1887 – Born in Aplerbeck, near Dortmund, in Westphalia, on the 1st of January, the son of wealthy industrialist Carl Canaris and his wife Auguste.
– German admiral, head of military intelligence (Abwehr) under the Nazi regime and a key participant in the resistance of military officers to Adolf Hitler.
1905 – Canaris joined the German Imperial Navy.
1906 – During World War I, he had become an officer serving on board the SMS Dresden as intelligence officer.
1919 – Married Erika Waag, also the child of an industrialist and they had two daughters.
1931 – He was promoted as Captain.
1933 – After Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, he was made head of the Abwehr.
1935 – Promoted to Rear Admiral.
– He was made chief of the Abwehr [military intelligence].
– He made contacts with Spain to organize a German spy network in Spain.
1937 – Still he was a supporter of Hitler.
1942 – Visited Spain frequently and was probably in contact with British agents from Gibraltar.
1943-1944 – Abwehr was put under constant surveillance, but Canaris was not dismissed until February.
– Secretly met Allied agents in occupied France.
– He was arrested shortly after the attempt on Hitler’s life, though he was not directly involved in the plot.
1945 – He died of execution on April 9th in Flossenbürg concentration camp.