Operation Valkyrie was a Hitler approved emergency scenario that set up the continuity of government and plan for the military if a general breakdown of civil order should occur, such as the Führer’s death.
On July 20, 1944, in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg detonated a briefcase bomb at Hitler’s Eastern Front military headquarters, the Wolf’s Lair. Once Stauffenberg detonated the bomb, he believed Hitler to be dead. He rushed back to Berlin to initiate Valkyrie in order to take control of the government and the military with his fellow co-conspirators. The scene in Berlin quickly turned to chaos as conflicting reports about Hitler leaked to the military and Hitler’s colleagues. Once Nazi officials were assured that Hitler was alive, Stauffenberg and his associates were immediately arrested and killed shortly after midnight that night.
Stauffenberg and his men came devastatingly close to ending the Third Reich, the Holocaust, and Hitler’s reign of terror, but an early end to the war was not meant to be. Instead, these men paid the ultimate price for their disloyalty to their Führer.
The WWII Foreign Military Studies, 1945-54 includes reports, interviews, questionnaires and more regarding major operations and events of World War 2.