Between the year of 1943 to 1944, there were still many attempts to assinate Hitler. None was succesful due to various reasons. Here are the unsuccessful assination stories.
Rudolf von Gersdorff (March 1943)
Gersdorff intended to do a suicide bombing. He carried 8 ounces C2 bomb and hide it in his pocket. He was a tour guide when Hitler visited Zeughaus Berlin to inspect Soviet captured weapons. His plan was to throw himself around Hitler after Hitler made his speech and blew the bomb that would surely kill them both. The bomb was set to explode within 10 minutes after thedetonator was activated. Unexpectedly, Hitler ended the tour sooner than expected. Probably because he felt Gersdorff,s anxiety. Gersdorff managed to diffuse the bomb in a public lavatory. He evaded suspicion and become one of few German Military anti Hitler plotter who survive the war.
Foxley Operation (1944)
British Government through its Special Operation Executive (SOE) also planned to assassinate Hitler. The SOE first planned to put bombs in train that Hitler travelled in. This plan was abandoned because Hitler’s train schedule was never predictable and too irregular. The second plan was to poison Hitler’s food and beverage while he was travelling by train. Once again, this plan was abandoned as the SOE would require an inside man. The third plan which was considered the most acceptable was to assign a sniper to shot Hitler.
From a prisoner of war who had been part of Hitler’s security guard, the SOE obtained information of Hitler activities at the Berghof, a vocational place regularly visited by Hitler. It was revealed that at 10 AM everyday, Hitler would take his private walk around the woods, unguarded and out of sight of sentry posts. A Nazi flag visible from a nearby café was put up every time Hitler was there. The SOE planned to send 2 men wearing a German uniform by parachute into the area surrounding the compound.
Although Churchill favored the plan, not all SOE’s executive supported it. Many still believed that with the war almost over, it would not be a good idea to assassinate Hitler. Killing Hitler would make him sort of a martyr to some Germans and Nazism would probably live on. No decision was reached and the plan was never executed.
Henning Von Tresckow (1941 - 1944)
Tresckow came from a Prussian noble family with long military tradition. He didn’t like the cruelty shown by Hitler’s regime in particular when Hitler started the mass shooting towards Jewish woman and children. Tresckow made numerous attempts to kill Hitler from 1941 – 1944.
In August 1941, Tresckow and his cousin Schlabrendroff planned to kidnap Hitler when travelling to Heeresgruppe Mitte.The plan failed because of high security. On March 1943 Tresckow concealed a plastic bomb in a package purportedly contained cognac bottles and tried to place it in Hitler’s Condor plane. The bomb failed to explode because the luggage compartment where the package was located was not heated. The low temperature had prevented the bomb from detonating. Schlabrendroff retrieved the package from the plane to prevent the discovery of the plot. A week after this failed plot, Tresckow made another attempt to blow Hitler. This time, the execution of the plan was on the hand of Gersdorff, Tresckow’s friend and ally.
Claus Von Stauffenberg (20 July 1944)
Born into an aristocrat Catholic family; Stauffenberg felt uneasy towards Hitler’s ill-treatment of Jews. Finally, his personal sense of justice and religious morality made him turn against Hitler.
Stauffenberg named his assassination plan “Valkrie Operation”. This is perhaps the most famous plot to kill Hitler. Stauffenberg planned to conceal two bombs in a briefcase and put it in the briefing room in Wolfsschanze, one of Nazi’s Headquarters, when Hitler held a meeting there on 20 July 1944.Because there was not enough time to arm the second bomb before the meeting began, only one bomb was successfully carried into the briefing room. Stauffenberg placed the briefcase as close as possible to Hittler and hurriedly excused himself. Unexpectedly, after his exit from the room, Colonel Brandt moved the briefcase away from its intended position.
The bomb exploded. Stauffenberg watched the explosion and convinced himself that no one could have survived the blast. He was wrong. He was in Berlin to initiate a military coup against Nazi’s leaders when he heard the news that Hitler suffered only minor injury. Scientist believes that the existence of windows on the walls of the meeting room had reduced the power of explosion. Moreover, the wrong placement of the bomb caused a heavy and solid oak conference table to form a shield that protected Hitler. Modern computer simulation shows that if only the second bomb were also used, the blast would have killed Hitler. Stauffenberg was shot to death.
Besides the above attempt, there are still numerous plots to kill Hitler, from bombing to poisoning. Although all have failed, it shows the world that not all German citizen and military support Hitler’s conduct and ideology.