Have there come to light any plans either by the allied forces or those within the Third Reich to depose/disgrace/assassinate Hitler himself, rather than just plans to crush his forces?

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    -1 This question shows no prior research, most of it can be found with a few quick Google searches. Mar 18, 2013 at 14:38
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    While easily googlable, I still tend to like this question. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Foxley is what I came up with. +1 and welcome to the site :) Mar 18, 2013 at 14:53
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    Probably the first such try was on 5th of October, 1939, during the German parade at the streets of Warsaw. I'll translate Polish materials about it when I have more time. Mar 18, 2013 at 18:18
  • This week's Economist contains the obituary of Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist who, together with other members of Infantry Regigment 9, was involved in the failed assassination attempt against Hitler.
    – Drux
    Mar 21, 2013 at 21:00
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    No prior research is reason for downvotes, but not for closing, according to normal SE principles. Sep 9, 2013 at 7:07

2 Answers 2


There were a number of attempts on made on Hitler's life, some notable ones were

  • One of the earliest attempts was made by Johann Georg Elser on November 8, 1939, when he placed a time bomb, at one one of the columns behind the podium, where Hitler gave a speech at the Burgerbrau Beer Cellar in Munich. The Bomb missed its deadline by 8 minutes, and Hitler lived to die another day.

  • In 1939, prior to the outbreak of WWII, Wermacht General Kurt von Hammerstein repeatedly attempted to lure Hitler into visiting the Army’s fortifications along the Seigfried Line near the Dutch border where he commanded a base. Hammerstein and his co-conspirator, retired General Ludwig Beck, had planned a ‘fatal accident’ to Hitler during his inspection of the base. Hitler however, never honoured the invitation, instead he turned the tables on Hammerstein by placing him on the retired list.

  • Another plot to assassinate Hitler was hatched at Army Group B Headquarters near Ukraine by General Hubert Lanz, his Chief of Staff, Major-General Dr. Hans Speidel and Colonel Count von Strachwitz. Lanz stated that he would have then arrested Hitler, and in the event of resistance, Strachwitz tanks would have shot and killed the entire delegation. Hitler cancelled the visit and the plan was dropped.

  • At Smolensk, on March 13, 1943, Colonel Henning von Tresckow together with other officers, plotted to blow the plane on which Hitler, was flying back to Berlin, by concealing a bomb, in a brandy bottle, presented to Colonel Heinz Brandt who was flying back with Hitler. However the bomb failed to explode, owing to the high altitude of the flight.

  • On March 20, 1943, Colonel Rudolf von Gertsdorff, General Kluge's chief of intelligence, tried to kill Hitler in the Zeughaus. The concealed bomb was to be detonated by acid while he stood close to Hitler in the exhibit hall. Unfortunately Hitler left the building before the acid could act and Gertsdorff immediately entered the men's room and flushed the fuse down the toilet.

  • On March 11, 1944, Cavalry Captain Eberhard von Breitenbuch decided to assassinate the Führer by shooting him in the head using a 7.65mm Browning pistol concealed in his trouser pocket, but was not able to carry out the plan because SS guards had been ordered, earlier that day, not to permit adjutants of officers into the conference room with Hitler.

  • In February, 1944, Infantry Captain Axel von dem Bussche agrees to blow up Hitler and himself while he demonstrates a new army winter overcoat to the German leader. Fate intervenes the day before when during a British air raid the uniforms were destroyed and Bussche was returned to duty at the front. A few weeks later another ‘overcoat’ attempt was made. This time the volunteer model was Ewald Heinrich von Kleist, son of one of the original conspirators and included Major General Helmuth Stieff. Again the RAF saved the day with an air-raid just before the demonstration was about to take place forcing its cancellation.

  • Lastly there is the famous attempt by Lt. Colonel Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, on On 20 July 1944, near Rastenburg, East Prussia. He Concealed a time bomb inside his briefcase, which went off as intended, but did not have the right amount of explosive or was not positioned in the right place to inflict any serious damage on Hitler. Read more about the plot here.

After surviving many attempts on his life, Hitler intensified the Propaganda that he was chosen by the Providence/Creator, to carry on his mission in Germany. I quote Hitler after one of the assassination attempts:

Few people can begin to imagine the fate which would have overtaken Germany had the assassination attempt succeeded. I myself thank Providence and my Creator not for preserving me - my life consists only of worry and work for my people - I thank him only for allowing me to continue to bear this burden of worry, and to carry on my work to the best of my ability.

Adolf Hitler speech after surviving assassination attempt, 20 July 1944:

Once again I take this opportunity, my old comrades in arms, to greet you, joyful that I have once again been spared a fate which, while it held no terror for me personally, would have had terrible consequences for the German people. I interpret this as a sign from Providence that I must continue my work, and therefore I shall continue it.

There is a good documentary made by the history channel on the subject of assassination attempts on Hitler, here is a YouTube video , of the said documentary.

  • you have to wonder how many of those attempts were invented after the war by officers trying to look anti-Hitler to their allied interrogators and thus avoid prosecution for war crimes. And how many will never be known about because none of the people involved survived the war to talk about it.
    – jwenting
    Mar 19, 2013 at 11:47
  • @jwenting Yes there are many claims , but i've listed only well known attempts. Mar 19, 2013 at 12:00
  • No wonder Hitler was so paranoid at the end of his days.
    – Muz
    Mar 20, 2013 at 10:16

The most serious attempts came from the Wehrmacht, probably the only organization that had a chance. As reported in sources such as William L. Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," in 1943, General Henning von Treskow planted a time bomb in Hitler's private plane that failed to go off.

A more serious attempt was made by Count Colonel Klaus von Stauffenburg on July 20, 1944, after the Normandy landings. It also involved a time bomb, planted personally by Stauffenberg, who "abandoned" his bomb-loaded briefcase while he was sitting next to Hitler. Unfortunately, another general moved the briefcase, thereby sparing the dictator.

That's because Stauffenberg had left the room with plan to lead a coup d'etat against the Nazi party once the news spread of Hitler's death. As it were, no such news came, the conspirators hesitated, and were soon rounded up and executed by Nazis acting under Hitler's orders.

  • +1 for your answer , but correct me if i am wrong , but was it not that Hitler was , standing and not sitting , while the blast took place Mar 19, 2013 at 7:14
  • @BarathBushan Tom doesn't claim Hitler was sitting. He writes that the suitcase was moved by someone sitting next to Hitler, which is true (at least according to reports by the people who survived the scene, whether that was just a ploy to gain favour with Hitler for saving his life will probably never be known).
    – jwenting
    Mar 19, 2013 at 11:50
  • @jwenting: As I remember from Shirer, the General (Brandt) moved the briefcase while moving from a sitting to a standing position, thereby saving Hitler's life. But "it cost Brandt his own."
    – Tom Au
    Mar 20, 2013 at 12:21
  • @Tom my comment was to Barath who seemed to have been under the impression that you stated Hitler was sitting (and that the fact that he wasn't influenced the outcome of the event, which I don't think is the case, he might have suffered more serious injury than he did but would be unlikely to have died).
    – jwenting
    Mar 20, 2013 at 12:47

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