Killing Hitler

Roger Moorhouse

Published by : Jonathan Cape / Vintage / Bantam (US), 2006

Most people have heard of the Stauffenberg Plot - the attempt to kill Hitler launched by the German Resistance Movement on 20 July 1944. But it is not widely known that this was only one of a long series of similar attacks. "Killing Hitler" is an account of the surprisingly numerous attempts on the life of Adolf Hitler. The Germans, Soviets, Poles and British all made plans to kill the Fuhrer. Lone gunmen, disaffected German officers and the Polish Underground, the Soviet NKVD and the British 'Special Operations Executive' were all involved.

Their methods varied from bombing, poisoning or using a sniper, to infiltrating the SS, or even sending Rudolf Hess back to Germany under hypnosis. Many of the plans did not make it beyond the drawing board, some were carried out. All of them failed. Alongside the dramatic and largely unknown stories of Hitler's numerous assassins, this book presents a fascinating investigation of a number of broader issues, such as the complex motives of the German Resistance, the curious squeamishness of the British, and the effectiveness of the Nazi security apparatus.

Drawing on memoirs and original archival sources in Poland, Germany, Russia and Britain, "Killing Hitler" offers a unique perspective on the history of the Third Reich. Hitler's would-be assassins ranged from simple craftsmen to high-ranking soldiers, from the apolitical to the ideologically obsessed, and from enemy agents to his closest associates. Few of these men and women are known to history. This is their story. It is the story of their plans, their motives and their failures. But it is also an account of the remarkable survival of a tyrant.



"The story of the attempts to kill Hitler has been told before... but [Moorhouse's] survey can claim originality thanks to the inclusion of plots hatched by non-Germans"
(David Cesarani Literary Review)

"Roger Moorhouse's enthralling book accounts for a whole gallimaufry of foiled assassination attempts on the Fuhrer, which ranged from the sublime near miss to ridiculous schemes worthy of Mel Brooks"
(Roger Lewis Sunday Express)

"A gripping account, which is thoroughly researched, but wears its scholarship lightly enough to be read like a good political thriller"
(Times Literary Supplement)

"Highly readable... Moorhouse tells his story briskly and sensibly"
(Richard Overy Sunday Telegraph)

"In Killing Hitler, Roger Moorhouse has found a new approach to the story of the Third Reich which is both original and authentic"
(Norman Davies)

Contact Information

c/o Georgina Capel Associates
29 Wardour Street,

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Twitter: @Roger_Moorhouse