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The Hitler Assassination Attempts (Hardback)

The Plots, Places and People that Almost Changed History

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

By John Grehan
Frontline Books
Pages: 296
Illustrations: 32 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399018906
Published: 14th March 2022



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Throughout his political life, Adolf Hitler was the subject of numerous assassination plots, some of which were attempted, all of which failed. While a few of these have become well known, particularly the bomb explosions at the Bürgerbräukeller in Munich in 1939 and the Stauffenberg Valkyrie attempt carried out at the Wolfsschanze on 20 July 1944, many others have received far less attention – until now.

In this book, John Grehan has examined the known planned or proposed assassination attempts on Hitler, from Chicago to London and from Sweden to the Ukraine – some of which have not previously been presented to the general public by historians.

All manner of methods were proposed by those willing to bring Hitler’s life to a premature and sticky end and Hitler was well aware of the danger which lurked potentially around every corner of every road, railway track, every building and even every individual. As a result, an immense, multi-layered security apparatus surrounded the Führer day and night. Despite this, and knowing the risks they faced, many people sought to kill the German leader, and some very nearly did. Yet Hitler survived, often by just a minute or a millimetre, to die ultimately of his own hand.

These plots and conspiracies are detailed in this book, along with a unique collection of photographs of many of the proposed or actual assassination locations. All will be revealed in this fascinating compilation of the obscure, the fanciful and the carefully considered attempts to assassinate Hitler.

I thoroughly enjoyed this pithy account of the many attempts made on Hitler’s life. In all about 60 or so are covered. If, like me, you’re fascinated with this era of recent history, I’d recommend this. I really enjoyed it.

Seb Palmer, A Question of Scale

Such plots and conspiracies are detailed in this book, along with a unique collection of personal photographs of many of the proposed or actual assassination locations. Most of the photos author John Grehan has chosen to illustrate the attempts have rarely been published, including eyewitness accounts of those directly affected.

ARGrunners Magazine

If, like me, you’re fascinated with this era of recent history, I’d recommend this. I really enjoyed it.

Read the full review here

A Question of Scale: A Wargaming Work in Progress

Fantastic book. I really enjoyed how the author looked into the assassination attempts on Adolf Hitler. The book looked at the events from a different perspective to other books I’ve read. Very interesting. The book is very well written.

NetGalley, Lisa Houston

“An invaluable and unique contribution to the growing library of World War II histories and biographies… A choice and recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library World War II collections.”

Midwest Book Review, July 2022

An invaluable and unique contribution to the growing library of World War II histories and biographies, "The Hitler Assassination Attempts: The Plots, Places and People that Almost Changed History" is an extraordinarily informative and innately fascinating read. A choice and recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library World War II collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

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The Armourer

Much had been written about Georg Elser’s bomb in 1939 and Claus von Stauffenberg’s bomb in 1944 - both of which were very significant explosions that only narrowly missed Hitler through bad luck. But there were many other incidents that ranged from genuine proposals through to fully developed plans of action. John Grehan has produced a comprehensive survey of all the known plots - in thirty three chapters covering episodes from 1921 to 1945 he often deals with several plots in each chapter.

Fully supported with extensive references for those who want to dig deeper, this is a fascinating read which tells us much about the world around Hitler and attitudes to him.

Read the full review here

WW2 Today

This book tells the story of more than 40 assassination attempts of the life of Adolf Hitler. Some of these attempts were more ‘real’ than others, as many were only discussed while others (like the famous ‘Valkyrie’ bombing plot) actually made it to the execution phase. Many of the plotters were arrested and executed when their plans were discovered by the Gestapo, or as in the Valkyrie plot, after their attempts had failed.

Hitler escaped death so many times by varying his behaviors or out of sheer dumb luck that it boggles the mind. He was very conscious of the likelihood of people and organizations wanting to take his life, but even though his security was often lax, his random movements and good luck served him well. There were multiple times where bombing attempts on his special train (the fuhrersonderzug) pulled off on a siding and let other trains on the line go ahead of it. There were also multiple attempts at killing him by bombing venues where he was scheduled to speak. The variety of assassination plots was amazing, as well as the bravery of those who plotted against the Fuhrer with the knowledge that they would likely be arrested themselves and killed.

I gave The Hitler Assassination Attempts four stars. It sheds a lot of light not only on the assassination attempts, but also on life in general in the Nazi police state.

NetGalley, Chris Owens

The Hitler Assassination Attempts tries to explain the often many number of attempts to kill Adolf Hitler. Now it seems from reading this book that Hitler was never popular anywhere or with anyone, and this ranged from the ordinary person right up to highly promoted people within his own military. Also it should be said that there were attempts on his life all over Europe, with that being said it is strange how his personal protection was not better or closer. This if you know what Hitler was like as a person should come as no surprise. He was often very narrow-minded in his views and opinions and certainly, his personality never gave him any favours.

In this book the author John Grehan writes very well and informed, the many chapters come across as very concise and snappy, which did make the book very good and a very easy read. Whilst I had heard of many of the attempts before, reading through this book made it feel fresher and more interesting if that makes sense. I enjoyed this book a lot and would certainly recommend it to anyone with an interest in Hitler as the person.

Read the full review here

The History Fella

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

All in all a well researched and informative work which also highlighted how large and intense was the security in keeping the Fuhrer alive - and the luck that also went a long way in doing so!

NetGalley, Stephen Dale

If you're interested in learning how Germans (and a few foreigners) tried to solve the Hitler problem by violent means when the peaceful ones weren't going to work, this book is perfect for that, and very informative and ideal to familiarise yourself with this topic.

NetGalley, Alya Gonz

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

An interesting look at the attempted assassinations of Hitler. The stories are intriguing and a quick read. It was amazing how many attempts were made and the narrow margins by which some failed. They are informative and will satisfy any true crime or historical enthusiast.

NetGalley, Ron Baumer

I really enjoyed this book by John Grehan. It was very well done and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.

NetGalley, Sarah Pesnell

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The Bookseller

About John Grehan

JOHN GREHAN has written, edited or contributed to more than 300 books and magazine articles covering a wide span of military history from the Iron Age to the recent conflict in Afghanistan. John has also appeared on local and national radio and television to advise on military history topics. He was employed as the Assistant Editor of Britain at War Magazine from its inception until 2014. John now devotes his time to writing and editing books.

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