The Abwehr: The Trojan Horse in Nazi Germany – WW2 – Spies & Ties 06

The Abwehr was the German military intelligence agency during World War Two. At the same time, it was the home of some high-ranking anti-nazi resistance members.

Join us on Patreon:
Or join the TimeGhost Army directly at:

Check out our TimeGhost History YouTube channel:
Between 2 Wars:

Follow WW2 Day by Day on Instagram: @ww2_day_by_day
Follow TimeGhost History on Instagram: @timeghosthistory
Like us on Facebook:

Hosted by: Astrid Deinhard
Director: Astrid Deinhard
Producers: Astrid Deinhard and Spartacus Olsson
Executive Producers: Astrid Deinhard, Indy Neidell, Spartacus Olsson, Bodo Rittenauer
Creative Director: Wieke Kapteijns
Creative Producer: Maria Kyhle
Written by: Joram Appel and Astrid Deinhard
Research by: Joram Appel and Astrid Deinhard
Edited by: Iryna Dulka
Sound design by: Marek Kamiński
Colorizations by:
– Mikołaj Uchman
– Daniel Weiss
– Julius Jääskeläinen –
– Olga Shirnina, a.k.a. Klimbim –
– Dememorabilia –
– Mirmircze from Wiki Commons

Source literature list:

Archive footage: Screenocean/Reuters –

Image sources:
– National Portrait Gallery
– IWM HU 3285
– Yad Vashem 4613_360
– Nazi Man with mustache by Nick Novell and Gan Khoon Lay; Factory by Adrien Coquet; Science by Vectors Point, from the Noun Project
– Street battle sound by lubini from

Soundtracks from Epidemic Sound:
– Underlying Truth – Howard Harper-Barnes
– The Inspector 4 – Johannes Bornlöf
– Weapon of Choice – Fabien Tell
– Equations of Motion – Farrell Wooten
– Break Free – Fabien Tell
– Shrouded in Conspiracy – Jon Bjork
– Spellbound – Edward Karl Hanson
– Out the Window – Wendel Scherer
– Duels – Farrell Wooten
– Time to Face Them – Wendel Scherer
– Barrel – Christian Andersen
– One More Thought – Johan Hynynen
– Split Decision – Rannar Sillard

A TimeGhost chronological documentary produced by OnLion Entertainment GmbH.


  1. We get asked a lot if we have merch, and we do! We have designed high-quality collectibles for you to continue your love for Indy, Astrid, Spartacus, and the lot also when your internet is down! There's a whole range of items from shirts and hoodies to mugs and posters. Check it out right here:

  2. Amazing how history so often gets things backwards. To this day people mouth nonsense about Nazi efficiency while the Brits just muddled through when reality was exactly the reverse: The Brits were far better organized and the Nazi regime was a case study in incompetence, backbiting, and crossed purposes.

  3. The whole story about Canaris, proves the point about bad people doing/saying good things, and good people doing/saying bad things, because people are complicated, and they are more than capable of changing their minds/beliefs………
    In Britain, he’s well known as an unsung hero, by lots of people who study the war, but especially for sending the worst possible spies over to the UK(he sent people with incredibly thick accents, and with no knowledge of the British and their way of life) so that they would stand out from the crowd………..
    And, because he knew that they were not suitable, as well as informing British intelligence that they were coming, then he knew that they were turned, as soon as they were sending information back to him, and yet he allowed this false information through, as well as helping it to be believed by his bosses……..
    All of which, actually means that he was a very complicated person, AND A HERO, and his bad points, shouldn’t really negate all of the good things that he did, in the fight against the nazis, because we can all be fooled into believing lies..!..!..!..

  4. What a great video! I found it by accident in a black leather satchel tucked into an saddlebag on a burning SS fast courier motorcycle at the base of the bombed shell of the former SonnenbergCastle outside Wiesbaden in 1944.

  5. The Abwehr's most effective intelligence gathering tool was not spies and cloak and dagger-it was signals intelligence. They did a really, really good job at this, to include things like using a codebook captured from a British submarine to monitor convoy information (with severe consequences for said convoys) and a coup of being able to read much of the British radio traffic in the Western Desert in 1940-41. Otherwise. they were very much a joke of an intelligence service, whether through design as some people would like to believe, or through complete incompetence. They were also hampered as the war went on with the fact that Hitler didn't want their opinions; he wanted his opinions validated. Giving him the truth about, say, Red Army numbers simply led to him rejecting it out of hand (and there is written evidence of this in his own hand) and potentially sending the bearer to a KZ.

  6. A Past in Hiding by Mark Roseman is about a jewish german holocaust survivor. Her family was almost saved by the Abwehr. The abwehr and SD fought over this family until they were finally deported.

