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Was Britain behind Valkyrie?

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by GRW, Nov 30, 2021.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Seems a bit of a stretch. I understood the British Intelligence services didn't trust the anti-Hitler faction after the Venlo incident.
    "Britain's intelligence service may have played a role in the 1944 attempt on the life of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, an author has discovered.
    The unsuccessful Operation Valkyrie plot, which took place on July 20 in the penultimate year of World War Two and was masterminded by senior German officer Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, led to a planted suitcase bomb being detonated inside Hitler's Wolf's Lair headquarters.
    Whilst the explosion killed four people, Hitler himself escaped with a perforated eardrum, meaning that von Stauffenberg's subsequent attempted coup failed and he was executed along with many of the other co-conspirators.
    Up until now, the assassination attempt, which was immortalised in 2008 Hollywood thriller Valkyrie, was believed to have been the sole work of Germans – although it was known that British-made explosives and triggers were used.
    But a previously top-secret file which had until recently lain unread in the National Archives since it was declassified in 2007 has revealed that conspirator Otto John, a German lawyer, was working for MI6 when the attack took place.
    The file reveals how John was given the codename of 'Whisky' and met with his Mi6 handlers a total of 12 times in the lead-up to the attempt to kill Hitler, which is now popularly known as the 20 July plot.
    He is believed to have acted as an intermediary between another key plotter, Colonel George Hansen, and Britain's spy chiefs.
    Author Nigel West came across the file while carrying out research for his upcoming book Hitler's Nest of Vipers, a two-volume history of the German intelligence service.
    He told MailOnline that whilst John is a 'well-known figure' among historians, 'What was never known was that his codename was Whisky and for two years before 20 July, he was meeting Graham Maingot and Rita Winsor of Mi6.'
    The historian jokingly added that whilst the pair might have just been having 'cosy meetings' and 'cups of tea', it is extremely likely that they were intimately discussing the 20 July plot. 'The historical implications of this are gigantic', Mr West said."
    www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10257727/Was-Britain-Operation-Valkyrie-Document-reveals-conspirator-MI6-agent.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2021
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    After Venlo incident I thought the Allied refused all co-operation with German anti-nazies? Who could blame them there and then? Only that anti-hitlerites Felt there was no help coming from the Allied side. Like we have seen later on " every German was a nazi."
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Canaris who was anti-hitlerite might have had a lot to say about any secret OPS if there were any.
     
  4. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Yeah, that's how I understood it too. This appears to contradict everything I've ever read.
     
  5. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    It seemed important to the planners the manner in which Hitler died...The fact that Hitler survived indicates the indiscriminate nature of a bomb. Given his drug taking, maybe poisening would have been easier and still hidden the identities of the assassins. If i was on "the board" of Hitler assassins, i would have either organised a meeting with Hitler or broken into his room whilst asleep and with or without a silencer put a number of bullets into his head.
    I remember an Australian General who was retiring at Russell Offices in Canberra back in the 90s. As is usual and traditional all the workers, both military and civilian come out to see the General off...He was just beginning his speech when someone broke from the crowd yelling something and ran towards the General. The General looked at him with calm eyes as his aide, a Major, caught him half way with a rugby tackle...he was joined by a couple of burley privates seconds later and they held him down, and took him away. the General finished his speech. (Turned out the bloke was an ex-soldier and was blaming the Army for making him impotent with the drugs the Army gave him (Probably Bromide). The point of the story, is a suicide bomber with a vest wouldn't have definately killed the General, he would have been tackled 20 plus feet from him...a bomb does not make a good weapon for execution, just general carnage.
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Personally I have never understood why Stauffenberg, who had two cases of explosives, only left one in the briefcase with Hitler. There was room for both, and two bombs would have done the Job, table or no table. It seems like he made a mess of the operation by hurrying too much. If he had nerves of steel he would have stayed with the bomb with Hitler instead of escaping the scene.
     
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  7. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Actually, an officer with an explosive vest tried to kill him earlier but couldn't get close enough, even though nobody suspected he had a bomb.
     
