Nigel Jones is a historian, journalist and biographer. A former deputy editor of History Today magazine and reviews editor of BBC History Magazine he has initiated and presented several BBC TV and radio documentaries. He writes and reviews regularly for The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail and Literary Review. His latest book, Countdown to Valkyrie, has already proved a great success and has received commendations from public and the media alike. Nigel lives with his partner and three children in Sussex.
Countdown to Valkyrie: THE JULY PLOT TO ASSASSINATE HITLERby Nigel Jones
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Although there were more than 40 plots to assassinate Adolf Hitler, none came closer to success than the July Plot of 1944. The attempt was masterminded by Count von Stauffenberg, a member of the German General Staff, who had been rushed back from Africa after losing his left eye and right hand. For his injuries, he had been decorated as a war hero. Never a supporter of Nazi ideology, he was increasingly attracted by the approaches of the German resistance movement. After an attempt to assassinate Hitler in November 1943 failed, Stauffenberg developed a new plot to kill him at the Wolf's Lair Headquarters on 20th July 1944. Besides the Fuhrer's assassination, Stauffenberg organized plans to take over command of the Germany forces and sue for peace with the Allies.
The attempt ultimately failed. Only one bomb was detonated and Hitler was only injured: his life was probably saved because the bomb, hidden in Stauffenberg's suitcase, had been placed behind a heavy table leg which reduced the impact of the black.
In remarkable detail, with photographs, explanatory maps and diagrams, author Nigel Jones dissects the lead up to the attempt, the events of the day in minute-by-minute detail, and the aftermath in which the conspirators were hunted down.
No other work on the July Plot contains such accessible detail and full explanation of this attempt on Hitler's life. In addition to a forensic analysis of the day, the book includes short biographies of the key characters involved, the first-person recollections of witnesses, and a 'what if' section explaining the likely outcome of a successful assassination.
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