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On This Day… The Bomb That Failed To Kill The Fuhrer

Written by: George Chittenden : 21 May 2019

It was on this day, 20th July back in 1944 when a bomb in a suitcase exploded and failed to kill Adolf Hitler. The assassination attempt was part of a plan put together by high-ranking German officials to overthrow the Nazi German government, and make peace, saving Germany from complete destruction at the hands of the Allies. History remembers the event as Operation Valkyrie. The man trusted with planting the bomb was German Army Colonel, Claus von Stauffenberg. The original target was during a conference in Berchtesgaden, however it was moved to Hitler's Eastern Front military headquarters, the Wolf's Lair, in Rastenburg, Prussia.

The damage caused by the explosion

The damage caused by the explosion

Stauffenberg planted the bomb as planned, but unfortunately another Colonel, Heinz Brandt, moved the briefcase further away from where Hitler was standing. The device exploded at 12:42 p.m., and when the smoke cleared the Fuhrer was injured. He suffered the temporary paralysis of one arm but survived, and even managed to keep an appointment with Benito Mussolini that very afternoon. The explosive device killed four people, however the failure of the assassination attempt, and the intended military coup caused a huge loss of life. The Gestapo arrested more than 7,000 people and executed 4,980 of them. During his lifetime many others attempted to assassinate Hitler, and all of them failed.

Hitler and Mussolini later that day

Hitler and Mussolini later that day

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