published on: 20/07/2023
Today in 1944, assassins attempt to kill Adolf Hitler by planting a bomb in his East Prussian headquarters. The Führer survives and credits divine intervention. Mass arrests follow; nearly 5,000 Germans will be executed for their alleged involvement in the plot.
referred to as the July 20 Plot or Operation Valkyrie. The plot was
led by a group of high-ranking German military officers and civilians
who were opposed to Hitler's leadership and the direction in which he
was taking Germany during World War II.
The key figure in the assassination attempt was Colonel Claus von
Stauffenberg, a high-ranking officer in the German Army who had
become disillusioned with Hitler and the Nazi regime. Stauffenberg
was part of the resistance movement that sought to overthrow Hitler
and end the war.
On July 20, 1944, Stauffenberg attended a military briefing at the
Wolf's Lair, one of Hitler's military headquarters in East Prussia
(now Poland). He carried a briefcase containing a bomb, which he
placed under the conference table during the meeting. Stauffenberg
left the room before the bomb detonated, intending to kill Hitler and
his top aides.
However, during the briefing, someone unknowingly moved the briefcase
away from Hitler's legs and behind a thick table leg, which shielded
him from the full force of the explosion. This accidental change in
the placement of the bomb contributed to Hitler's survival.
The explosion resulted in significant damage and casualties, but
Hitler survived with minor injuries. In the aftermath of the failed
attempt, Stauffenberg and other conspirators were arrested, and many
of them were executed by firing squad on the same day.
Despite the failure of the July 20 Plot, it marked a significant
moment in the resistance against Hitler within Germany and
demonstrated that there were elements within the German military and
society who opposed the Nazi regime's actions. The Gestapo
subsequently launched a widespread investigation, leading to the
capture and execution of thousands of individuals suspected of being
involved in the plot.