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Hitler's Hangmen (Hardback)

The Secret German Plot to Kill Churchill December 1944

Military > Greenhill Books > Greenhill: WWII WWII > Hitler & the Third Reich

By Brian Lett
Greenhill Books
Pages: 236
Illustrations: 8 page b/w plate section
ISBN: 9781784385293
Published: 14th October 2019


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Before and after the outbreak of the Second World War, there were a number of sizable Fascist groups active in Britain, all of whom were working towards a violent uprising to overthrow the British government. These groups included The Right Club, led by Captain Jock Ramsay MP, Arnold Leese’s Imperial Fascist League and Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists.

When Churchill became Prime Minister in May 1940, Ramsay, Leese, Mosley and hundreds of their supporters were arrested and interned. They were released in 1943 and 1944, all the more embittered and just as intent on bringing about the installation of a Fascist Government in Britain, which Ramsay hoped to lead. Churchill was the man they hated most, under Chamberlain, they had remained free men, Churchill had interned them, and sworn to fight the Nazis to the bitter end, Britain under Churchill would never surrender.

In the autumn of 1944, Adolf Hitler made his last attempt to achieve victory in the west, or at least a favorable peace. He would then be free to concentrate on defeating the Soviet Union. In the Ardennes, he launched a massive counter attack, using dirty tricks and murdering prisoners, that has become known as the Battle of the Bulge, in Italy he counter attacked down the Serchio valley, and in the UK he gave orders for an uprising or escape in all of the German Camps under Nazi control, and in at least one of the Italian Fascist prisoner of war camps. A part of Hitler’s plan was the assassination, simultaneously, of both Churchill and Eisenhower.

This was the opportunity Ramsay had been waiting for. Under the cover of a “Social” for all those who had been released from detention, a meeting was arranged for the day of the breakout. They would join and aid the uprising, providing invaluable support. An organization called the Prisoners of War Assistance Society, set up by members of Leese’s organization, was to help the prisoners get out.

Two Nazi camps were to lead the Break Out, Camps No.23, Devizes, and No.17, Sheffield. The plot was discovered by chance at Camp 23 and foiled. Nazi Vehmic Court murders of suspected informers followed in relation to Camp 23, and at Camp 17. The plan was been to seize US military ambulances in Devizes, and tanks and armoured vehicles, and to advance on London. The ambulances would provide useful camouflage, in the same manner as captured US vehicles and uniforms were used in the Battle of the Bulge.

Waiting and willing to help them at the House of Commons in London was Jock Ramsay MP. He continued to serve as an MP after his release from four years detention, and when he attended the House he would sit within yards of his greatest enemy, Winston Churchill. In December 1944, Churchill was in London, and addressed the House of Commons on 14 and 20 December. Ramsay had the right to attend the House of Commons at all times, and his Right Club had once boasted eleven MPS amongst its members. He could provide the German task force with assistance in their attempt to kill or capture Churchill and other Cabinet Ministers, thus leaving Britain without its leaders at a vital moment.

A simultaneous plot to assassinate General Eisenhower was discovered during the Battle of the Bulge – it was known as “Eisenhower Aktion”, and involved English speaking Germans disguised as US soldiers and driving US vehicles.

This is the incredible, disturbing story of how close British Fascists came to impacting the outcome of the Second World War. It is also a comprehensive investigation into the Break Out Plot as it unfolded across Britain: how it came to fruition and how it was quashed, its repercussions and the many little-known stories of escape and recapture which took place throughout the country.

Years of research by retired Queen´s Counsel Brian Lett has led him to present spectacular conclusions about German plans for the UK connected to the German 1944 Ardennes campaign. This book is of special interest both to those into late German plans and fans of exploring WWII places.

Read the full review here

Lars Gyllenhaal

Author article: 'Hitler's plot using escaped Nazi prisoners to murder Churchill' as featured by

Western Daily Press, Bristol Post - 24th March 2020

Fact can often be stranger than fiction and this new book uncovers the story of British Fascists plotting with German POWs to assassinate Churchill in 1944. The author uncovered the surprising and unknown facts of this attempt by the British Fascists to seize power, take revenge on Churchill and hand WWII victory to Hitler. – Very Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here


I must admit to having little knowledge of the fascists in Britain during WW2, and so found quite a few bits of this book, a surprise. Before and after the outbreak of the Second World War, there were a number of sizable Fascist groups active in Britain, all of whom were working towards causing an uprising to get rid of the British government. These groups included The Right Club, Sir Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists Arnold Leese's Imperial Fascist League.

Churchill basically had the leaders of the various fascist groups imprisoned during the war, only released towards the end of the war. Their main gripe was with Churchill and were antagonised by his duty to defeat the Nazi’s to whom the fascists supported and adored. Whereas Churchill was willing to deal with dissenters, Chamberlain had not. The book also includes chapters on the POW camps within Britain containing mainly Italian and German troops.

This is a fascinating story and really does show how Britain could have so easily been infiltrated from within, when things could have ended much differently. I won’t say much more as it will give the story away. But for those that like me didn’t know much about fascism in the UK will find it all very intriguing. A good recommended read.

UK Historian

Author article as featured by

Military History Matters, March 2020

Fascinating story.

The Armourer, March 2020

Brian Lett's account of how things unfolded is both astonishing and page-turning, and although I had been aware of various plots to kill Churchill, I was not aware of the extent of involvement of right-wing fascist factions, only that Hitler wanted him and Ike dead. Absolutely enthralling.

Books Monthly

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is a vivid presentation of the plot to assassinate Churchill and the story behind the German POW in Bristish Isle. Should they accomplished their goal, the world may be different at this time.

This book is written well, easy to understand, and enjoyable to read. History buffs would appreciate the details presented in this book.

NetGalley, Greg Hawod

This book was fast paced. Hard to put down. It flowed well and it was very well written. It caught hold of me and had me hooked from the start. I was literally on the edge of my seat reading this book.

NetGalley, Lisa Houston

A fascinating and deeply worrying account of the foiled plots for German POW’s and British fascists to rise up together in 1944 in an attempt to turn the tide of the Second World War.

This is a previously untold tale and the author has conducted deep research to reveal this fascinating tale of a plot that so nearly came to fruition and if successful might well have changed the outcome of the war.

There is much detail of the various Fascist groups active in England and the measures taken to infiltrate and neutralise them.

Well worth a read by all history buffs.

NetGalley, Greville Waterman

About Brian Lett

Brian Lett is an author of World War Two history, who has seven books currently in print. He has lectured extensively upon irregular warfare in World War II, including to the British Army. He is a recently retired Queen's Counsel who practised at the Bar of England and Wales for forty-seven years.

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