The Beginning of the End
We all know about the brutal Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi army and his plan for world domination. We all know how he died. What if I were to tell you that he was almost assassinated in his own command base? What if I told you that the suffering and fighting ended sooner, all thanks to a Nazi soldier? Hitler had taken control of Poland in 1939 and was advancing on the Soviets.
He needed a forward command post that was safe enough for him to visit and command from, that would keep up with the Soviet front. So the Nazi engineers and Jewish prisoners started work on the “Wolf’s Lair”. The Wolf’s Lair was not one concrete bunker, but more like four bunkers with a small wall and guards protecting it. It was safe against bombs and gas. Hitler thought he was safe.
The Wolf’s Lair was in present day Northeastern Poland. There was an assassination attempt, code-named Operation Valkyrie. It was planned for July 20, 1944. Several Nazi soldiers, officers, German revolutionaries, even some SS soldiers which were Hitler’s special forces were in on it. The planned assassin was Col Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, a Nazi soldier who had just received the rank of officer, that granted him permission to attend Hitler’s meetings.
Von Stauffenberg had lost his hand and an eye fighting in the Eastern Front against the Russians. The assassination was planned because of the increasing tensions from the Western Allies and the Russians. The Nazi defectors and lots of the Nazi soldiers wanted to show that not all Germans were like Hitler. They also wanted to make peace with the Western Allies and have them help advance on the Russians. The plan was simple. Von Stauffenberg put an explosive with a 30 minute fuse in his satchel, and when he was 20 minutes away from the bunker, he would pull the fuse.
He would have his accomplice check his bag and let him through. After he made it through the security line, a soldier would take his bag. Von Stauffenberg would say he wanted to be next to the Fuhrer because he had trouble hearing with his injuries. The soldier would place the bag in the bunker where the meeting was taking place. Von Stauffenberg would enter for part of the meeting. When there was only minutes before the bomb would go off, a soldier would come and tell Von Stauffenberg that he had a phone call.
Von Stauffenberg would hop in a vehicle with some Nazi soldiers who were helping him. The bomb blast inside of the sealed bunker would kill any officers and the Fuhrer inside of the bunker. He would head towards Berlin and hope to see that Hitler was dead. Almost everything went as planned. Von Stauffenberg pulled the fuse and passed through security when the soldier taking his bag informed him that the Fuhrer thought that the bunker was too hot, and insisted on holding the meeting inside of a wooden shack. This was a bigger problem than you may think.
If the blast happened in the bunker,the shrapnel and debris would have nowhere to go, killing everyone inside. The shacks’ walls were thin, it had windows, and a door. These were all places for the blast to escape. Von Stauffenberg got his spot next to Hitler and left for a phony phone call. He hopped in a vehicle and rode off.
He made it to Berlin where he realized that the assassination attempt did, in fact, fail. Hitler was wounded but alive and expected to make a full recovery. Von Stauffenberg and his accomplices knew they had to escape Germany and fled to the west to tell their story. Hitler had encountered several more assassination attempts, but this assassination attempt scared him, so he had any suspected accomplices of the assassination attempt rounded up and killed. Lots of the soldiers killed were not even in on the plot. Hitler even had Erwin Rommel, AKA The Desert Fox, killed.
Erwin Rommel was a Nazi war hero. Hitler forced him to take a cyanide pill.This shows a new side of the war. We know how the Allies felt, but now we know more about the Nazi side of the war. The Nazi soldiers and officers, and even high ranking commanders, were turning against Hitler. This is when the Nazi side of the war started spiraling out of control.
All thanks to one Nazi soldier and his attempt to assassinate the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler.