It reads as "Canaris: The Human Rights Defender", which is absurd. Whatever disagreements he might have had with the Nazi Party leadership, he wasn't a good person. 190.18.161.171 (talk) 23:13, 9 July 2012 (UTC)[]

He was no hero[edit]

The article is too favourable towards Canaris. He was an anti-semite, a fascist and an early supporter of the Nazis. He only turned against Hitler because he knew Germany would lose another world war. (86.142.36.22 (talk) 11:20, 18 March 2016 (UTC))[]

Lots of Work Needed[edit]

To any interested parties and/or those who I know to produce scholarly historical work -- @K.e.coffman: and @Kierzek: we need to clean this article up. Since I do have two biographies of Canaris, I have begun putting them to use. Your assistance in this process would be helpful. Certainly some of the information from the Abwehr article can be reworded and worked into this one. Also -- does the extensive list of awards and movie depictions displayed within: In popular culture even need to exist? It seems like excessive trivial work better suited for something other than an encyclopedic article. Just some thoughts as I request your assistance with this one.--Obenritter (talk) 05:37, 17 July 2016 (UTC)[]

Thank you for pinging me. Yes, the article needs work. I'll see what I have in sources on hand. I trimmed some of the "fluff" content, which I think was an improvement :-). K.e.coffman (talk) 06:45, 17 July 2016 (UTC)[]
No problem and thanks. We can collectively hack away at this one for a while given the lack of academic substantiation throughout.--Obenritter (talk) 07:02, 17 July 2016 (UTC)[]
I will have more of a look later when I have time; thanks for taking the time for the improvements. Kierzek (talk) 13:36, 17 July 2016 (UTC)[]
@K.e.coffman: and @Kierzek: -- gents, I have made my contributions to this article. It's on you now.--Obenritter (talk) 20:23, 22 July 2016 (UTC)[]
You have done an excellent job improving this article, Obenritter. Thanks, Kierzek (talk) 21:16, 22 July 2016 (UTC)[]
@Obenritter: I believe this article rates a rank and awards section, RS cited, of course. The amount of detail would be up to you, I know you have the books on the man. Any interest? Kierzek (talk) 15:49, 25 July 2016 (UTC)[]
@Kierzek: Not my sort of thing. I looked at the indexes of both books and see no lists of ranks or awards anywhere. Thereto - digging through the books to find the appropriate dates for such things does not really interest me. Sorry.--Obenritter (talk) 21:02, 25 July 2016 (UTC)[]
No digging required! I understand; I thought it might be something easy; I would ask one thing; any info on his Iron Cross awarded? Why? Had to be WWI. Kierzek (talk) 21:23, 25 July 2016 (UTC)[]
@Kierzek: Here's a source (not RS necessarily): http://uboat.net/wwi/men/commanders/43.html And then here is an RS version: He was awarded the Iron Cross First Class on October 09, 1917 for his activities in Spain. (Bassett 2011, p. 59) --Obenritter (talk) 22:36, 25 July 2016 (UTC)[]
Thanks. I basically used your wording and added the award of the Iron Class with book page cite into the article. I thought it was worth mentioning. Cheers, Kierzek (talk) 02:15, 26 July 2016 (UTC)[]

Thank you for all your work. I have only one comment: there is currently a little too much reliance on the book by Richard Bassett, a doubtful piece of popular history, not properly sourced. If anyone has the time, it would be sensible to replace material for which the only source is Bassett. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 95.150.62.186 (talk) 07:01, 28 September 2016 (UTC)[]

Not sure I agree with treating Bassett's work as though it is somehow specious. Nothing I encountered contradicted the work found in the more scholarly Canaris biography from Höhne. Moreover - while it may be popular history, the version in my possession is pretty thoroughly sourced with hundreds of footnotes, as well as a considerable bibliography. Please refer those of us interested to some reference material of some sort which shows consensus about the poor quality of this work. I have not seen it and I am a professional historian. Without some substantiated evidence to support your assertion, this is a dry-by comment. COL Jonathan M. House, USAR would disagree with your statement, as he wrote a pretty favorable review in the November/December 2005 edition of Military Review. Thanks --Obenritter (talk) 18:46, 29 September 2016 (UTC)[]
My only request for you at this point would be for you to find replacement sources which contradict observations from Bassett's work. If Bassett has some stuff wrong, bring the "more reliable" material into the text and demonstrate respectful disagreement within the article. If they do not contradict Bassett however, then place the additional more "palatable" source right next to the Bassett ones. Then you can feel better about the work. The only way to improve the article at that point would be to present alternative viewpoints. My bet will be however, most all of what he wrote accords historical consensus. Just some additional thoughts. --Obenritter (talk) 19:02, 29 September 2016 (UTC)[]
We don't have to fight, you may well be right! However although I am not a Wikieditor I do know a bit about history: where is the support for the Bassett claims about early recruitment, if that is the right word, by the British? Not trying to be clever, just reflecting (British academic) eye-rolling when I have sought to discuss the book. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 95.150.62.186 (talk) 08:29, 6 October 2016 (UTC)[]
Then do the requisite research and stop merely criticizing an area of concern without making an effort to provide constructive material which refutes the information already present.--Obenritter (talk) 18:25, 30 October 2016 (UTC)[]

Alleged plot to kidnap Pope Pius XII[edit]

What do editors think about the validity of this passage? The linked article says that the plot may or may not have been real.

