July 20, 2010

The 20 July Plot

On July 20, 1944 a group of German military leaders launched a failed attempt to blow up Adolf Hitler and remove the Nazis from power.

For years, officers of the German military had been conspiring to overthrow Hitler and other assassination attempts had been made, but the 20 July plot seems to have been the most elaborate and well thought out.

The plot has inspired several books and movies, including the 2008 film Valkyrie which stars Tom Cruise as Count Claus von Stauffenberg, the man who planted the bomb intended to blow up Hitler and then returned to Berlin to help with the coup that was to follow.

The WWII Foreign Military Studies on Fold3 include some interesting information about the 20 July plot including...

A description of the plot by Otto Ernst Remer, leader of the home guard units that helped put down the coup attempt:

A description of the impact of the failed plot by Percy Ernst Schramm, professor of medieval and modern history at the University of Goettingen, formerly Major in the Reserve Corps, and officer in charge of keeping the war diary of the Wehrmacht Operations Staff:

Ludwig Kaiser's report on the events leading up to coup attempt, which he calls the Goerdeler Movement after Carl Friedrich Goerdeler who would have served as the chancellor of the new government if the plot had succeeded. Kaiser's report begins with the German government's official statements on the plot and proceeds to describe events and discussions that lead of the 20 July:

This YouTube video provides a brief overview of the events and this one includes the audio of the speech Hitler gave after the attempt on his life. You can see some pictures and learn all sorts of details from this Wikipedia page.