July Plot

Posted by Tory Historian Monday, July 20, 2009 ,

On July 20, 1944 Colonel von Stauffenberg placed a briefcase with a bomb under a table next to Hitler in a meeting room in the latter's headquarters, known as Wolf's Lair. The bomb did explode but for a number of reasons did not kill Hitler. In fact he sustained but minor injuries and could broadcast his gratitude to fate that had spared him that evening.

The conspirators were mostly high-ranking army officers who had had doubts about the whole Nazi enterprise for some time and were now convinced that the war would destroy Germany. They were anxious to get rid of the F├╝hrer and to start negotiations with the western allies and to save Germay from total destruction and probable Soviet invasion. The plot, as we know, failed and the conspirators were arrested, tortured, tried hastily and either executed (some with piano wires) or, if they were lucky, given the chance to commit suicide.

Would the western allies have negotiated? Given Churchill's and Roosevelt's readiness to give in to Stalin's every demand and, in the case of Soviet POWs and DPs, go beyond those demands, that scenario is very unlikely. We can but speculate.

And no, Tory Historian has not the slightest intention of watching Tom Cruise playing a Prussian aristocrat, especially as there is no mention even of the curious role of Otto John, one of the few survivors of the conspiracy, subsequently head of "West German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution - protection, that is, against extremists of Right or Left, a German equivalent of MIS", then a defector and counter-defector. Or maybe not.

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