The Plots Against Hitler

Written by Danny Orbach
Review by Edward James

Hitler led a charmed life. From the moment he took office as Chancellor in 1933 until the failure of the July 1944 Bomb Plot, there was never a moment when at least several people were not plotting to kill him. Some were ‘lone wolves’, like the Communist carpenter who nearly succeeded with the Munich Beer-Hall bomb in November 1939, but most were part of a long-running conspiracy in the higher reaches of the armed forces. After a series of failures, some technical and others matters of chance, they nearly pulled it off in July 1944. Even when Hitler survived the bomb the conspirators might still have staged a successful putsch, but bad luck and misjudgement lead to most of them being caught and executed.

It would be difficult not to write an exciting, suspenseful story with such material, and Danny Orbach does not let us down. He also tries to fit the different plots into a theoretical framework, and he agonises over whether or not the conspirators were ‘heroes’. You may find the analysis interesting; you will find the story compelling.