  • Foiling Hitler's plot to kidnap Pope Pius XII: Colonel Wessel von Freytag-Loringhoven's son Niki, testifying in Munich in 1972 and in revelations that came to light in 2009, has reported that Canaris was involved in the foiling of the alleged plot to kidnap Pope Pius XII.[1][2] Colonel Freytag-Loringhoven was a subordinate of Canaris. According to Niki von Freytag-Loringhoven, Hitler wanted to respond to the dismissal and arrest of Benito Mussolini as ordered by King Victor Emmanuel III on 25 July 1943 by retaliating against the Italians. Within days of Mussolini's downfall, Hitler commanded the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (the Third Reich's Security Headquarters) to kidnap or murder Pope Pius XII and the king.[1] Also according to Niki von Freytag-Loringhoven, his father and Erwin von Lahousen, both of whom were employed in the section of German intelligence dealing mainly with sabotage, attended a meeting in Venice on 29 and 30 July 1943 at which Canaris informed the Italian General Cesare Amè of the plot.[1][2] General Amè relayed the news that allowed the plot to be foiled.[1] The Italian paper Avvenire maintains that the younger Freytag-Loringhoven's accounts agree with Lahousen's Nuremberg war crimes trials deposition.[1]

References

I'm not well versed on the subject, but it appears this passage may need more scrutiny. The sourcing also appears to be a bit sketchy (Zenit News? :-) ) K.e.coffman (talk) 01:07, 19 July 2016 (UTC)[]

I just went through my Richard Evans book, "The Third Reich at War" - nothing; I just went through my "Hitler: A Biography" by Ian Kershaw - nothing; now would you not think that if this was true, two books by foremost authorities would say something about it. I believe it is WP:fringe and has WP:undue problems, to say the least. Kierzek (talk) 01:48, 19 July 2016 (UTC)[]
Okay, I will remove. K.e.coffman (talk) 02:23, 19 July 2016 (UTC)[]
It is mentioned by Bassett on pages 276–277 but I am not sure where he got it.--Obenritter (talk) 20:25, 22 July 2016 (UTC)[]
Along similar lines, I checked the biographies on Hitler from Kershaw (2 vols), Fest, Bullock, Toland, Stern, and Wilson — none of them mentioned this plot against the pope. Also, I do not recall encountering it in the Canaris biography by Höhne.--Obenritter (talk) 21:26, 22 July 2016 (UTC)[]

Height[edit]

Should it be mentioned that he was only 5'3"? (2A00:23C4:6388:7300:586F:ECD5:8A70:C658 (talk) 12:26, 30 November 2016 (UTC))[]

Deleted passage?[edit]

In December 1940, Hitler again sent Canaris to Spain to conclude an agreement...

This is the first mention of Spain. I assume that some text has been deleted, perhaps including the claim that Canaris secretly briefed Franco about specific demands that Hitler was certain to reject. In the past, I have seen this claim, duly referenced, on a relevant wiki-page, though I can't find it at the moment. Valetude (talk) 12:03, 25 November 2017 (UTC)[]

Omission of Halina Szymańska[edit]

Canaris was friends with Polish spy Halina Szymańska, this verifiable channel to the British needs to be added. Content can be grabbed from her article page... and a Google search with Google Translate e.g: [3] Thanks, -Chumchum7 (talk) 07:39, 29 October 2018 (UTC)[]

No saint[edit]

He was no saint. In today's political terms, and even in his days, he was a right-wing extremist. He did see some light later, being realistic about the outcome of the war, and ended up devoured by the very monster he and other millions of misguided German conservatives had created. That alone doesn't make him into a hero of democracy, while I do understand that Americans would have done everything for such a man to work with them after the war. After all, they recruited much worse scum in the name of anti-Communism.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Basil II (talkcontribs) 00:00, 10 August 2019 (UTC)[]

Do you have a suggestion for how the article should be improved? WP Ludicer (talk) 00:27, 30 October 2019 (UTC)[]
No, he just needed to get his digs in on Americans, though obliquely. Jersey John (talk) 22:27, 26 February 2020 (UTC)[]

Section removal[edit]

I've removed the following text because it appears to have no direct relevance to Canaris, but am preserving it here in case someone can point out whether I'm mistaken.

===United Kingdom=== Arthur Owens, a Welsh nationalist, was briefly employed by MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service, to spy on German shipyards in 1936. However, in 1938, he was so enticed by the attractive woman the Abwehr provided him that he switched his allegiance. Owens operated as an Abwehr agent under Nikolaus Ritter and went by the code name Johnny O'Brien.[1][page needed] Owens later had second thoughts about his work with the Abwehr and he became a key agent in the "Twenty [XX] Committee", Britain's counter-espionage and deception operation.[2] Operating under the code name Snow, Owens provided MI5 the names of covert spies in Britain.[1][page needed] MI5 gave the captured spies a choice of becoming double-agents or death by firing squad.[1][page needed] Several former Abwehr agents chose to work for Britain and delivered vital information to the Allies, including details about troop movements and the keys to cracking German codes.[1][page needed]

Over the course of the war, the Twenty Committee grew to about 120 double-agents.[2] However, in 1941, the Twenty Committee almost abandoned its double-agents when it found that Owens was also double-crossing MI5. However, when the Abwehr failed to take any demonstrable countermeasures, the Twenty Committee chose instead to provide its double-agents with disinformation to pass on to Germany.[2] After the war, it was discovered that Ritter had known that the cover of the agents in Britain had been compromised, but did not inform Canaris for fear of repercussions.[2]

-Chumchum7 (talk) 12:19, 23 December 2019 (UTC)[]

  1. ^ a b c d Roberts & West 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Fischer 2000.