on 23 July 2006
'Killing Hitler' by Roger Moorhouse, provides the reader with a gripping account of the lesser-known attempts on the life of Adolf Hitler. While most people know about the Stauffenburg plot, this book also tells the stories of the many others who tried but ultimately failed to eradicate this evil man. Surprisingly many of these attempts came from members of the German military. The style of each attempt is remarkably different, as are the individual characters of these unsung heroes. These are stories that deserve to be told and through his suspenseful narration, Moorhouse gives these deserving men and women their rightful place in history. Set in the context of the unfolding events of the war, it is also an account of the remarkable survival of a dictator who revelled in his own supernatural importance. A beautifully written and well-researched book, I have no hesitation in recommending it.
on 23 July 2006
Snipers and derailments, actresses and suicide bombers. But for a ten-minute delay here or a faulty detonator there, the course of history and the fate of thousands could have been changed. Killing Hitler, by Roger Moorhouse is an enthralling and thoroughly researched book that tells the stories of Hitler's would be assassins. To Hitler, such attacks were merely a brush with 'Providence', bolstering his un-shakable belief that his life was preserved to fulfil a 'historic destiny' to save Germany. Moorhouse is not only an excellent historian but also a superb storyteller.
on 2 May 2006
This book is a fantastic read. As a non-historian I often find myself very interested but completely uninspired by the ever increasing number of books on early 20th century history. Killing Hitler, on the other hand, is very informative but also enthralling from beginning to end.
Written as if telling a tale, I often found myself in disbelief that Hitler evaded death on so many occasions; by so narrow an escape, and wanting to know more.
Moorhouse's style of writing was delightful and exciting to read, showing a real enthusiasm and passion about each of his subject would-be assassins, and made a change from the usual dreary history books that I find myself picking up.
on 24 March 2006
Moorhouse has developed considerably since his earlier works, notably Microcosm (considered by many to be the best researched account of Wroclow during the WW2 era). In Killing Hitler he has made this account of the tyrant accessible to a wider audience, yet still remained true to his revisionist roots. Moorhouse's unique gift is to disect a cross section of time and society, then identify and collate the key impetus behind subsequent actions and movements. This book represents an unmissable opportunity for the lay reader to step into the mind of a world authority and see history as it really was.
on 5 June 2015
Moorhouse describes the various kinds of plots against Hitler: lone-wolf types, the Wehrmacht, the resistance in occupied countries and those planned by foreign powers.
The historical context explains the motivation for the various assassination attempts and is explained in considerable detail, in some cases it almost goes off at a tangent. Moorhouse explains why most of the attempts failed and outlines Hitler’s road to power. As history progressed so different types of assassination attempts came into play. At first the loners, then those holding office and later foreign governments.
Besides Hitler’s earliest days as the Nazi leader, when his security arrangements were reminiscent of the Keystone Kops, there never really was any effective opportunities to kill Hitler - although Stauffenberg seems to have come close. During the earliest days of his reign is seems as though had the assassins been any more capable Hitler’s name would have likely faded from history. These bungled attempts likely persuaded Hitler to bolster his own security measures in later years and to use that expression from The Day of The Jackal probably, ‘queered the pitch’. One conspirator quipped Hitler must have a guardian devil.
Given the sheer number and breadth of the assassination attempts against Hitler it is surprising he lived long enough to die by his own hand.
Killing Hitler is engaging, well considered but does seem to wander from the principal topic sometimes.
on 28 September 2014
Each chapter of this book is devoted to an individual or groups of individuals who plotted, and sometimes came quite close, to killing Hitler. Although in some of his chapters the plots don't get further than discussion (which is particularly true in the chapter on Albert Speer) it is still amazing to think how many times Hitler narrowly escaped and how close the world was to a different historical narrative. This book proves how big a tragedy it actually was that not one of these attempts worked and how miraculously "lucky" Hitler seemed to be.
Moorhouse is an excellent writer and an expert on this period of German history. This book is worth reading and highly recommended.
on 27 April 2012
This is an excellent overview of the subject, with much that I found fascinating. Time and again, a quirk of fate saves Hitler. The author also covers the different and changing attitudes to an assassination, from British 'it's not cricket' to Stalin's obsession with capturing Hitler alive. Highly recommended.
on 19 February 2015
A book about one of the worlds most hated person and by the attempts to assinate him. It goes through known attempts, the results, and if known why it failed. It goes through from his rise to his fall. Its a great read.
Based on recently opened archives, British historian Moorhouse told us a story about all the numerous attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
These includes attempts by individuals in the early days of Hitler's reign, such as Swiss student Maurice Bavaud, whose try got him beheaded; the efforts of a British spies group armed with unusual weapons ("exploding rats") and the well-known attempt of patriotic Wehrmacht officers, including von Stauffenberg, which succeeded in injuring Hitler, although not terminally. This book is an excellent historical display of the most serious of the 42 known attempts.
Moorhouse also introduces little-known would-be-assassins, such as Polish underground. Most of the assassination attempts Moorhouse describes failed because of poor planning, some were victim to circumstance, but also some could be treated as rumors.
Easy to read, suspenseful in narration and put into historical context make this book a must-read for World War 2 genre enthusiasts but also for people who want to learn some little known details about Nazi regime.
Idea that World War 2 and all of its horrors could be avoided with a successful assassination, single bullet or bomb has remained a mystery for last 60 years. What is revealed in this book just how close-and how often-history came to taking a radically different path between Adolf Hitler's rise to power and his downfall.
It is also remarkable story of Hitler's repeated escapes from almost certain death convinced him that he was literally invincible and indestructible which caused terrific consequences for millions on people.
Author made great work in providing lot of details, book's seven chapters presented in historical order world in which the potential killers live is described. Then he extracts the plotter from all these reasons they had to do the deed and focuses in on their activities, which are then regarded for their outcome - whether they resulted in tighter security around Hitler or some other effect.
There are some spellings and inconsistency errors through the book (American vs. European standards, etc.) but these drawbacks are not important taking into account research behind this book needed to write it, all details and especially the quotes which are great.
I recommend this book for anyone, not only ones interested in World War 2 related literature. Because of the details for sure it will not be surpassed for some time ahead and it really readable from the first to the last page.
on 7 April 2009
An absolutely fascinating book which reveals a lot of the resistance against The Third Reich. Stauffenberg's assassination attempt on Hitler's life is probably the most known attempt, but there were actually more than 40 attempts to take Hitler's life. The book portrays very well the determination of civilian individuals or conspirators within the German armed forces to rid Germany of Adolf Hitler.