Taken from his bestselling biography Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis, Ian Kershaw's The Luck of the Devil: The Story of Operation Valkyrie is a brilliant account of the German plot to assassinate Hitler.
The July 1944 plot to kill Adolf Hilter was a desperate attempt by a group of senior officers, most famously Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, to redeem Germany's honour and end the Second World War. They were heroic because they knew their chances of success were slight and that the result of their failure would undoubtedly be a terrible death. They wanted to leave a message for later generations: that there were Germans who understood the evils of Nazism and were willing to act against it.
This extraordinary story is the basis for Bryan Singer's film Valkyrie, starring Tom Cruise and Kenneth Branagh. The Luck of the Devil recounts those fateful days at Hitler's Wolf's Lair headquarters, when his opponents came s close to assassinating one of the modern era's most terrible figures.
Richard Overy has spent much of his distinguished career studying the intellectual, social and military ideas that shaped the cataclysm of the Second World War, particularly in his books 1939 - Countdown to War, Why the Allies Won, Russia's War and The Morbid Age. Overy's The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia won the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hessell Tiltman Prize.