History of War

HITLER’S ASSASSINS

In July 1944 most of Europe and huge swathes of the Soviet Union still lay under the Nazi jackboot, but Rome had been liberated, the Anglo-Americans were grinding the Wehrmacht to bloody bits in Normandy, and in the east the Red Army was liberating White Russia and advancing into Poland. Germany was facing disaster, and after multiple failed attempts the anti-Hitler resistance was forced into one last throw of the dice. The 20 July bomb plot, Operation Valkyrie, was launched – assassinate Hitler, destroy the Nazi leadership, install a new government – and then, perhaps, negotiate a peace and end the war – they failed, and Hitler took Germany down to destruction.

THE STORY OF THE JULY BOMB PLOT IS THE STORY OF THOSE WHO LED IT

With most of the Nazis’ civilian opponents in concentration camps, in exile, or already dead, the responsibility for the attempt would mainly fall to members of the military – the same soldiers whom Hitler had unleashed on the world almost five years previously. These men weren’t card-carrying members of some highly-organised clandestine organisation, but a loose federation of monarchists, conservatives, devout Christians, and even a few naked opportunists desperately seeking to avoid the hangman’s noose they had earned in the war.

CLAUS PHILIPP MARIA JUSTINIAN SCHENK GRAF VON STAUFFENBERG

OBERST – COLONEL

THE OFFICER WHO LED THE PLOT & PLANTED THE BOMB THAT FAILED TO KILL HITLER

A Swabian aristocrat – Schenk (‘cup-bearer’) and Graf (‘count’) were hereditary titles – von Stauffenberg was born in 1907 into Germany’s military, landowning caste. Joining the army in 1926,

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