Wilhelm Canaris

1887 - 1945

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Icon of person Wilhelm Canaris

Wilhelm Franz Canaris (1 January 1887 – 9 April 1945) was a German admiral and the chief of the Abwehr (the German military-intelligence service) from 1935 to 1944. Canaris was initially a supporter of Adolf Hitler, and the Nazi regime. Following the German invasion of Poland in 1939, however, Canaris turned against Hitler and committed acts of both passive and active resistance during the war. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Wilhelm Canaris has received more than 1,980,106 page views. His biography is available in 44 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 43 in 2019). Wilhelm Canaris is the 98th most popular military personnel (down from 82nd in 2019), the 255th most popular biography from Germany (down from 207th in 2019) and the 22nd most popular German Military Personnel.

Wilhelm Canaris was a German admiral and head of the Abwehr, the German military intelligence service. He is best known for his involvement in the 20 July Plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

Memorability Metrics

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  • 70.29

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 44

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 8.69

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.75

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)


Among military personnels, Wilhelm Canaris ranks 98 out of 2,058Before him are Lyudmila Pavlichenko, Nero Claudius Drusus, Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Albert Kesselring, Heinrich Müller, and Bernard Montgomery. After him are Konstantin Rokossovsky, Saigō Takamori, John of Austria, Miloš Obilić, Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb, and George S. Patton.

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Among people born in 1887, Wilhelm Canaris ranks 15Before him are Padre Pio, Ernst Röhm, Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk, Arthur Rubinstein, Jozef Tiso, and Bernard Montgomery. After him are Juan Gris, Vidkun Quisling, Chūichi Nagumo, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Saint-John Perse, and Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg. Among people deceased in 1945, Wilhelm Canaris ranks 19Before him are Walter Model, Subhas Chandra Bose, Thomas Hunt Morgan, Magda Goebbels, Paul Valéry, and Heinrich Müller. After him are Pietro Mascagni, George S. Patton, Irma Grese, Pierre Laval, Johan Huizinga, and David Lloyd George.

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In Germany

Among people born in Germany, Wilhelm Canaris ranks 255 out of 7,253Before him are Alexandra Feodorovna (1872), Kurt von Schleicher (1882), Friedrich Ratzel (1844), Heinrich von Kleist (1777), Heinrich Müller (1900), and Valentinian II (371). After him are Isabeau of Bavaria (1370), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886), Karl Weierstrass (1815), Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880), Princess Ludovika of Bavaria (1808), and Karl Ferdinand Braun (1850).


Among military personnels born in Germany, Wilhelm Canaris ranks 22Before him are Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher (1742), Helmuth von Moltke the Elder (1800), Erich Hartmann (1922), Walther von Brauchitsch (1881), Albert Kesselring (1885), and Heinrich Müller (1900). After him are John of Austria (1547), Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb (1876), Klaus Barbie (1913), Hermann Hoth (1885), Michael Wittmann (1914), and Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist (1881).