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Valkyrie: The Plot To Kill Hitler Paperback – 4 Jun 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (4 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075382566X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753825662
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.3 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 787,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

a remarkable and honest testament to the courage of the small band of resisters who dared to try and stop Hitler and his lunacy (NEWS LETTER)

Book Description

The last member of Operation Valkyrie - the daring July 20 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler - tells his remarkable story.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tim O. on 14 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The clue is in the blurb: Philipp von Boeselager was the last person alive who happened to have something to do with the conspiracy.

Unfortunately, it becomes readily clear that his role was very much an external one, so he doesn't have much to say that is of general interest.

There's no breakdown of the conspiracy, little by way of historical context for the readers. All we get is that the conspiracy was underway, he led some troops back from the frontline ready to take over a German city, found out that something had gone wrong, and turned them back.

That's it, as far as the conspiracy goes. And that's where the book fails. It's not sold as being the story of a child playing with his brother in the woods. The selling-point is that, from the horse's mouth, you're going to read about the plot to kill Hitler. It's barely mentioned, and that makes for a disappointing book indeed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Spence on 9 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Although titled Valkyrie The plot to kill Hitler, the author skirts round the plot and instead gives a history relating to himself and his brother and their service on the Eastern Front. If you have seen the film then give this miss.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Les Fearns on 18 July 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a memoir of Philipp von Boeselager, traditional German aristocrat, cavalry officer and last surviving member of the 1944 Bomb Plot to assassinate Hitler. In many ways this would seem to be of limited value to a historian: it is as said, a personal memoir, and would seem to be ghost written at that. Much of it is devoted to uncritical praise of an elder brother, also involved in the Plot and the amount of the (slim) work on the actual Plot is minimal.

Nonetheless, this is a significant piece of history, but not so much on what it says about 1944, rather, it gives an interesting insight into the mentality of the Junker officer class during the Third Reich. Implicitly, the content and presentation of the narrative in the memoir makes clear that the aristocracy saw the Fuhrer as an upstart, but did not intervene to obstruct his accession to power seeing this more as "the will of the people" with which they should not deign to interfere. They also appeared to have exercised considerable informal local authority, but without too much accountability, or desire to use this considerable local and historic influence to resist or reduce the impact of national socialist policies (although a incident of the family assisting fleeing Jews early on is described).

Von Boeselager and his brother join the cavalry and there is little questioning of German war aims/strategy until the war turns against the Germans, especially in the east, although the memoir states it was a growing awareness of SS atrocities in the east rather than growing Soviet pressure that brought about plans to assassinate Hitler and stage a coup.
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By Nick Brett TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Aug. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Others have been critical that this book is not specifically about the famous plot to kill Hitler. They are right, the Tom Cruise film does a pretty good job at that. However this is a gem of a book, fairly short but an emotional, powerful and engaging sense of the circumstances under which German officers came to see Hitler as evil. It highlights the difference between the German military and the SS and the Nazis and the circumstances under which Nazi standards seeped into a country trying to regain it's honour an dignity.

The cover mentions Valkyrie but also clearly states it is "the memoirs of the conspiracy's last survivor", Philipp Von Boeselager. From a slightly aristocratic family Philipp and his brothers were free thinking outdoors types for whom the German army in the late 1930s provided an opportunity to rebuild their country and to drag it back from the sorry state WW1 had left it in. Proud and athletic Philipp and his brother Georg join the cavalry, (and I was amazed how much the Germans used horseback cavalry during the war and especially on the Russian Front) and eventually war breaks out....

At this point this is a memoir mainly dealing with Philipp and his very talented brother and their military experience up to and including the horrors of the Russian front where the supplies ran out and the temperature dropped lower then they thought was possible. This is a tale of dedicated and talented officers with a total focus on their jobs, but gradually the reality of what was happening to Germany under the Nazis starts to seep through to them and their world changes. For Philipp it was an officer casually boasting about the slaughter of some Gypsies.
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Format: Hardcover
Do not expect much more than just a relatively simple, but moving, memoir illuminating a faction of the German Wehrmacht and one influential militaristic family. But it is so valuable as von Boeselager was actually part of an heroic attempt to bring WW2 to an earlier end, and he escaped with his life - so many others did not. It is a very readable account of a double-life at the time of a ghastly nightmare for Germans as the country headed for destruction. This man and his family had a political conscience - the tragedy was that these conspirators did not succeed.
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