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All Posts, Military History

Free extract – Lucky Hitler’s Big Mistakes

HITLER DEAD 30th April 1945

As the flames leaped high above the shallow pit at 6pm on the last day of April 1945 in the Reich Chancellery garden, just a few metres from the only exit of Hitler’s Führerbunker, eight Nazis, including Bormann and Goebbels, stood staring at the blazing inferno with their right arms held rigidly straight out in a most macabre salute. The corpses of Adolf Hitler, Führer and Chancellor of the Third German Reich and his new wife of only forty hours, Eva Anna Paula Hitler nee Braun, were being reduced to cinders in the flaming pyre.

At 1am earlier that same morning, Adolf and Eva had been married. At 2.30pm, later that day, the couple had retired to Hitler’s private room, deep down underground in the Bunker that had been built for him only the year before and in which he and Eva had been confined since 15 January 1945. (Ch.19)

Now nothing but a pile of white ash and a few bones remained of either of them. Hitler was dead but the war was not over. The Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, Head of the Kriegsmarine, as a most loyal Nazi and dedicated supporter, had been appointed by Hitler in his last will and testament to be the new Head of State, the President of Germany. The problem was he was not in or near the Bunker on 30 April and others, like Bormann and Goebbels, were not in any hurry to pass on the message to Dönitz who remained unaware of his Führer’s death. The two former henchmen (Ch.8) wanted some time to consider their own best options at that moment.

Read more in Lucky Hitler’s Big Mistake.