  7. Sounds like a good man, loving his county but also hating those in power that are ruining it. He might not have done as much as possible, but if he did he might've been replaced with a "true believer" that would help A.H.

    It is good to know that at least for some Jews he was a saviour

  8. For anyone interested in language, in German you say the number in the ones place before the number in the tens place (48 is "achtundvierzig"), so Germans saying "eighty-four" instead of "forty-eight" is a really common mistake when they speak English. It's the opposite problem for English native speakers speaking German. Definitely happens to the best of us (often)!

  9. Astrids style is gorgeous. It feels so casual, its like the viewer is having an afternoon Tea with her and she is just telling those thrilling stories

  10. That was a very — sagen wir mal — interesting episode! You definitely should do a bio special on Ernst Kaltenbrunner some day. Especially his escape and subsequent capture by American soldiers in the Austrian alps would provide enough material for a movie.

  11. Unfortunately nowadays people who especially live in western democracies so get used to the enormous freedom and justice cuurently have so can't really understand how dangerous it can be for people living in Authoritarian regimes to resist against them. As a result people usually downplay the amount of sarifices done by German people resisting Nazism with mostly unaaceptable and moot reasons.
    I salute Admiral canaris for what he's done to oppose the Nazi regime

  12. "Canaris starts shaping the abwehr into his own empire" well that explains why the nazis saw no problem with this

  13. The elephant in the room is that Hitler appears to have lost the war on purpose. I mean that Hitler intentionally lost world war 2. Once you realize this, history itself starts to crumble. This world is ruled by liars and killers, remember that.

  14. When your intelligence agency is essentially an entire network of enemies working together to fuck you you've failed as a country.

  15. According to Metaxas' book, Canaris also gave Abwehr agent status to Pastor Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was known for his objections to the NAZI control of the Lutheran Church, and he had family and social class connections to an organized anti-Hitler movement.

  16. Good video! One nitpick: Kaltenbrunner became the head of the Reich Main Security Office in 1943, not 1942. See, after Heydrich died, Himmler temporarily took over management of the RSHA (in practice he was represented by Bruno Streckenbach, one of the department chiefs). After spending some time looking for a successor, he picked Kaltenbrunner, who took office on 30 January 1943. Worth noting that the Geheime Feldpolizei (Secret Field Police – basically the secret military police of the Wehrmacht) was controlled by the Abwehr till 1944. It committed numerous war crimes in Poland, during the campaign against the Soviet Union and elsewhere. Essentially, it did stuff similar to the Einsatzgruppen. Canaris didn't do anything to stop that. At the same time, Oster was involved in anti-Nazi conspiracies since 1938 and, as mentioned in the video, warned the Dutch about the upcoming invasion. The Abwehr's history is complex. Very interesting topic.

  17. I gave this lecture a thumbs up, but…
    This brief discourse would be better served by a thorough 6 to 8 hour series.
    Yes; it serves as a purpose to formally introduce the Abwher. However, a much fuller explanation/illustration of both the SD and Gestapo roles would serve to clarify the Abwher function.
    To be blunt, more time is required to demonstrate Abwher/SD/Gestapo.

  18. As far as I was concerned til 2020, the Intelligence Services archives of the third Reich are still kept secret, and they will give you access (CIA et al ) only if 1. you are related with your work to them 2. you support some of their work.
    I suspect that my grandchildren somewhere in 2070s will get a glimse of the past.
    PS: nice pictures of Lembicka.

  19. What a joy to watch and listen to Astrid! This is how history should be taught. In truth, I had little interest in the espionage machinations of either belligerent, but Astrid's marked enthusiasm for the complexities and "ties" has piqued my curiosity! Well done, all of you!

  20. I love Astrids presentations. Just a lot of fun to watch. Great video and the Black Orchestra board game could be of interest to some people watching this.

  21. wait so was the abwher also responsible for mis-estimating the size of the soviet armed forces by the literal millions?

  22. You have asked a little feedback Astrid so here it is.keep up the good work and i like your way just like me i also like to investigate thoroughly,once again keep up the good work.

  23. The ending was a little hars on him tbh. I think making sure that Spain would stay out of the war was already a huge success for the war effort:
    With Spain in it the Germans could've used their territory to overwhealm Gibraltar, making supply routes through the Mediterranean unfeasible. They'd also gain more strongholds in Africa from where to disrupt shipping going around it as well as supporting assaults on the Suez, finally trapping all British vessels inside without supply. That would've been a GIGANTIC boon for the Battle for Britain. The UK would be starved for ressources and eventually even the italian navy would be able to leave its home waters and support a landing.
    It may look very insignificant but Spain could've very well been that butterfly that lead Europe down a nazi victory and Canaris' role in sabotaging that must not be understated.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.