  8. harolds

    harolds Member

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    While I agree that more explosive was needed, that was not forseen. It was expected that the conference would be held in a concrete bunker, as usual. There the overpressure would have killed everyone in there. However, due to the heat that day, the conference was held in a wooden building with open windows, which nullified a lot of the blast effect. Remember too, that Stauffenberg had mangled hands. He had to arm the bomb with less than half his digits. The fact that the only place he could do it was in a lavatory where anyone could come in and discover him.

    As for staying in the room when the bomb went off, please understand that Stauffenberg was a devout, practicing Catholic. Staying in the building was suicide and suicide was a mortal sin, according to the Church.
     
  9. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Sounds like a debacle to me...the job should have been given to someone who could do it easily...the hit called off when the venue changed...its not like Hitler was going anywhere...Suicide a mortal sin, but mass murder totally fine...i would have laughed in this guys face. I'm beginning to see why they lost the war...
     
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  10. harolds

    harolds Member

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    He was the only one of the plotters who had some access to Hitler and who volunteered to do it.
     
  11. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Still half arsed. This is about as big a target as it gets...taking him out could save millions of lives and perhaps Germany herself. There would be a dozen ways to get at him. He is certainly not the first person to be targeted for execution (and wouldn't be the last) - The US itself still executes ISIS hierarchy with precision ordnance...(or storming their bunkers - think Bin Laden).

    Storming his abode...ambush the passing cars...Mosquito bombing of building he is in...poisoning...breaking into his bedroom for execution (one bloke broke into the Queens bedroom if you remember)...Sniper fire from any number of buildings during any number of speeches...being shot in any of the places he frequented or visited (think Lincoln in the theatre) - Were the people serious?? As i said, it turned into a debacle that came back and bit them on the arse. For anybody, let alone military who have access, knowledge, and weapons of all kinds... to stuff it up doesn't say much for their intelligence or will to complete the mission. Millions of people died in WW2...to not be able to take down a small, over confident, drug addled person is a little pathetic.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
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  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    He had an adjutant in the toilet to help with dressing. And simply putting the other piece of explosive would have been only needed. Catholic or no, keeping the briefcase closer to Hitler would be needed. With two pieces of bomb, bunker or tree house with windows, it would not have mattered. I have a feeling he wanted to return to Berlin to celebrate Hitler's death and left the Job half-done.
     
  13. harolds

    harolds Member

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    I disagree with both of you. Hitler was living and working at the "Wolf's Lair", a heavily guarded compound swarming with SS Guards. The bomb would have killed him had not it been moved behind a heavy table support. Perhaps it just wasn't Hitler's day to die. He survived numerous assassination attempts. Where the plot fell down was in the follow-up. Even if Hitler had been killed, I doubt that the plotters would have been successful in forming a new government or getting the popular support for it. Hitler was still very popular with masses.
     
  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Stauffenberg et co already arrested the Ss troops as the kill attempt took place. When they learnt Hitler was alive the troops were relieved.however, simply going on with the operation I believe the SS would have Lost.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
  15. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Kai-P, The SS troops in the "Wolf's Lair" were definitely NOT arrested. Some troops In Berlin were ordered into their barracks etc. but most military leaders waited until the situation clarified itself before committing themselves. However, the plotters waited for word from Stauffenberg before initiating the follow-up moves.

    Getting a sniper or sniping equipment into that very secure area had little or no chance

    Had Stauffenberg tried to use a pistol on Hitler, the chances are that someone in the room would have knocked his gun away-the gun by the way, that he was incapable of using!
     
  16. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Harolds...i admire your tenacity...but your arguments are weak (IMO)
    Firstly the SS troops were not the be all and end all of personal protection. And had little/few friends in the German war machine. Hitler did not spend all his time in the "Wolf's Lair" - (850 days) Its "secure" nature also made it great for an attack as it was remote, and difficult to escape from. Snipers can go almost anywhere...they are masters with terrain. If Hitler can get to the bunker, snipers can also.
    The pistol argument doesn't stand up to the history test...a pistol can be produced very quickly and shots fired before a reaction...there are many examples...Reagan being one that comes to mind...or Lee Harvey Oswald...
    As i have stated above there are MANY different methods that could have been used...and if Jews were being recruited MANY who would gladly have a crack at him.
     
