[Video] The plot to kill Adolf Hitler

[Video] The plot to kill Adolf Hitler

This Monday marks the 76th anniversary of the 20 July Plot - often now commonly known as "Operation Valkyrie" - which saw Nazi dissenters, headed by Claus von Stauffenberg, attempt to assassinate Hitler on July 20.

To kill the Fuhrer

In 1944, a group of conspirators attempted to pull off one of the most daring assassinations in history. In exterminating Adolf Hitler, their apparent aim was to wrest political control of Germany from the Nazi party and make peace with the Western Allies.

After many aborted attempts and indecision, the conspirators' final plan was eventually carried out. Claus von Stauffenberg placed a briefcase containing a bomb under the table near Hitler during a conference in the Wolfsschanze (Wolf’s Lair), Hitler's military headquarters.

The bomb was moved at the last minute by an unwitting officer, who pushed the briefcase towards the end of the table. When the bomb went off, officers were flung from the room. Three died and 20 were injured. Hitler, although suffering from singed trousers, escaped largely unharmed.

The aftermath

The ensuing military coup was quickly crushed, due to indecision from officers who expected Hitler to have perished. The conspirators were rounded up and many were executed, including Claus von Stauffenberg.

Nowadays Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg is hailed by the Bundeswehr as a role model. He is still honoured in many ceremonies in Germany, which are regularly attended by his son General Berthold Graf Stauffenberg - who was, on the occasion of his retirement, Germany’s longest-serving officer.

The video below from DW takes a look at one of the ceremonies commemorating von Stauffenberg, and explains his role in the July 20 plot.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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