The Abwehr was a German military intelligence (information gathering) organization from 1921 to 1944. The term Abwehr (, German for defence) was used as a concession to Allied demands that Germany's post–World War I intelligence activities be for "defensive" purposes only. After 4 February 1938, its name in title was Foreign Affairs/Defence Office of the Armed Forces High Command (Amt Ausland/Abwehr im Oberkommando der Wehrmacht).
Despite its name implying counterespionage, the Abwehr was an intelligence-gathering agency and dealt exclusively with human intelligence, especially raw intelligence reports from field agents and other sources. The Chief of the Abwehr reported directly to the High Command of the Armed Forces (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, or OKW). Intelligence summaries and intelligence dissemination were the prerogative of the Operations Branch (as distinct from the Intelligence Branch), of the OKW, and through it to the intelligence-evaluation sections of the Army (Heer), the Navy (Kriegsmarine), and the Air Force (Luftwaffe). The headquarters (HQ) of the Abwehr were located at 76/78 Tirpitzufer, Berlin, adjacent to the offices of the OKW.