July 20, 1944 Coup Attempt

On 20 July 1944, an attempt was made to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Führer of the Third Reich, inside his Wolf’s Lair field headquarters near Rastenburg, East Prussia. The apparent purpose of the assassination attempt was to seize political control of Germany and its armed forces from the Nazi Party (including the SS) in order to obtain peace as soon as possible. The underlying desire of many of the involved high ranking Wehrmacht officers was apparently to show to the world that all Germans were not like Hitler and the NSDAP. However, no details of intended peace initiatives to be proposed by the conspirators have been identified.

The plot was the culmination of the efforts of several groups in the German Resistance to overthrow the Nazi-led German government. The failure of both the assassination and the military coup d’état which was planned to follow it led to the arrest of at least 7,000 people by the Gestapo. According to records of the Führer Conferences on Naval Affairs, 4,980 of these were executed.

 

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German Military History with a focus on World War 2 History including other areas of German History