  17. harolds

    harolds Member

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    My arguments are weak? Let's take a look at yours! I'll start from the bottom of your last post and work up:

    Lee Harvey Oswald use a rifle, not a pistol.
    If Reagan's attacker hadn't been grabbed, he would have hit the president several more times. The "collateral damage" to a police officer and James Brady were due to the effects of bystanders mobbing the shooter. Let's also remember "Squeeky" Fromm's attack on Gerald Ford which was thwarted by people around her. For a pistol to be effective, you have to be close. The pistol brought in would have to be small, say a 32acp Walther or Mauser. Such small calibers require very precise placement. Of the three types of firearms, shotguns, rifles, and pistols, the pistol is the hardest to shoot accurately, especially when adrenaline is in the shooter's system. So, the shooter would have to be right next to Hitler and place the muzzle right on his head, to be sure of getting the job done. Stauffenberg was the ONLY person the plotters had who was willing to try and do the job and he couldn't shoot a pistol due to his injuries!

    The Wolf's Lair was not just a single bunker. It was a large complex of bunkers and buildings surrounded by three concentric layers of barbed wire and guards. It's very doubtful that a sniper could make it through the security and get a clear shot. Then, they would have to be totally prepared to die because getting out alive would be near impossible. Besides, it's doubtful that they could find a German sniper who would do it. The younger generation of Germans were conditioned by years of propaganda from their youth to be extremely loyal to Hitler. So, that leaves your idea of a Jewish person doing it. How many Jewish snipers were there in Germany at that time? I doubt very many.

    The only way that I see that it could have been done was for the plotters to contact Allied intelligence officers with the exact location of the complex and urge them to bomb it. By that time Hitler's idiocy was well known to Allied leaders and they might have been more willing to keep a screwed-up Hitler in power.
     
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  18. ltdan

    ltdan Member

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    Getting close to Hitler was not easy, even for people in the inner circle of power, because Hitler liked to change his plans, often at the last minute.
    And the list of failed or foiled assassination attempts goes on and on. One should not forget that there was a highly efficient domestic secret service in Germany with a broad-based informing apparatus and that denunciation was almost a kind of national sport at that time.
    (By 1944, a peculiar ambivalence prevailed among the population: the majority had definitely long since tired of war and the NSDAP had very little support left.
    But Hitler himself still enjoyed unbroken popularity
    .)

    Stauffenberg was adjudant to the commander of the Replacement Army. In this capacity, he had access to the Wolf's Lair to place the bomb there.
    But because of this function, he had to return to Berlin afterwards to coordinate the troops of the Replacement Army in Berlin. That is the reason why he did not act as a suicide bomber.
    And these units were essential for success, as it would have been of little use to "simply kill" Hitler:
    The Third Reich was completely permeated by Nazi structures; besides Hitler, there were several high-ranking Nazis who maintained very robust networks of their own. Organisations like the SS, SD, Gestapo and RSHA would certainly not have simply turned out the lights.

    The fact that Germany was at war, with its back to the wall militarily, and that a destabilisation of the Eastern Front could not be risked under any circumstances, did not make things any easier.
    And in the crucial hours after the assassination, too many involved officials simply waited too long for clear messages instead of acting decisively. The fact that most of them immediately fell over after learning that Hitler had survived was then the real coup de grâce.
     
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  19. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I recall that for meetings the people that took place had to give their pistol away before getting close to Hitler. I might recall wrong, though.
     
  20. ltdan

    ltdan Member

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    You remember correctly, Kai-Petri
    Only temporally you are a little bit off: This regulation was issued AFTER the failed assassination attempt.
     
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