5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating and frustrating,
This review is from: Plotting Hitler's Death: The German Resistance to Hitler, 1933-45 (Hardcover)
This is a revealing and frustrating book about the internal German resistance to Hitler throughout the 12 years of the Third Reich. Revealing in that I had not realised how widespread was the opposition to Hitler, frustrating in that that opposition was rarely expressed in any concrete or organised way and fell prey to numerous problems. These included: ideological and practical differences between Hitler's opponents making united action very difficult to achieve; a reluctance to break military oaths of allegiance, often coupled with a mixture of admiration at Germany's territorial gains and horror at some of the methods used to achieve them, especially in Poland and the Soviet Union; unwillingness to oppose Hitler when he was very successful and popular with the German masses; and a philosophical reluctance to use unconstitutional or violent methods of opposition when any other means was clearly no longer relevant. Hitler also had an indecent amount of good luck, for example when a bomb was planted on his plane on a flight in the Soviet Union in March 1943, it simply failed to go off, probably because the heating on the plane failed; then soon afterwards a plot to throw a grenade at him failed because he left suddenly through a side door at an exhibition; and in the famous plot of 20 July 1944, first a second bomb that was available for use and would have almost certainly killed Hitler could not be primed in time because of a phone call at an inopportune moment that the leading plotter Stauffenberg had to answer; and second, the briefcase containing the bomb was placed by chance by someone not involved in the plot on the wrong side of a heavy table leg, thus lessening its impact. On such small chances can history turn; though whether it would have turned is moot, as the Allies were rightly intent on pressing on to unconditional victory and would not have accepted an agreement with a post-Hitler German government at that point (and arguably not at an earlier point as they were, probably less rightly, extremely sceptical about the motives of the German opponents of Hitler and doubtful of their chances of success). A fascinating read.